This weekend, my wife and I attended a local "family day at the opera". We have a lot of fun at these family days, and my daughter really enjoys them. Who knows, maybe it will spark some future career interest in the arts in her. This is the second year we have gone to this event, and we have had a lot of fun both times.
This weekend I was wearing a shirt I bought online with a quote from Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. On the front it says, "If you can read this, you should read Atlas Shrugged". On the back, it contains one of the more important quotes from the book:
I swear, by my life and my love of itthat I will never live for the sake of another man,
nor ask another man to live for mine.
The shirt is a very vibrant green, and I am sure you can find one just like it if you do a quick search on any of the internet t-shirt sites. However, while we were at "family day" I had someone from the staff come up to me and compliment me on the shirt. He said that the quote was particularly important in today's world. I tend to agree. The quote, and the passage in the book it comes from, argues that no able bodied person should leach off another individual if they are able to provide for themselves. There are too many politicians today that would argue we should take from people who have provided for themselves, to give to others who haven't. Instead of some people succeeding in life, everyone should be mediocre. Instead of most people having good health care, everyone should have sub-par health care.
What amazes me about this weekend is that this isn't the first comment I have gotten from wearing this shirt. I have a number of other politically themed shirts, but none of them get as many comments and compliments, and from as broad a walk of life, as this one does. All of the comments are positive, and most are very positive.
I have a theory as to why many people like this shirt, and it's the same reason I think sales of Atlas Shrugged have continued to increase over recent years. I think it's because the theme of both the book, and the signature quote that is written on my shirt resonate with many, many Americans. We want to be left alone, we want to take care of ourselves, and we don't want to pay crushing taxes to go to a permanent welfare group. I believe in helping those less fortunate than me, but I don't believe in paying someone to not work, and I don't believe in creating a permanent class of people who are 100% dependent on the government for everything.
This is important because I believe more and more Americans are paying attention to politics, and more and more Americans are starting to feel like this. It's one of the reasons the Tea Party movement started, and it's one of the reasons there was such a backlash on Democrats for Obamacare. The quicker politicians realize that there are more and more voters paying attention to what they are doing, the quicker Congress might actually start focusing on the things that are important to voters like jobs, the economy and security.