On “The Forgotten Man.”

In 2010, Jon McNaughton unveiled “The Forgotten Man,” which depicts President Obama standing on a tattered copy of the Constitution as his predecessors look on. According to McNaughton, the man on the bench

“…represents every man, woman, and child who is an American… he hopes to find the American dream of happiness and prosperity… But now because of unconstitutional acts imposed [on] the American people by our government we stand on the precipice of disasters.”

I only found out about this painting a few days ago. I was amused to see McNaughton’s take on the earlier Presidents’ reactions to Obama’s horrific and unprecedented abuse of the Constitution. I also tried to see if I could identify each of the other Presidents without looking them up. Here goes, from left to right:

1. The guy who picked a fight with Mexico to win more slave territory.
2. The guy who died too quickly to ruin anything.
3. The guy who sold out the freedmen in order to take the White House and used troops to break up a railroad strike.
4. The guy who signed the Chinese Exclusion Act.
5. The guy who forced five Indian tribes out of Georgia and threatened to invade South Carolina.
6. The guy who did nothing to protect freedmen’s rights during Reconstruction.
7. The guy who signed the toughest Fugitive Slave Law ever.
8. The guy who suspended habeas corpus and deported political opponents.
9. The guy who signed the Comstock laws.
10. The guy who liked the Dred Scott decision.
11. The guy who tried to take over Cuba.
12. The guy who expanded the drug war and raised Social Security taxes.
13. On the bench: the “Forgotten Man.”
14. Another guy who died too quickly to ruin anything.
15. The guy who signed the Sedition Act just a few years after his involvement in passing the First Amendment.
16. The guy who signed the Tariff of Abominations.
17. The guy who signed the Sherman Anti-Trust Act and the Second Morrill Land Grant Act.
18. The guy who annexed Texas without a treaty so he could have another slave state.
19. The guy who embargoed the whole world and bought Louisiana in spite of his former sniveling about strict interpretation.
20. The Trail of Tears guy.
21. The guy who called one entire hemisphere off-limits to the other hemisphere.
22. The guy who created the first Bank of the United States and signed the first Fugitive Slave Law.
23. The guy who nationalized the highway system and created the Department of Education and added “under God” to the Pledge.
24. The guy who signed the anti-everyone-but-Western-Europeans-immigration act.
25. The guy who wiretapped Martin Luther King, Jr. and created the Peace Corps.
26. The guy who created Medicaid and Medicare and passed the Public Broadcasting Act and the Fair Housing Act.
27. The guy who seized the railroads and the steel industry.
28. The guy who jacked up the Fordney-McCumber tariff.
29. The guy who created the DEA and EPA and imposed wage and price controls and used the CIA to spy on the FBI.
30. In the “What are you DOING!?!?” pose: the guy who approved the Second Bank of the United States and invaded Spanish Florida.
31. The guy who passed a one-time corporate surtax and jacked up railroad subsidies.
32. Yet another guy who died too quickly to ruin anything.
33. The guy who banned the import of certain rifles and increased federal involvement in education and expanded unemployment payments.
34. The guy who signed the PATRIOT Act and expanded warrantless wiretapping and passed No Child Left Behind and expanded Medicare.
35. Barack Obama.
36. The guy who signed FISA and bailed out Lee Iacocca.
37. The guy who passed the Brady Bill and limited salary write-offs to $1 million and tried to nationalize the health care system.
38. The guy who lent money to failing businesses and passed the Davis-Bacon Act and the Smoot-Hawley Tariff.
39. The guy who created Social Security and the FDIC and the Agricultural Adjustment Act and the Works Progress Administration and threw Japanese-Americans in internment camps.
40. The guy who created the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Reserve and federal income taxes and passed the Clayton Anti-Trust Act and promoted Prohibition and threw political opponents in jail.
41. The guy who prosecuted 90 companies for antitrust violations.
42. The guy who passed heavy railroad regulation and threatened to seize coal mines and wrested Panama away from Colombia.
43. The guy who used the Army to stop a railroad strike. He should appear twice but doesn’t.
44. The guy who annexed Hawaii and jacked up tariffs.

How’d I do?

3 thoughts on “On “The Forgotten Man.”

  1. Hmm, when I moused over the painting it didn’t say all of that. Either there is something wrong with my browser or there must be something more to know about these “guys” than their names.


Comments are closed.