Reactions to the Republican candidate’s pledge to abolish publish funding for public broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts have aimed at the small-mindedness of the proposal, its failure to save much money and its fundamental stupidity.
That strikes me as misguided. Governor Romney is not a stupid man. He knows the move will save no money, but he also senses that it will appeal to millions of Americans who think their money is being handed out to cultural ‘elites’ rather than to local amenities. Kill the NEA is a popular slogan in Kansas and points west. It’s a vote-winner.
What the voters can’t see is the sinister parallels for such policies. In their occupation of Poland in the Second World War, the Nazi plan was to eradicate Polish culture and not to allow the populace access to education and literacy, beyond learning to read numbers up to 100. Under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, education was based on a strict interpretation of the Koran and confined to boys. All relics of previous, non-Islamic culture were scandalously eradicated.
The Buddhas of Bamiyan were blown up in 2001.
What Mitt Romney promises America is a comparable demolition of its culture and the reduction of broadcasting to the celebby inanities of commercial channels and internet sites. The phoney dogma of market forces will rule America. Mitt Romney will be its Taliban liberator. That’s the real danger that looms in November.