At the recent League of the South National Conference in Alabama (see video here), I talked about the Tea Party’s utter failure to conduct and carry out a real campaign for liberty. Indeed, as I pointed out in my talk, the Tea Party is little more than a tool of the Republican party and the National Security state. One example: politicians the Tea Party helped elect have supported legislation that expands and consolidates the central government’s power over us, such as the Cybersecurity Intelligence Sharing And Protection Act, which gives the government the authority to monitor all online communications in the name of national security. That’s a helluva way to protect our rights.
Big, centralized government with no limits to its power is the greatest threat to liberty. It is therefore suicidal to support unconstitutional power grabs by that government. However, if we endorse that government’s claims to legitimacy, and even go as far as revering it as divinely sanctioned, we have undermined any attempt at limiting that government’s power.
Many supposedly conservative web sites have featured the art of Jon McNaughton. The authors of those sites see McNaughton’s work as patriotic statements against Obama’s agenda, and as supporting conservative opposition.
They’re wrong. McNaughton’s paintings are syrupy, pro big-government propaganda, pure and simple. It’s as if Norman Rockwell collaborated with Leni Riefenstahl.
Take a look at McNaughton’s “One Nation Under God.” The title alone should be a red flag for advocates of small government! (By the way, you can click on the picture at McNaughton’s site and verify my comments.) The Founding Fathers, famous Americans, and prominent US presidents stand in DC with a Mormon Jesus, the painting’s central figure. The image implies the federal government is an extension of the Christian faith, or at least the Mormon Christian faith. Worse, the painting is an endorsement of an all-powerful federal government as a force of liberation.
Notice the figures standing behind the Mormon Jesus. In addition to soldiers from all American wars, you’ll spot Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Ulysses S. Grant, and not just one, but two Union foot soldiers from the War To Prevent Southern Independence, one Black, one White. The White Union soldier has his hands over his face, apparently in the anguished realization that, in the artist’s words, “This is the only war in American history where American fought against American and brother against brother. [Not true! Remember the American Revolution?] Hopefully it will never happen again.” The “Great Emancipator” is shown on bended knee near Jesus. And the number of Confederate heroes? Zero.
The heavens have their say, too. Notice there are 50 stars over the US Capitol building.
That’s some scary symbolism, folks. So let’s call McNaughton’s art what it is: big-government propaganda.