Why artists hate conservatives

Conservatives have a problem with artists, just as most artists have a problem with conservatives. For example, there is a provision in Bush's Medicare program (the prescription drug boondoggle) that attempts to allow individuals to create their own sort of 401K plan for medical care. Catastrophic health care would be insured for them, but ordinary medical care would be covered by their own tax free savings.

This sounds like a good idea. It gives people control over their medical care, their selection of doctors, treatment, testing, and so forth. Working people can manage this like they do their retirement funds. Everyone wins.

Except artists.

Artists have long and sadly accepted the general proposition that they cannot pursue their vocation in art and expect to be liquid or create much equity. No. Starving artist is not a misnomer or stereotype. People only get to become great (or very good) at an art by doing it full time. But doing so means they most likely scrape to get by. The trade off is that they get to do work they absolutely love instead of working on in the salt mines.

Artists are generally very liberal because they can't afford decent housing, private education for their children, medical expenses, or retirement funds. They tend not to be religious anymore, so they can't ask such communities for help, so they turn to government. They generally do not receive the approval of their fathers if their dads are traditionally masculine types, and receiving the approval of dads who are wimpy is not that much better. In both cases they feel marginalized and inadequate. Anger at the father leads to atheism, rebelliousness, and animosity to tradition.

Artists don't really care about the poor except that it helps them to make an argument for their own needs. You don't see Barbra Streisand or Steven Spielberg offering to create a huge endowment fund for starving actors out of their vast wealth, do you? No, they prefer that ordinary people to pay for starving actors' and artists' needs through the government programs liberals love. The very few artists who reap mega fortunes don't care a whit about their struggling peers, and won't dent their own fortunes for the sake of their own kind, but are more than ready to raise a working family's taxes a large percentage.

Conservatives, though, think that everyone should carry their own weight. Artists simply can't. It's no good saying the market should decide; that some fall by the wayside because they aren't good enough or self-promoting enough. We night possibly lose incredibly fine works of skill and beauty, for my experience (not with my own work) in observing a great many superb artists is that regardless of the quality of their work, they hardly get by because work of living artists of the highest quality is simply not valued by enough buyers with money to spend.

It's as if you have a market of 1000 people who can appreciate quality and will buy it, but you have 50 artists producing 5000 pieces of good work. It can't all be bought. So what do we tell the artists? They're hiring down at the union hall? We can always use more truck drivers?

The conservative vision of every man under his own fig tree simply doesn't work when it comes to people who are willing to starve and suffer for the sake of developing their craft and desire for mastery of creative work. It easy enough to say, "tough luck, hard world." But they aren't buying.

In fact, for most people, life isn't that tough or hard because they are satisfied in their vocation. Most people don't find their lives and work drudgery in America. Surprisingly, to me, is that most people like their jobs, whereas I hated working full time at any job that wasn't creative. No matter how decent the people, the working conditions, and useful the work, I hated having to devote my life to making a buck. I would become miserable, depressed, and suicidal if I thought that the rest of my life was going to be doing such work all day, every day.

I would have rather starved. And I did on many occasions, and lived in conditions people would marvel at, wondering how I could stand it. As long as I was free to work at what I loved, I could stand a lot.

As long as we have a large, educated, creative, but under-employed class of artists in America, there will be a huge propaganda machine directed with energy and hostility at conservative values, traditional Good, and natural law.