The Forgotten Man


The Forgotten Man - The Painting 

This historic image was painted by Jon McNaughton in 2011 in response to the passing of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). During the 2016 election the painting gained additional interest as Americans united to defeat Hillary Clinton. On the day of the election, Sean Hannity spoke of the significance of this painting and how it would take the forgotten men and women of America to rise up and save America. That night, as Donald Trump gave his acceptance speech he noted that because of the Forgotten Men and Women of America he was standing as the new President of the United States. The day after the election Sean Hannity purchased the original painting and publicly stated that this was the election of the "Forgotten Man."

The Description 

All the Presidents of the past gather around a man sitting on a bench. That man, with his head bowed appears distraught and hopeless as he contemplates his future. some of the past Presidents try to console him and look in the direction of the modern Presidents as they exclaim, "What have you done?" Many of these modern Presidents behind Barack Obama seem to congratulate each other on their great success oblivious to the man on the bench. In front of the man, paper trash is blowing in the dust. Crumpled dollar bills, Amendments of the Bill of Rights and like a whisper - the US Constitution beneath the foot of Barack Obama.

Who is the Forgotten Man?

He represents every man, woman and child of every color and creed who is an American. Like you and me, he hopes for a better life, to find the American dream of happiness and prosperity. But now, because of unconstitutional acts imposed upon the American people by our government, we stand on the precipice of disaster. What will his opportunities be in the future? 

Will he ever have a chance to realize the American dream? Please don’t sell out our future for the crushing debt imposed upon us by entitlement programs and heavy taxes. Why do you not uphold the Constitution? Do you think that redistribution of wealth, uncontrolled spending and free handouts for everyone at the cost of burdensome taxation and destruction of our financial system will lead us to some kind of Socialistic Utopia? How can our national debt lead to anything other than collapse? Abiding by the Constitution is the only way to preserve the hope for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Each President takes an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. Mr. President, what have you done?

 McNaughton Responses to Criticisms of The Forgotten Man

  1. Why did I paint this? Like many Americans I feel shock at the direction our country is heading. There is a great polarizing effect taking place in America today. There are many who swoon over Obama's policies of redistribution of wealth. What will the government give me? If you believe this is the proper role of government you will certainly see great CHANGE in your lifetime. I wanted to paint a picture that portrays the plight of the common man. My hope is that he will "wake up!" now before it is too late.
  2. There is no racial meaning or undertone that the FM is not black. This is not a racial painting; it is about the vanishing of the American dream.
  3. It is not a partisan painting. I take not favoritism of Republicans or Democrats. Both parties are guilty.
  4. The only solution I offer is to take a 180 degree turn and return to the principles of the Constitution, which define a limited government, protect individual and states' rights and make no allowance for any of the baggage we have accumulated over the years in the form of entitlement programs. The only way to cure the cancer is to root it out and endure the painful healing. Perhaps, with God's help, we will survive.
  5. Is it disrespectful to have in my painting the President of the United States standing on the Constitution? Is the President without reproach? I aim simply one American speaking to another American. The painting symbolically suggests the actions of Barack Obama as well as other presidents. Yes, their actions speak louder than words - as do the brushstrokes of my painting.
  6. I have endeavored to keep this information simple and to the point. The information is historical.
  7. I picked the trashed papers based on the issues that I believe have been the most damaging to America. These issues have been trampled by politicians of both parties over a century. When will the American people decide to defend the Forgotten Man? Let us raise our voices together and demand the kind of CHANGE that will truly save our way of life.
  8. Why did I not mention critical information about some Presidents which defined their presidencies? My only purpose is to identify each President and with simplicity express what they have done to either help or hinder the forgotten man. I invite all to search deeper into the history of the painting's message and discover if what I paint is true. Can you truly say our house is in order when our debt is stealing away the future of every man, woman and child in America?

Jon explains more about the underlying symbolism below.