The Washington Post is not known for publishing works of fiction, but the paper apparently has made an exception for an art critic’s dystopian vision of how Republican nominee Donald Trump would destroy the arts world and sculpt it in his own image.
On Sunday, in the Post’s Arts Section, the paper published a lengthy piece by art critic Philip Kennicott asking, "What would happen to the arts if this country turned to authoritarian leadership?"
In the piece, Kennicott casts Trump as a Putin-esque authoritarian who could be waiting to grab the arts world by the throat. He says Trump has “deployed authoritarian language more consistently than any major political figure in memory.”
Kennicott’s piece was first highlighted by Newsbusters.
He points to changes since the culture wars of the '80s and early '90s and says “some of those changes could make the arts a flash point for the larger cultural forces unleashed by Trump’s rhetoric.”
He concludes that the author of the “Art of the Deal,” may in fact not be a good deal for the arts.
He then goes on to tell a story, “using past experience with cultural repression, what Trump has already said and plausible extrapolations based on the history and political science of authoritarianism” of what he believes could happen if Trump were elected.
In Kennicott’s hellish vision of the arts under Trump, he imagines a play that mocks the new administration called “MacTrump” that gets hit by a libel suit. When students go ahead with the production despite the suit, the audience and actors are pepper-sprayed by police.
“By the summer of 2018, the hottest on record, it seemed no part of the cultural sector hadn’t been politicized. The top box-office draw was 'Death Wish VII: Border Wars,' a reboot of the old Charles Bronson vigilante film series, which came out just as mass deportations in Arizona and Texas were beginning,” he predicts.
Then there's this: "A theater in Texas was shut down indefinitely by the fire marshal after a comedian mocked the president at an open-mic night. One city had dusted off old obscenity laws to block a LGBT film festival. A Latin music festival with a valid street permit was shut down by police, who cited a noise control ordinance from 1935."