The latest issue of Vogue shows Jennifer Lawrence with the Statue of Liberty in the background, and at least one conservative is gravely offended. Although the cover may seem innocuous, Breitbart finance editor John Carney interpreted it as an attack on Donald Trump supporters, and proclaimed his outrage on Twitter.
"We're going to have to create a full #MAGA shadow cultural industry," Carney declared in a Thursday tweet linking to the Vogue cover, "because the Opposition Media can't even do fashion without attacking us."
Many were perplexed as to why Carney interpreted the image as an attack on Trump supporters, and understandably so. It was nothing more than a picture of a popular actress in front of a famous monument. Why is that a problem, and why in the world would anybody interpret it as an attack on Donald Trump supporters?
There are a couple of reasons, but what it largely comes down to is that in Carney's eyes, the left has somehow appropriated the Statue of Liberty as an anti-Trump symbol. Because of this, his reasoning goes, the statue is no longer the "non-partisan symbol of America" that it once was, and so using an image of Lady Liberty is tantamount to "attacking" Trump supporters.
Carney isn't the only conservative who has a newfound problem with the Statue of Liberty. Top White House Adviser Stephen Miller recently got into a heated argument with CNN's Jim Acosta about Trump's immigration policies, with Acosta arguing that the president's focus on deportations and building a wall "does not sound like it's in keeping with American tradition when it comes to immigration."
"The Statue of Liberty says, ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free,’" Acosta said, referencing the sculpture's inscription. "It doesn't say anything about speaking English or being able to be a computer programmer."
Miller retorted, "The poem that you’re referring to was added later. It’s not actually part of the original Statue of Liberty." Although it's true the inscription was physically added 16 years after the statue was unveiled, it was written before the project was completed in order to raise funds, and was always intended to be placed on the statue.
In Carney's eyes, both the image of the statue and the presence of Lawrence are offensive to Trump supporters. In a tweet that he later deleted, Carney asked rhetorically if the editors of Vogue "just coincidentally decided to put one of the most beautiful women in America next to the Statue of Liberty." Never mind that most people who grace the cover of Vogue could be categorized as "beautiful," or that the Lawrence cover was shot in June, long before Miller declared the Statue of Liberty persona non grata in Trumpland.
What's odd about Carney's position is that he isn't just accusing liberals of co-opting an American icon; he's also fully accepting this alleged co-opting without any resistance at all. Nowhere did Carney argue that conservatives should "take the Statue of Liberty back," or fight progressives' supposed attempt to appropriate the image. Instead, he seems to have simply accepted that conservatives can no longer view the Statue of Liberty positively.
As of this writing, 66 people have retweeted Carney's original tweet, while over 2,000 users have responded to it.