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The Forgotten Man by Jon McNaughton

The Forgotten Man by Jon McNaughton

Against the background of a darkening sky, all of the Presidents of the United States gather before the White House, as if to commemorate some great event. In the left hand corner of the painting sits a man who appears distraught and hopeless. That man represents the Forgotten Man. In front of him, paper trash is blowing in the wind: crumpled dollar bills, legislative documents, and, like a whisper—the U.S.Constitution beneath the foot of Barack Obama.

Although this painting shows the Constitution under the foot of Barack Obama, this painting actually has little to do with Obama (otherwise it would have been called “Barack Obama and the Constitution”). This painting is about the Forgotten Man.

So the questions is: who is the Forgotten Man? The Forgotten Man represents every American. The artist Jon McNaughton wrote that “the Forgotten Man represents every [American] man woman and child, of every color and creed.” The Forgotten Man, like us, contemplates what seems to be a bleak future: social unrest, jobs lost, wars abroad, a struggling American economy and the broken promises of politicians.

The Forgotten Man sits on a park bench.

The Forgotten Man sits on a park bench.

In a very real sense, each of us is the Forgotten Man because each of us has “sat on a park bench”–too concerned with the troubles of the world, and with our own troubles. For the past several decades, we have been so absorbed in our own troubles that power-hungry and have taken advantage of us and have completely disregarded the power and authority of We the People.

For the past several decades, we the American people have “sat on our park bench.”

We have sat on our park bench as Presidents have spent billions on unconstitutional wars and entitlement programs. We have sat on our park bench as they have proposed and passed legislation that saddles us with unsustainable debt. We have sat on our park bench as they have attended rich, lavish and posh events at our own expense. We have sat on our park bench as they have written into law legislation that is immoral. We have sat on our park bench as they have made corrupt deals and bargains with other nations. We have sat on our park bench as as they have abused their power and have made a mockery of a Constitution of limited government.In a very real sense, each of us is the Forgotten Man because each of us has “sat on a park bench”–too concerned with the troubles of the world, and with our own troubles. For the past several decades, we have been so absorbed in our own troubles that power-hungry and have taken advantage of us and have completely disregarded the power and authority of We the People.

For the past several decades, we the American people have “sat on our park bench.” We have sat on our park bench as Presidents have spent billions on unconstitutional wars and entitlement programs. We have sat on our park bench as they have proposed and passed legislation that saddles us with unsustainable debt. We have sat on our park bench as they have attended rich, lavish and posh events at our own expense. We have sat on our park bench as they have written into law legislation that is immoral. We have sat on our park bench as they have made corrupt deals and bargains with other nations. We have sat on our park bench as as they have abused their power and have made a mockery of a Constitution of limited government.

Who is the Forgotten Man? The Forgotten Man is each of us–each of us that has forgotten the part we play in We the People. We the People must stand up and empower ourselves by fully participating in our community and civic affairs. We must, as a nation, remember who we are–the source of our government’s power–and refuse to be forgotten. Stand up and be heard!

Posted by Seth Adam Smith at 10:32 AM

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