As Marine One descended on The Villages Polo Fields on Oct. 23, 2020, President Donald Trump prepared to take the stage to a song that he embraced early in his upstart political career – Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.”
He wasn’t the first president to take a liking to the song, which was first released as a single back in 1984.
President George W. Bush loved the song which soared to new nights in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Bush appointed Greenwood in 2008 to the National Endowment for the Arts. President Barack Obama allowed Greenwood to continue to serve on the prestigious board, as did Trump when he was in the White House.
So Greenwood, who has a long history in The Villages, was blindsided when he learned he had been booted from the NEA board by President Biden.
“I was quite shocked to tell you the truth,” Greenwood recently said during an appearance on Fox & Friends. “I didn’t get a phone call or letter. It was just an email.”
Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel criticized Greenwood’s removal.
“Lee Greenwood wrote ‘God Bless The USA.’ Now Biden wants him canceled, too. So much for uniting the country,” McDaniel wrote on Twitter.
Here is the list of Biden’s appointees to the National Endowment for the Arts:
- Fiona Prine – President of Oh Boy Records.
- Kamilah Formbes – Executive Producer at the Apollo Theater; director of Broadway’s Soul Train.
- Jake Shimabukuro – Asian-American ukelele player.
- Ismael Ahmed – Co-founder of the Arab American National Museum of Dearborn, Michigan.
- Kinan Azmeh – Clarinetist and director of the Damascus Festival Chamber Players
- Christopher Morgan – Washington dance choreographer.
- Constance Williams – Businesswoman, politician and chair of the board of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.