Since truth requires Art, I’d like to talk about the relationship between politics and the Arts. I believe the vituperative atmosphere of politics and punditry is partly and largely due to the absence of Art and therefore Truth and its pursuit in our daily lives
To turn on the TV is to hear countless people bawling out opinions as if 1) they knew something and 2) they are facts. Neither is true. Facts, whether true or not, are taken for Truth even by some very good people. Freed of Truth, facts have devolved into name-calling and thoughtlessness masquerading as discourse, which, of course, it is not.
The absence of the pursuit of serious art—music, dance, sculpture, painting, literature—in our daily life and in the schools is the greatest problem facing America, perhaps the world, today. The humbling honesty of Art and its pursuit bring wisdom, thoughtfulness and erudition to our tables. Another by-product is a profound respect for the thoughts and opinions of others. I hasten to add that the road to peace goes straight through the arts. Without the lessons of the Arts, the schooling in our universal concerns and cares, our deepest yearnings and how we deal with them, the notion of lasting peace is both empty and pointless.
Even the smallest honest poem contributes to mankind (Emily Dickinson comes to mind). The study of any of the world’s great poetry finds the DNA of the human soul. We all share it and participate in its growth. Failing to be instructed in the Arts diminishes it.