Full Download PDF file available Here"Speak the Truth: Unleashing the Untamed Spirit of Freedom"
By Jon McNaughton
Brushstrokes have become my weapon of choice in the battle for our sacred FREEDOM OF SPEECH. This painting witnesses to the clash of ideologies that threatens to shackle your every word, thought, and action. America, once a beacon of unrestricted expression, now teeters on the edge of a precipice, where dissenting voices are silenced, careers obliterated, and lives destroyed for daring to defy the sanctioned narratives of the left.
This painting serves as a poignant reminder of the immense sacrifices made to forge the cornerstone of our freedom. It harkens back to a pivotal moment almost 250 years ago when brave Colonists waged a war for Independence, birthing a nation bound by a divinely inspired document—the US Constitution—designed to safeguard the precious liberties we hold dear.
Now, as we stand at the crossroads of destiny, a choice hangs in the balance: succumb to the lies of conformity or rise above the tide, fearlessly proclaiming the unadulterated truth. In this symphony of colors, McNaughton showcases the defiant spirits that refuse to be silenced, their collective voices reverberating across the canvas of our nation. Though they may clash, disagree, or even spar, they remain united in their shared determination to be heard.
I dare you to self-reflect. Let "Speak the Truth" empower your own voice, inspiring you to join the ranks of those who refuse to be subdued. Embrace the audacity to SPEAK THE TRUTH—no matter the price, no matter the consequences.
Questions and Answers
How did you decide who to put in the painting?
As a conservative, I have been influenced by various remarkable personalities throughout the years. When selecting individuals for the painting, I considered those who possess a strong voice in support of the Constitution, conservative values, and truth. It's true that not all of them necessarily get along, but let's not forget that even some signers of the Constitution had their disagreements. Numerous voices have made a significant impact on the freedom of our country today. While some have been influential for a long time, others have emerged more recently. I began by creating a list, which I continuously revised and expanded before commencing the painting. Naturally, there were many more individuals who could have been included. Despite the challenges, I had the freedom to choose who I wanted to add to my painting. Placing each person required careful thought and deliberation. Although there are certain prominent positions, it's important to note that positioning someone in the background doesn't diminish their significance to me. Witnessing this painting come to life was an immensely enjoyable experience!
Was this painting inspired by another artist's work?
The original concept for this painting was derived from artist Howard Chandler Christy, who was commissioned in 1939 as part of the congressional observance of the Constitution's sesquicentennial. His artwork, titled "Signing of the Constitution," depicted George Washington and all the original signers of the Constitution.
What motivated you to recreate this painting?
Despite being one of the most iconic American paintings, it has unfortunately been dismissed and forgotten by the elite in Washington. It has been relegated to the east grand stairway of the House wing and seldom included in Capitol tours. Perhaps it is disregarded because Washington is portrayed looking up to Heaven with gratitude, or because critics disapprove of the artist's chosen method and means of painting it. The immense canvas, measuring 20x30 feet, required a ship's sail to accommodate its monumental size. Personally, I find it to be a powerful painting, and I wanted to recreate it in a manner that resonates with our present time.
Do you believe in unrestricted freedom of speech?
Individuals should have the freedom to express themselves as long as their words do not involve targeted harassment, threats, or the creation of a pervasively hostile environment. In today's society, some of these restrictions have expanded to encompass anything deemed offensive, including opinions and words pertaining to religion, politics, healthcare, social issues, pronouns, art, and ethical decency. I firmly believe that as long as someone remains within the bounds of the law, they should be able to say and believe whatever they choose. No one should be permitted to impose their views on others without their consent. Schools, churches, businesses, and other public institutions should have the autonomy to establish and define their own rules, while individuals retain the right to abstain from participation if they so desire. Corporations enjoying special government tax-free status should not be allowed to impose rules that curtail free speech.
Do you anticipate receiving criticism for this painting?
Criticism has always been a constant companion in my artistic journey. I fully expect the left to claim, "None of the individuals in your painting speak the truth! Do you think conservatives don't suppress the truth? And your painting skills are inferior!" While it may offend many, it's important to understand that my intention behind these images is solely to express my sentiments about the state of our country. This is how I exercise my First Amendment rights. A hundred years from now, I want people to understand what it felt like to be a conservative in America during this era. History always paints a picture, and my paintings will tell the story.
Description of Who is in the Painting and Why
1. George Washington: A Visionary Leader
It was 1787 when George Washington, the man who would become the first President of the United States, presided over the Constitutional Convention. In a remarkable painting from 1939, Washington is depicted looking up to the heavens, holding his watch, and standing before the revered Constitution, soon to be signed by each state delegate. But in my reinterpretation, I wanted to capture Washington's gaze fixed upon the modern citizens in the room. The question that lingers in his mind is, "What will you do now?" The iconic figure of George Washington remains the focal point, the only element I preserved from the original artwork.
2. James Madison: Father of Freedom
James Madison, the brilliant mind behind the drafting and promotion of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights, holds a significant place in history. Lean in closer, and you'll see him gesturing towards the present-day citizens, conveying the weighty responsibility that now rests on their shoulders. It was Madison who championed the idea that every individual has the right to speak, write, and publish their thoughts freely, a principle that led to the First Amendment. His words echo through the ages, reminding us of the crucial role of free speech in preserving liberty.
3. Alexander Hamilton: Architect of Unity
Among the delegates at the Constitutional Convention, Alexander Hamilton emerged as a powerful force in shaping the future of the United States. Hamilton's unwavering dedication to the Constitution's ratification cannot be overstated. He called upon fellow patriots John Jay and James Madison to pen The Federalist Papers, a collection of influential essays defending the proposed Constitution. Out of the 85 published essays, Hamilton authored an impressive 51. It is undeniable that Hamilton played a pivotal role in uniting the nation under one governing document.
4. Thomas Jefferson: The Voice of Progress
The Declaration of Independence, a testament to the ideals of liberty and equality, bears the indelible mark of Thomas Jefferson. His writings on human rights, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech were instrumental in shaping the very fabric of the US Constitution. Jefferson fervently believed that the freedom of thought and expression was essential for humanity's advancement. His words resonate powerfully: "For as long as we may think as we will, and speak as we think, the condition of man will proceed in improvement." Jefferson's profound influence on the Constitution cannot be overlooked.
5. Benjamin Franklin: Champion of Free Speech
Benjamin Franklin, a man known for his wisdom and wit. As the host and delegate of the Constitutional Convention, Franklin exuded a staunch commitment to the ideals of free speech. He understood that the pillar of a free government rests upon the freedom to express oneself openly. Franklin astutely observed, "When this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins." His presence in the painting symbolizes the importance of unfettered speech in preserving a just society.
6. John Adams: The Passionate Patriot
In the painting, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson stand side by side, engaged in deep conversation. Adams, the organizer of the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence, played a crucial role in shaping America's path to freedom. He even authored the 1780 Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which served as a model for the United States Constitution. Adams understood the significance of freedom of speech, remarking with a touch of irony, “When people talk of the freedom of writing, speaking or thinking I cannot choose but laugh. No such think ever existed. No such thing now exists: but I hope it will exist. But it must be hundreds of years after you and I shall write and speak no more.” The proximity of Adams and Jefferson, two giants of American history, represents their enduring friendship and shared. Two great American heroes who were close in life and in death. Both died within a few hours of each other on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
7. John Jay: A Voice for Constitutional Vigilance
Imagine a room filled with impassioned voices, and among them stands John Jay, a key figure in the formation of the United States Constitution. Alongside Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, Jay's pen crafted portions of the influential Federalist Papers, a series of essays that advocated for the Constitution's ratification. Jay understood that an informed citizenry is the bedrock of a free nation. He once declared, "Every member of the State ought diligently to read and study the constitution of his country, and teach the rising generation to be free." In the painting, Jay's piercing gaze seems to implore future generations to safeguard their rights and stand ready to defend them.
8. George Mason: The Unforgettable Visionary
Step closer, and you'll encounter the enigmatic figure of George Mason, a delegate from Virginia who left an indelible mark on the birth of the nation. Mason's steadfast commitment to individual liberties resonates through history. Refusing to sign the Constitution without a Bill of Rights, he championed the inclusion of essential protections like freedom of speech. His profound influence extended beyond that pivotal moment, as much of the core ideas and language in the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution can be traced back to his writings in the Declaration of Virginia and the Constitution of Virginia, authored by his hand. Despite being called the "Forgotten Founder," Mason's presence in the painting serves as a reminder of his enduring legacy.
9. Donald Trump: A Giant Among Men
Amidst the historical giants emerges a man whose influence, words, and deeds are a direct threat to the leftist establishment. Donald Trump has undeniably left an enduring mark on American politics. From his initial presidential campaign to his successful term in office, Trump has been subject to relentless attacks and scrutiny. He has faced constant opposition, yet his unfiltered words and unapologetic actions have resonated with a significant portion of the population. In the painting, Trump stands as a symbol of defiance, challenging the status quo. If we have a fair election without interference or fraud, he will win in 2024. If not, I dare think what will happen.
10. Rush Limbaugh: A Resounding Voice
Imagine a figure whose words echo through the corridors of conservatism, shaping an entire generation's perspective. Rush Limbaugh, often hailed as the greatest voice of his time, dedicated his life to promoting conservative values and what he believed to be the unvarnished truth. Even after his passing in 2021, his impact endures. Picture him leaning forward, whispering his insights into the ear of President Trump, a moment that encapsulates the profound influence he wielded. Limbaugh's words, infused with wit and wisdom, continue to resonate, reminding us of the power of a strong voice in shaping public discourse.
11. Tucker Carlson: The Unyielding Truth Seeker
In a stunning turn of events, Tucker Carlson found himself cast aside from his highly successful show on Fox News. What led to his cancellation? Simply put, Carlson remained steadfast in his commitment to speak the truth, regardless of the consequences. In an era where truth often seems elusive, voices like his are indispensable. We need individuals like Carlson, who fearlessly share their thoughts and present their research, allowing us to discern the truth for ourselves. As he steps forward symbolically towards the Constitution in the painting, Carlson embodies the pursuit of truth and the defense of the rights and freedoms it upholds.
12. Elon Musk: A Visionary's Paradox
Elon Musk, a figure not typically associated with conservatism, is undeniably a visionary, an entrepreneur, and an influential investor. While his political leanings may be moderate, he recognizes the vital role that free speech plays in advancing humanity. Even at great personal cost, Musk champions the necessity of freedom of expression, raising questions about his motivations. Is it strategic, driven by political ideology, or perhaps a genuine belief that free speech serves as a pillar for societal progress and the betterment of humankind? Musk's enigmatic stance sparks intrigue and invites contemplation.
13. James O'Keefe: Unveiling the Truth
Meet James O'Keefe, the driving force behind Project Veritas and the O'Keefe Media Group. O'Keefe leads a fearless journalistic team, unearthing unbiased stories through interviews and covert recordings, often leaving his subjects regretting their unguarded words. His commitment to exposing the truth through the unfettered exercise of free speech inspired his placement in the painting. Arms folded in defiance, O'Keefe symbolizes the courage to speak out and shed light on corruption within government and corporate America.
14. Glenn Beck: A Vocal Guardian of the Constitution
When it comes to staunch defenders of the Constitution and champions of free speech, few can rival the unwavering dedication of Glenn Beck. Since the inception of the Tea Party movement, Beck has fearlessly voiced his opinions, leaving an indelible impact on conservative politics in America. With a resolute commitment to speaking his mind, he has become a significant influencer among conservatives, shaping the discourse and inspiring others to uphold the principles enshrined in the Constitution.
15. Sean Hannity: A Voice for Conservatism
Since the inception of Fox News, Sean Hannity has remained a steadfast advocate for conservatism, consistently championing free speech. His unwavering support for President Trump during the Obama years and beyond has provided a valuable platform for millions of Americans. Hannity's passion for the cause is further evidenced by the purchase of my painting "The Forgotten Man" the day after Trump's election victory, as a response to the rising opposition against the left-wing agenda of Obama and Hillary Clinton. I appreciate Sean’s dedication to conservative values that exemplify the enduring impact of a resolute voice in the face of opposition.
16. Dan Bongino: A Voice of Insight
In today's tumultuous times, few voices resonate with me as deeply as Dan Bongino's. As a former Secret Service Agent for both George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Bongino brings a unique perspective to conservative politics. His journey from public service to becoming an influential author, commentator, and the host of his own show is a testament to his dedication. Bongino's voice cuts through the noise, providing valuable insights into the critical events shaping America today.
17. Laura Ingraham: Championing Constitutional Values
From her early days as a speechwriter for the Reagan Administration to her role as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Laura Ingraham has consistently advocated for the Constitution and free speech. Since 2017, she has captivated audiences with her own show on Fox News. I chose to include Ingraham in the painting as a tribute to her strong and unwavering voice in defense of constitutional principles.
18. Bill O'Reilly: The Unfiltered Truth
For many years, I have tuned in to Bill O'Reilly's show, now aptly titled the "No Spin News." His direct and honest approach resonates with millions of Americans who value unfiltered perspectives. O'Reilly's voice is a vital presence in our media landscape, enlightening and enriching public discourse. Without his voice, the world would undoubtedly be a poorer place.
19. Mark Levin: The Brilliance of Truth
Mark Levin, an author, radio/TV personality, and brilliant scholar, possesses a mind that dissects core issues with the precision of a nuclear missile. His passionate defense of our nation and the Constitution, coupled with his humor and tenacity, make him a favorite among conservatives. In the painting, Levin's proximity to the Founders and his intense engagement with his papers and studies reflect his profound influence. With a well-deserved place in the National Radio Hall of Fame, he is affectionately referred to as "The Great One" by Sean Hannity.
20. Buck Sexton: A Voice for the Future
From his beginnings as a CIA analyst to his role as a contributor and anchor for esteemed figures like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity, Buck Sexton has emerged as a powerful voice for truth. As the cohost of the "Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show" following Rush Limbaugh's passing, Sexton represents the younger generation of voices that hold the promise of shaping America's future. Their commitment to honesty and integrity offers hope for a nation in need of clarity and vision.
21. Clay Travis: A Voice of Perspective
Clay Travis, an American writer, lawyer, and former sports journalist, was chosen to cohost the successor to "The Rush Limbaugh Show" alongside Buck Sexton. While Travis's views may not have always aligned with conservatism, his partnership with Sexton has offered a newfound appreciation for his voice and his commitment to truth on various issues. Many strong conservative voices have evolved over time, often influenced by the power of shared truth that penetrates the heart and mind. This underscores the significance of freedom of speech, allowing individuals to hear and decide for themselves.
22. The Artist: An Artistic Observer
As the artist behind this painting, I find myself drawn to the role of an artistic observer in our historical moment. Through my art, I exercise my freedom of speech, preferring to explain the intent and meaning behind my creations. While art usually acts as a mirror reflecting the viewer's soul, it is my hope that this painting serves as a catalyst for introspection, challenging perceptions and prompting deeper contemplation of the world around us.
23. Brian Kilmeade: Mediating Perspectives
Having been interviewed by Brian Kilmeade on Fox and Friends in the past, I appreciate his fair and conservative views. Kilmeade's radio and TV commentary reflects a courageous willingness to speak out in a world that often seeks to tear down those who disagree. In the painting, I placed Kilmeade at the discussion table, perceiving him as a mediator figure engaging in dialogue on various issues. Each person depicted in this room is here to speak the truth about the state of our nation today.
24. Megyn Kelly: A Voice Unveiling Truth
Megyn Kelly, a conservative journalist and media personality, currently hosts her own daily show, where she fearlessly addresses the pressing issues affecting America. While I haven't always seen eye to eye with her in the past, I appreciate Kelly's ability to effectively communicate and break down the truth. Her voice consistently captivates my attention, underscoring the importance of seeking and presenting the truth in our media landscape.
25. Candace Owens: A Fearless Voice
In a world where strong voices are often silenced, Candace Owens stands tall as an independent thinker who fearlessly speaks her mind, unafraid to offend both the left and the right. This is precisely why I admire her. It is vital to hear the unvarnished truth and engage in open debate. I find myself in agreement with the majority of Owens' statements, particularly her profound insights on black America and government hypocrisy.
26. Jeanine Pirro: A Resolute Presence
With a background as a former New York City judge, prosecutor, and politician, Jeanine Pirro brings a resolute voice to the conservative table. Her show on the Fox News Channel introduces perspectives that often challenge and broaden our understanding. In today's climate, Pirro's voice would likely be stifled in the courts of New York City. Thankfully, figures like Judge Pirro continue to provide a platform for honest dialogue.
27. Alex Jones: Chasing Truth
Alex Jones remains an enigmatic figure among conservatives, known for his unrelenting pursuit of truth in the modern-day landscape. His unyielding dedication has come at a great cost, leading to his cancellation from major platforms and a billion-dollar lawsuit related to his coverage of the Sandy Hook Massacre. Despite polarizing opinions about him, it is undeniable that many of the so-called conspiracy theories Jones has championed have ultimately revealed elements of truth.
28. Tim Pool: Bridging Perspectives
Having once worked as a reporter for Vice Media, a leftist news source, Tim Pool has gained recognition for his ability to analyze politics from multiple angles. Through his own show, which reaches millions, Pool meticulously dissects media bias and government overreach. I hold a particular appreciation for individuals like Pool who have transitioned from a partisan background and seek honesty in speaking the truth as they perceive it.
29. Jack Posobiec: Unmasking Deception
Jack Posobiec, a former US Navy officer turned political activist and TV presenter, fearlessly speaks his mind, exposing lies and injustices perpetrated by the media and government. His unwavering criticism of the 2016 and 2020 elections has garnered both backlash and praise from truth-seekers. Posobiec's commitment to unraveling the truth highlights the importance of discernment in a world of misinformation.
30. Steve Bannon: A Defiant Force
Steve Bannon, an American media executive and political strategist, played a pivotal role as the CEO of Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and the White House chief strategist during the early months of Trump's term. Bannon's aggressive speech and influential presence in conservative politics have made him a primary target for the left since the beginning. As one of the founding members of Breitbart News, he is no stranger to controversy. I admire Bannon's unwavering courage in the face of relentless persecution and prosecution by the leftist establishment in Washington, D.C.
31. Eric Bolling: Fearless and Unyielding
Eric Bolling, a multifaceted figure as a political commentator, TV personality, author, and financial commentator, fearlessly hosts his own show on Newsmax. Bolling's unwavering dedication to speaking his truth and defending President Trump has come at a heavy cost. In a world where many choose to play it safe, I deeply appreciate his distinctive voice. Placing him alongside Steve Bannon in the painting felt like a natural fit, both embodying a bold and unyielding spirit.
32. Ben Shapiro: Challenging the Narrative
Ben Shapiro, an American columnist, author, conservative political commentator, media personality, attorney, and businessman, has significantly influenced the discourse on free speech in America. At the remarkably young age of 17, he became the youngest nationally syndicated columnist in the United States. Shapiro's campus question and answer sessions have made him a target of frequent attacks, often absurdly labeling him as a Nazi racist, despite his Jewish identity and his daily donning of the Yamaka. Hosting his own daily show on The Daily Wire, Shapiro stands in the painting with a pose mirroring the original artwork, partially concealing his face.
33. Charlie Kirk: Amplifying Conservative Voices
Charlie Kirk, a conservative activist and radio host, made significant strides with his founding of Turning Point USA—an organization that advocates for conservative politics on high school, college, and university campuses. Kirk fearlessly engages with students, using his voice to speak the truth amidst those who aim to stifle his freedom of speech. His remarkable ability to delve into the heart of every issue and foster discussions is genuinely inspiring.
34. Dinesh D'Souza: A Powerful Voice
Dinesh D'Souza, an Indian-American political commentator, author, and filmmaker, has emerged as a powerful voice in conservative America. Like Charlie Kirk and Ben Shapiro, D'Souza is renowned for his campus engagements, where he fearlessly answers questions from students. His eloquence in communicating ideas and logical reasoning, which hold immense value for our cherished freedoms as Americans, has captivated me on numerous occasions. During a recent interview with Dinesh, his wife Debbie shared an insightful idea that inspired me to create a painting depicting the January 6th prisoners. Together, Dinesh and his wife form a formidable team, amplifying their voices and making a significant difference.
35. Matt Walsh: Unapologetic Truth-Teller
Matt Walsh, a political commentator, activist, and author, fearlessly hosts his own show on The Daily Wire. Known for his unwavering activism in defense of family values and the sanctity of life, Walsh recently stirred intense criticism and praise with his film "What is a Woman?" The beauty of speaking the truth lies in its inherent inability to be intelligently refuted, a fact that Walsh fearlessly embraces.
36. Tom Fitton: Champion of Truth
Tom Fitton, a conservative commentator and president of Judicial Watch, stands as a formidable fighter against government overreach and corruption. It is truly inspiring to witness individuals with diverse talents utilizing their voices to speak the truth. Whenever I embark on my quest for genuine news, I frequently encounter Tom's powerful words and impactful activities.
37. Dennis Prager: Educating with Conviction
Dennis Prager, a renowned political commentator and radio show host, embarked on a mission to establish "PragerU," a platform dedicated to presenting concise five-minute videos that teach an American conservative perspective. In today's world, where technology and media avenues offer numerous ways to speak the truth, it is crucial to remain vigilant against the threat of cancellation.
38. Dana Perino: A Balanced Voice
Dana Perino, a respected political commentator, author, and former White House Press Secretary under President George W. Bush, now serves as a commentator and cohost on the Fox News Channel. While she may not exude an overtly aggressive conservative demeanor, her impartial approach to the issues at hand captivates my attention and invites me to pause and truly listen. I value her insightful comments and perspectives.
39. Patrick Bet-David: Empowering Discussions
Patrick Bet-David, an Iranian-American who served in the 101st Airborne before founding his own insurance, marketing, and distribution company, currently hosts his media company Valuetainment. Through his platform, he fearlessly engages in discussions that impact every American. Recently, Bet-David made a substantial financial offer to entice Tucker Carlson to join his network and promote the cause of free speech—a testament to his unwavering commitment to this nation.
40. Dana Loesch: A Voice for Liberty
Dana Loesch, a multifaceted figure as a radio and TV host, editor for Breitbart News, author, and former spokesperson for the NRA, reaches millions of Americans through her radio program. With her steadfast advocacy for the Second Amendment spanning over a decade, she serves as an exemplary champion of freedom of speech and conservative principles. Dana Loesch's powerful voice continues to resonate and inspire.