ACLU Executive Director Anthony D Romero’s TED Talk

An inspiring and fascinating take on art and the 2016 election

“The mother of all disruptions” is how lawyer and ACLU Executive Director Anthony D Romero described the 2016 US Presidential Election. “Once again,” he said at this year’s TED in Vancouver, “Politics is personal.” And indeed, the election and resulting protests, civil action and unrest, permeated all aspects of his life. In his eloquent, thoughtful and ultimately tender talk, Romero explained how his personal love of admiring and researching great Italian paintings was altered. While at the Women’s March in SF, Romero had a flash of the 14th-century fresco by Ambrogio Lorenzetti. This 700-year-old Renaissance painting, he said, “Speaks to us—even screams to us, today.” This piece was political, and an allegory: there is “good” government, and “bad” government—one led by a tyrant, who not only spends a lot of time on his hair, but hangs out with cronies Cruelty, Treason, Fraud, Division, and more. While bleak, Romero’s message is hopeful and encouraging.

Image courtesy of TED