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Using Art to Understand Democracy

Anthony D. Romery Encourages Viewers to Participate in Democracy

— June 15, 2017 — Keynote Trends
Anthony D. Romero is the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, an organization that has been at the front lines of opposing Donald Trump and his administration's policies.

In his TED Talk, Romero speaks about his passion for Italian art, and describes how the work of Italian Renaissance master Ambrogio Lorenzetti from the 14th century can explain the current state of politics. The artist's work The Allegory of Good and Bad Government shows what a good democracy looks like, while also showing what tyranny looks like. Anthony D. Romero parallels these teachings with what occurred during Donald's presidential campaign, as well as what is currently occurring as he tries to put in unconstitutional policies and cover up his alleged ties to Russia.

At the end of his speech, Romero talks about how it is Americans' responsibility to fight this turn towards tyranny, and that standing up is no longer a right but an obligation. He ends by stating that: "we could either pit ourselves into the worst nightmare of Lorenzetti's worst nightmare, or we could stay in the streets being disruptive, messy and loud – this is what democracy looks like."