Rand Paul, Gary Johnson and Atlas Shrugged

By Elisha Dorfsmith

From time to time I try to update my readers on what I’m reading, watching and listening to. Below is my take on three recent titles that you may find interesting.

Government Bullies by Senator Rand Paul

If you think you live in a free country think again! In his second book since being elected Senator, Rand Paul takes on one unaccountable government agency after another showing how our supposed free country imprisons, fines and flat out ruins the lives of innocent everyday Americans.

Those of us in the liberty movement often hear people arguing with us say “if I’m doing nothing wrong then I have nothing to be afraid of.”  This book gives you tons of ammunition to combat that kind of thinking by giving example after example of people who thought they were doing everything right and legal and ended up paying a big price.

Rand sets his sites on a long list of offenders from the EPA to the Lacey Act to the TSA, FDA and USDA. We literally cannot turn around without being bullied by some liberty trampling government agency and it’s getting worse. The big question: at what point will Americans say enough is enough?

Many in the liberty movement have turned their back on Rand Paul because they feel that with his endorsement of Romney he turned his back on them. Government Bullies proves that love him or hate him, Rand is one of the good guys and will continue to be a champion of liberty for years to come.

Forward by Ron Paul is an added bonus.

Seven Principles Of Good Government by Gary Johnson

Some of the more fascist members of the Republican party would tell you that you should not read this book or even mention the unspeakable name of Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson.

As an elected Republican PC I have been yelled at for attending and reporting on Gary Johnson events and rallies and being in possession of a signed copy of this book.

How dare we read what we want to read, associate with who we want to associate with and say what we want to say. We cannot allow this kind of freedom in America. But enough of the Republican establishment nonsense.

Seven Principles of Good Government is not at all what I expected when I first picked it up. It reads like a biographical self help manual and the blurry pictures inside give it the feeling of a cheap self published book. It looks like it was thrown together in a hurry. That said, it’s an enjoyable read and very insightful.

The Libertarian candidate gives us a very intimate look into the life of a popular former two term Republican Governor who is not afraid to do things differently and think outside the box. Johnson has a great track record and is a very intelligent guy who knows what it takes to be a leader. I certainly hope that he will help lead the Libertarian Party back to their libertarian principles (Libertarians lost a lot of credibility with the Barr/ Root ticket in 2008).

Despite it’s many shortcomings, this book succeeds at it’s main mission of spreading the message of freedom and liberty. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Atlas Shrugged Part II

Very hyped by conservative, tea party and libertarian groups, Atlas Shrugged Part II hit theaters this month to mixed reviews in much the same way Part I was received. The movies, like the book, have acquired a large cult following and that following seems to be growing.

The critics are also growing although unfortunately, they seem to be more intent on criticizing the philosophy behind the movies rather than the films themselves. There is plenty of room for legitimate reviewer criticism.

Atlas Shrugged II has the same low quality B movie feel that Part I had even with it’s bigger budget and better production. I get the impression that the filmmakers were purposefully going out of their way to keep the low budget atmosphere intact. Many scenes and a lot of the dialogue comes across as awkward and lighting and camera shots seem off at times.

The biggest difference between the first and second installment is the fact that the cast has changed and that this time around they had an advertising budget to promote the film and help get it into more theaters.

One thing that has always amused me about the Ayn Rand phenomena and especially the Atlas Shrugged movies is how well Christian conservatives and evangelicals have embraced them. It seems that many people have no idea how Ayn Rand and her philosophy of Objectivism felt about religion. At one point in the film a character (in a fun shout out to Rand’s atheism) says something like “maybe we should pray.”  I found confused Christian reviews that actually said these films encouraged prayer. Another theme throughout the films (although not as prevalent as in the book) is the celebration of adultery. As a non-religious viewer I find the paradox very amusing.

Atlas Shrugged is a brilliant book that deserves so much more than these movies have to offer. Maybe someday someone will do it justice and create a truly worthy film. For now, enjoy it for what it is, a fun (sometimes fun to make fun of) movie that shows how a massive out of control government can destroy everything that makes a country great. And then look around and ask yourself if the exact same thing could be happening in real life. Who is John Galt?

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