But sometimes politics is easy to view in that way. Especially in this time when the Republicans try to whip up the anger of the Radical Right Wing Christian Clerics and their followers.
One thing that is important to remember is that Americans as a whole are simply leading their lives, enjoying sometimes art and leisure activities that are frowned upon by the Radical Right Wing Christian Clerics, but nevertheless leading moral lives infused with the intellectual curiosities of full humans. This notion of America divided by differing views on licentiousness and virtue is a false notion, especially as concerns Republicans and how they use citizens on the issue.
I am impelled today by Eugene Robinson's "Art Vs. the Church Lady" in today's Washington Post. In touting the National Gallery's Toulouse-Lautrec and Monmartre exhibit, Robinson gives his column a little spice by noting that the exhibit is selling out within eyesight of folks like Tom DeLay and the Radical Right Wing Christian Clerics -- they even had a conference in close proximity of the exhibit this weekend. (I need to plug Philadelphia's glorifying of licentiousness -- the outre Salvador Dali is the focus of a huge and extremely popular exhibit here in the town of bluenoses.)
Should we be surprised that these folks are not railing at the government about its support of Lautrec and Monmartre, an exhibit that reveals prostitutes and drinking and carousing in all its glory? No, the Radical Right Wing Christian Clerics are all about politics, not about real values. And the politicains who use these Radical Right Wing Christian Clerics, like DeLay, Frist and Santorum, are themselves only about political calculus and duping voters. How else could we explain Rick Santorum coming out in FAVOR of drinking?
Perhaps that is stretching the point, but Santorum last Friday, in an announcement on his own web site, came out in favor of lowering tax on alcohol, specifically beer. Temperence be damned, Santorum is out looking for votes, and I guess he figures he can appeal to drinkers in the state. Yes, this is pandering and trying to move to the middle for a Rick Santorum who is SCARED.
My suggestion? Go out and enjoy art, no matter the morals it supposedly represents. Drink a beer after. Indeed, I'll be quaffing a few this week at Drinking Liberally. Remember, it is at Ten Stone, 21st and South. Bottoms up!