Ted Cruz’s anti-Obama ad plays on old wartime paranoia.

Cruz has scored a social media hit with an ominous ad on his website reading “Obama wants your guns” showing the president in a military helmet. The ad, which first appeared in October, continues to circulate and got a boost today after President Obama unveiled a new executive action on gun control.

As Ryan Teague Beckwith of Time magazine notes, the ad visually calls to mind classic War War II posters. In particular, the Cruz poster uncannily evokes Glenn Grohe’s 1942 poster “He’s Watching You” showing a German soldier peering at America with devious intent. The visual message of Cruz’s poster is clear: Obama is an un-American totalitarian who threatens our freedom. Given that this is also a standard Republican talking point, this is definitely one case where the image and message are in alignment.