Many of America’s elites don’t want to acknowledge that the United States is in decline. Probably because they have been conditioned to be optimistic no matter what.

At a dinner in NYC last evening, I had a few minutes to chat with someone in the Obama administration. We talked about the Art Fairs going on in the city this week. She spoke in glowing terms about the positive role art is playing in American life. And she bristled when I suggested that the country is in decline and art has contributed to the decline.

The ‘artist’ who created the Forget Spray, “as a beneficial editor for one’s consciousness” is also credited with getting the word optimism put on the back of 14 million NYC subway cards. Art should help people be hopeful realists, not hopeless cynics or silly optimists.