In This Age of Global Divide, Art Is the Best Unifying Force We Have

The power of art to unite us across political divides is paramount, despite a tendency of artists to be leftists. Victoria Coates, art historian and foreign policy advisor to Ted Cruz's 2016 Presidential Campaign, explains.

Victoria Coates: I blame the perception of art being liberal on [Pablo] Picasso because he was a card-carrying communist. It's interesting the artist who painted the great anti-fascist picture saw absolutely nothing wrong with totalitarian communism. And certainly most artists tend to be a liberal. I don't think though that that means that Republicans or conservatives can't appreciate art and that also that there aren't artists who can be conservative. That might be the sort of tendency, but I don't think it's exclusive. And I also think art, particularly the kind of art that's in David's Sling, is a real uniting force. I mean I don't care if you are Bernie Sanders or Ted Cruz; I think you both can come together to appreciate an achievement like Michelangelo's David. That shouldn't be a difficult or a divisive thing; it should be a uniting thing. Whether we want to be or not, we are engaged in a civilizational struggle with forces that are extremely hostile to what we would consider to be the Western tradition, although now it is a global tradition with the inclusion of states like Japan and Israel. This is something we should all come together to support and celebrate and so art can be, I think, a wonderful vehicle for that kind of unity.

What's the one thing Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders can agree on? According to Victoria Coates, art historian and foreign policy advisor to Ted Cruz's 2016 Presidential Campaign, it should be an appreciation of art. The nature of art is to bridge gaps, she says, whether they are made by time, space, or political persuasion. In an era of divisive politics and global struggles against anti-cultural forces like ISIS, we need art that expresses the essential human experience more than ever.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

In a first for humankind, China successfully sprouts a seed on the Moon

China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.

Image source: CNSA
Surprising Science
  • China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
  • In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
  • The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Love in a time of migrants: on rethinking arranged marriages

Arranged marriages and Western romantic practices have more in common than we might think.

Culture & Religion

In his book In Praise of Love (2009), the French communist philosopher Alain Badiou attacks the notion of 'risk-free love', which he sees written in the commercial language of dating services that promise their customers 'love, without falling in love'.

Keep reading Show less