• I Have A Man Crush On Ron Swanson, Libertarian Of NBC's 'Parks and Recreation'

    As a libertarian, I have grown accustomed to my political viewpoints not being represented on TV shows. Dramatic TV shows, sitcoms, and other comedies seem to be riddled with progressive and liberal themes. Before I watched the pilot episode of NBC's Parks and Recreation in April of 2009, I knew it was a comedy about local government, so I was expecting to see a plethora of pro-progressive themes. I figured I'd give the show a shot anyway, since it was filmed in the same documentary style of The Office. As I watched the pilot episode of Parks,I was surprised to find that there was one character who appeared to have similar viewpoints about government as I: Ron Swanson.

    Ron (portrayed by Nick Offerman), is the head of the Parks Department of the fictional town Pawnee, Indiana. As the audience was introduced to Ron, he said:

    "I’ve been quite open about this around the office: I don’t want this parks department to build any parks, because I don’t believe in government. I think that all government is a waste of taxpayer money. My dream is to have the park system privatized and run entirely for profit by corporations, like Chuck E. Cheese. They have an impeccable business model. I would rather work for Chuck E. Cheese."

    Whoa! Someone who is as cynical of government as me. Although I happen to feel that not all of government is a waste (we need the military for defense), I quickly grew to enjoy the character of Ron. It was quite refreshing to see a character on Tv who did not espouse liberal or progressive viewpoints.

    In subsequent episodes, it was revealed that Ron is, in fact, a libertarian. He is given enough screen time, and is frequently promoting libertarian themes, thusly the show is satisfying enough for me that I have bought both the first and second season on DVD. Witnessing Ron's no-nonsense, personal-freedom-first attitude, which sometimes foils government growth, is incredibly delicious. In an episode in which the government was going to start restricting what kind of food could be sold on public land, Ron said:

    "The whole point of this country is if you want to eat garbage, balloon up to 600 pounds and die of a heart attack at 43, you can. You are free to do so. To me, that is beautiful."

    In a recent episode, Ron had to substitute as the host of an art show sponsored by the government. He started the show thusly:

    "Welcome to 'Visions of Nature.' This room has several paintings in it, some are big some are small. People did them and they are here now. After this is over, they'll be hung in government buildings. Why the government is involved in an art show is beyond me. I also think it's pointless for a human to paint scenes of nature when they could just go outside and stand in it."

    It wasn't until I watched last week's episode, Road Trip, that I realized that I have a man crush on Ron Swanson. In the episode, a young girl comes to the Parks Department to interview a government employee. At the time, Ron is the only employee present, so he asks the girl to wait until someone else arrives. No one does, and Ron grants the girl the chance to interview him when he finds out that the subject of the interview is "Why government matters."

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    As he stole and ate the girls lunch to demonstrate how the government takes taxes by force, my man crush was realized. His cellphone ringtone is the sound of a shotgun cocking and shooting, he hates government regulations, he doesn't understand vegetarians, he loathes citizens who rely on the government. Ron Swanson is quite possibly my favorite fictional character. And if my wife would let me, I'd grow a Swanson mustache just to honor the character.

    What do you think of Ron Swanson?

    Copyright © 2011 Nillabyte LLC.

    Comments 7 Comments
    1. aslo881's Avatar
      aslo881 -
      My favorite Ron Swanson quote is "On my deathbed, my final wish is to have my ex-wives rush to my side so I can use my dying breath to tell them both to go to hell one last time."
    1. NickOfTime's Avatar
      NickOfTime -
      That is awesome! I had no idea that there could be such a character on TV, let alone liberal-owned NBC. I'm going to have to start watching it.
    1. rayy's Avatar
      rayy -
      "uh-oh, capital gains tax" LOL.

      I need to start watching that show.
    1. dksBeet's Avatar
      dksBeet -
      I was rolling on the floor as I watched that episode. After he is done teaching the girl, he gives her a land-mine as a parting gift. Sweet.
    1. shawn of the dead's Avatar
      shawn of the dead -
      Quote From LB Ped View Post
      People are stupid and can't take care of themselves.
      So, does that include you too?

      Anyways, back to normal world . . . .

      Swanson is a very funny character because what he says rings true for a lot of people. One of my favorite Swanson quotes (although it has nothing to do with libertarianism) is "I once worked with a man for three years and never got to know his name. Best friend I ever had."
    1. darkhorse's Avatar
      darkhorse -
      Quote From LB Ped View Post
      Libertarians are a bunch of freaks. Why would anyone want to eat themselves to a heart attack? That is exactly why the government needs to ban that junk food that bad for you, since there are idiots who eat and eat that stuff til they die. People are stupid and can't take care of themselves.
      But where do you draw the line? CArs kill people. Should we ban all of those? Sitting around kills people, should we have a govt required national exercise program? Should the govt be our big brother and take care of everything? Where would those resources come from? Your pocket?
    1. Slick Dick's Avatar
      Slick Dick -
      Ron Swanson = idiot.

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