By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Tony Kushner

“Well, like absolutely everything that this guy has done since getting into office, I think it’s an appalling idea. I hope it’s noise. I really hope that the Republican Congress doesn’t go along with it. We spend $400 million on military marching bands, and $145 million on the NEA, in a country of 319 million. They’re woefully underfunded. It’s a completely empty gesture: we’re talking about a $1.1 trillion budget, and a savings of a few hundred million dollars – a negligible amount. They think the NEA is going to be an easy win for them – an easy thing where they can say to their base, “Look, we got rid of these wasteful programs”. But the programs are of value, even if they’re woefully underfunded. They’re digitizing information that’s of immense value to scholars. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting produces invaluable news programs, which I suppose are among the enemies of the people. It’s never about the NEA. The barbarians who go after it are usually after something bigger than that. In the 90s, when Republicans went after it, it was to stop the LGBT movement and feminism and multiculturalism. The NEA was a handy way of going after that. Now, I think, this is only comprehensible as an expression of the president’s priorities: Congress has to pass the budget but what he’s saying is, ‘Let’s start dismantling the federal government.’ The vision that is more and more clearly looming is that we’re not looking at an attempt to set up a fascist state. We’re looking at a decisive victory in a battle that’s been going on since before the Civil War – really since the founding of this country – for the states’ rightists.”
~ Tony Kushner

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