The president has never hidden his disdain for the Arts or Humanities, in fact he promised to shut down the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities shortly after his inauguration.
For the first time since he took office, Ivanka‘s daddy will award the National Medal of the Arts and the National Humanities Medal. On Thursday at the White House, the ceremony will honor eight recipients including crazy actor Jon Voight; and James Patterson, a writer of crappy bestselling thrillers, including The President Is Missing (2018), a collaboration with former-president William Jefferson Clinton. Patterson had given a lot of money to Republicans. He supported then-Texas governor, now the soon to resign Secretary of Energy Rick Perry for president in 2016, plus he donated to Mitch McConnell.
Also being honored are the musicians of the United States Military, the neo-con think tank the Claremont Institute, cutie pie bluegrass musician Alison Krauss, Sharon Percy Rockefeller, who is president of WETA, Washington DC’s public television and radio station, chef Patrick O’Connell, and Teresa Lozano Long, a Republican philanthropist and founder of the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas in Austin.
The medals, given annually since the 1980s, were last awarded in 2016, by President Barack Obama, who named about 12 honorees for each medal, which has pretty much been the standard. This week, in a terse announcement, the current administration named four winners each for the arts and the humanities.
I am shocked that the president is giving the medals at all, but someone else obviously made the choices for him. He is terribly busy eating KFC, watching cable news, tweeting and bouncing Ivanka on his knee. I would have assumed the medals, if given at all, would have gone to Ted Nugent, Roseanne Barr, Scott Baio, Kid Rock, Sarah Palin, Gary Busey, Dennis Rodman, Tila Tequila, Antonio Sabato Jr. and Melania Trump.
The Voight choice is enlightening. The Oscar-winning father of Angelina Jolie called President Boiled Ham:
“…funny, playful, and colorful, but most of all, he is honest. He has no bull to sell, and everyone will discover the bull most politicians spew out is for their own causes and benefits.”
It is heartbreaking for me that Voight has gone over to the dark side. He is a superb actor who has won four Golden Globe Awards and has so far been nominated for 11. He contributed to some truly great films including Midnight Cowboy (1969). During the 1970s he was a top star, with influential films Deliverance (1972); playing a paraplegic Vietnam veteran in Coming Home (1978), for which he won an Academy Award; and Conrack (1972)
In his early life, he was a progressive. He worked for George McGovern‘s voter registration campaign and actively protested the Vietnam War. In the 1970s, he made public appearances with his Coming Home costar Jane Fonda and Leonard Bernstein in support of the leftist Unidad Popular group in Chile.
But something must have made him snap. In a 2008 op-ed in the conservative Washington Times, he wrote that he regretted his youthful anti-war activism, and claimed that the peace movement of that time was driven by “Marxist propaganda”. He also claimed that the radicals in the peace movement were responsible for the communists coming to power in Vietnam and Cambodia. He criticized the Democratic Party and Barack Obama’s campaign for president claiming:
“Democrats created a propaganda campaign with subliminal messages, creating a God-like figure (Obama) who demoralized this country and help create a socialist America“.
He claimed Obama had grown up with the teachings of very angry, militant black people.
Voight endorsed Barbecued J. Brutus in 2016 presidential elections. Speaking at the inauguration in January 2017 Voight said:
“God answered all our prayers by granting Trump the White House. He is going to be the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln“.
In 2017, all 16 members of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities resigned in protest after POTUS made comments in defense of white nationalists after the violent demonstrations in Charlottesville. And for the past two years, the president and his exotic model wife have skipped the Kennedy Center Honors, the major event on the Washington cultural calendar. This spring, Voight was appointed to a six-year term on the Board of Trustees of the Kennedy Center.