This country has a terribly hard time saying that we were wrong and that we made a mistake.
Question: What should be the big issues of the 2008 presidential election?
John Harbison: Well you know, it’s gonna be remembered in a rather paradoxical way. Very often when there’s been a bad distribution of wealth, and a few people with great privilege and a lot of people suffering and so forth, paradoxically many, many, things in the arts and architecture and the building of beautiful things have occurred. And I think that this period will be, in terms of the making of things, the making of beautiful things, that I think it will be remembered with great distinction. The Renaissance popes, some of the worst patronize some of the greatest artistic events. Pope Julius . . . we have the Sistine Chapel from a pope who spent most of his time fighting. So we who are artists have to accept that good times for us are often bad times for society.