I recall a time when conservatives such as myself derided liberals for the cult of personality and mindless adulation which they heaped upon President Obama. And we liked to see such praise turned on its head, so when the Utah painter Jon McNaughton made a name for himself by painting Obama trampling the constitution, burning the constitution, or fiddling while Washington went up in flames, we clamored for more.
I thought that people on my own side would never make such idols out of their politicians. But it turns out that just eight years later, things have come full circle.
Now, instead of Obama, Mr. McNaughton usually paints Donald Trump: Trump guarding the border, Trump draining the swamp, not one but two paintings of Trump on a football field, defying the whole NFL to respect the flag. And now there is a scene of Trump on the same White House steps where Obama had stood a few years earlier, except now, instead of trampling the constitution, Trump has his foot on the head of a snake!
Some internet commentators replied with confused attempts to link the scene to the familiar “Don’t Tread On Me” flag. But people like myself, with a little knowledge of biblical symbolism, saw exactly what was meant: McNaughton is saying that Donald Trump is the Messiah.
Conservatives need to be realistic about President Trump. He didn’t defund Planned Parenthood, build the wall, or repeal Obamacare back when his party controlled Congress. And the watered-down tax cut of December 2017 does not a Messiah make.
I am still going to vote for Trump next year, because I believe that his party is marginally better than the alternative. But those who lionize him ought to be ashamed of themselves.