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Filmsy - Movie Reviews Blog

    Filmsy - Movie Reviews Blog

    Was Atlas Shrugged Symbolic of Ron Paul Candidacy?

    Posted: 05 Nov 2011 09:32 PM PDT

    If you had to choose a film to serve as the official movie of the current race for the Republican Presidential nomination, it would have to be Atlas Shrugged, which was based on the Ayn Rand novel.

    It seems every time you turn around the nine candidates trying to secure the party's nomination are attempting to out-conservative each other. No matter the issue – from immigration to taxes to health care – the contenders seem to be pushing the envelope further and further to the right to appeal to an ultra-conservative base of voters.

    Ayn Rand was an ideologue who used her pen to craft a story that embodied her unbending philosophy of self-reliance, free-market capitalism and a laissez-faire government apparatus. The movie adaptation of her book was heralded by conservative voices as a must-see for any true Republican voter. However, when it was released earlier this year, Atlas Shrugged hit movie theaters with a thud.

    Atlas Shrugged never made it to a full-theater release and at the height of its run showed in less than 500 theaters. As a result, it grossed only about $5 million – a fraction of the costs associated with the movie's production. Two sequels were in the works, but it remains unclear whether they will actually be made now.

    Without a doubt, Ron Paul, a 12-time Congressman, is the most closely associated with Ayn Rand's philosophy. As a Libertarian, Paul shares many of the hands-off attitudes Ayn Rand had toward government in relation to issues of business and industry. It's not hard to imagine half the people who turned out for Atlas Shrugged at a movie theater wearing a Ron Paul 2012 shirt.

    However, while Paul considers Ayn Rand a great influence he also distances himself in interviews from some of her more militaristic viewpoints. These attitudes toward homosexuals and certain foreign entities are much more in line with Michelle Bachman and Rick Perry's respective stances on domestic and foreign relations, particularly regarding social issues.

    In the end, it is Ron Paul who is stuck with the specter of Ayn Rand. And with approval polls hovering around 1 percent for the Texas Libertarian, it does appear he is facing challenges similar to those felt by the producers of Atlas Shrugged.