Why there is an association between poets & the American Left

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from Nora Caplan-Bricker’s January 19 Slate op-ed

Why It Matters That Donald Trump Has No Inaugural Poet:

…since JFK, every Democratic president except Lyndon B. Johnson has invited an inaugural poet. Not a single Republican has. (Trump’s inaugural committee did not respond to a request for comment on this article. Nor have they commented on whether Trump has seen the fawning doggerel written for him by an unknown poet, which dubs Obama a “tyrant” and Melania Trump “the flower of Europe.”) Appreciation of belles-lettres was once fairly bipartisan, as the critic Steven Kellman has written: No list of the most literary presidents is complete without Abraham Lincoln or Theodore Roosevelt, both Republicans (at least until Roosevelt founded the Progressive Party in 1912). In recent times, however, an association has grown between poets and the American left, perhaps stemming from the artist’s self-conception as an “adversary of power,” Kellman told me, and the fact that the GOP, at least until the rise of the Tea Party, often spoke for “the establishment and the status quo.”

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