It was a fairly big deal when two business-friendly advisory councils got disbanded in the wake of Donald John Trump’s bizarre remarks regarding the Charlottesville riot.
Several CEOs walked away from the councils. The president then disbanded them altogether.
Then the Joint Chiefs of Staff issued statements about their military services’ intolerance of racism and bigotry, seemingly to challenge the commander in chief’s statement equating the hate groups and those protesting them.
Now the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities has folded up. It’s gone. This isn’t such a huge surprise, given the artistic community’s contentious relationship with the Trump administration.
Taken together, though, I am left with the impression of a president becoming increasingly disengaged by special interests of virtually all stripes. The disbanding of the Manufacturing Council and the Strategic and Policy Council represents a serious breach between the business community and a president who has been touting his own business acumen and success.
The Joint Chiefs’ statement also speaks eloquently about whether the commander in chief is aware of the policies being implemented by the service commanders. That rebuke speaks loudly as well.
The Arts and Humanities council breakup isn’t such a surprise.
But in the context of the entire dismantling of all these advisory groups, it speaks volumes about how the Trump administration is managing to destroy these traditional relationships meant to build bridges between government and the interests it serves.
Again, the president’s words are doing harm across the board. The Arts and Humanities Council made its feeling known in a letter to the White House and to the president.
According to ABC News: “Ignoring your hateful rhetoric would have made us complicit in your words and actions,” the letter reads. “Supremacy, discrimination, and vitriol are not American values. Your values are not American values. We must be better than this. We are better than this. If this is not clear to you, then we call on you to resign your office, too.”
Donald Trump isn’t likely to quit just because some actors and other artists want to do so. He is quite likely, though, to continue inflicting damage.