Last night was a big one for Dallas Buyers Club — and libertarians

Dallas Buyers Club got a lot of attention last night. This is good news for one of the most libertarian movies ever made.

Matthew McConaughey won the Oscar for best actor and Jared Leto took home the award for best supporting role in the 80s-set drama about the early AIDS epidemic.

Cowboy Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) is diagnosed with the disease and begins smuggling non-approved drugs into the United States, much to the chagrin of an irate and oppressive federal government that fights him at every turn.

If you ever wanted to see a movie that shows the free market as the unequivocal good guy and the government as the villain, Dallas Buyers Club is it.

Breitbart’s James Delingpole says “Dallas Buyers Club is a conservative movie masquerading as a liberal one.” He adds, “Its message, though, is so uncompromisingly libertarian-right it could almost have been written by Ayn Rand.”

The Cato Institute’s David Boaz wrote, “Dallas Buyers Club is a terrific movie with a strong libertarian message about self-help, entrepreneurship, overbearing and even lethal regulation, and social tolerance.”

Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto
In my review in November for Rare, I wrote:

The film invites the viewer to question whether government should be the sole arbiter of our healthcare decisions. It asks whether the state has the practical know-how, wisdom — or even good intentions — to make those decisions exclusively.

Ron Woodroof helped his HIV-positive customers and turned a profit. His business met the needs of the dying; while an obstinate and evil bureaucratic apparatus did everything in its power to stop it. In Dallas Buyers Club, the government and their corporate cronies are the villain. The FDA is the bad guy. The hero is the free market.

For libertarians and anyone of conscience, Ron Woodroof is an anti-government champion for the ages.

Woodroof’s changing attitude about homosexuality during his journey also reflects a social tolerance characteristic of libertarianism:

But there is another lesson with libertarian implications. Unlike the bureaucrats who ignorantly enforce FDA regulations despite the pain they’re causing, as Woodroof continues to confront homosexuals in his everyday life, it breaks down his rigidity and intolerance. Whereas homophobia was once his default position, he too now has this “faggot disease.”

As America changes, so once did Ron Woodroof. Dallas Buyers Club is a movie about tolerance, individual triumph and government as the enemy. It is a libertarian message. It is a human message.

Variety notes of McConaughey and Leto’s awards, “The wins make the movie only the fifth in history to win best actor and best supporting actor in the same year.” As is often the case with Academy Award Winning movies (Best Picture went to “12 Years a Slave”) Dallas Buyers Club’s success at the Oscars could give the film an even larger audience.

Dallas Buyers Club’s themes compliment and correlate current political trends in public opinion, in which majorities of Americans are beginning to veer in a more libertarian direction.

A movie about the early AIDS epidemic gives us a new libertarian hero


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