Apparently there are some 90 million potential voters here in the U.S. who will not be exercising their right to vote today — perhaps too busy, too lazy, too put off by the relentless negativity of the campaigns, or just too unconcerned with the outcome of the election to be bothered. Maybe they simply think the election doesn’t affect them or things they care about.
If any of you who are reading this are among those 90 million, think on this: the next U.S. president will set a tone for the nation, and his intentions will likely become law in some areas of particular importance to art and artists in this country.
If you think the world of art and artists is somehow removed from, and unaffected by, national politics — look again.
The two presidential candidates have distinctly different views on the importance of the arts in society, and the role of government in providing an environment in which the arts can thrive — notably in the form of government funding for the arts, art related programs in schools, public funding for museums, libraries, public art spaces and organizations like the National Endowment for the Arts and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Americans for the Arts Action Fund, a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting legislation favorable to the arts, has compiled a chart of the 2012 Presidential Candidates Arts Positions, and a Congressional Report Card that may help you understand where the candidates stand on issues affecting the arts in the U.S.
There are countries in this world where people literally risk their lives to cast a ballot; here, all you have to do is get out from behind the computer for 20 minutes and drive down to the polls.
(Images above: Norman Rockwell)