Today, restoring the means for thoughtful and respectful discourse must be a primary national goal. Neither the Left nor the Right has a monopoly on wisdom or justice. What they do have is a stronghold on their own disciples - resulting in utter gridlock in Washington.
Arts lovers: go ahead and write your letters to Congress asking for level funding, that 6% increase, or whatever you want. But once federal funding becomes less of a joke, it may well become more of a headache.
Reallocating a tiny portion of the defense budget to fund tours for American performing arts companies to strategically important countries makes them a potent weapon in the battle to win hearts and minds.