The man and his dream
Preston Tucker: Isn’t that the idea? To build a better mouse trap?
Abe: Not if you’re a mouse!
This movie I kick myself for having missed when it came out 20 years ago, and it was only last week on HBO that I actually got the Tucker experience with both barrels. The two main ideas for me of this all-American Horatio Alger “rags-to-riches” story are:
- Innovation in conflict with the stale old dead way of doing things (out of collective ignorance and blind obedience to authority)—call it the Pleasantville barrier—and
- Man against the state, particularly the US state and its insidious methods of coercion working in harmony with cartel business interests—call it the Kleptocon barrier.
Without question, the ebullient, imaginative, brilliant, individualistic, hard working Preston Thomas Tucker is more deserving of the quintessential “American Hero” designation than anyone Ayn Rand ever imagined—from the iconoclastic/artistic (humorless) Howard Roark to the ethereal/scientific (humorless) John Galt. Or anyone else ever imagined for that matter. Preston Tucker had it all: a joie de vivre that made everyone around him want to sing for joy, a similarly eccentric loving family with hearts as big as Texas, the imagination of a precocious child, and the hard driving intelligence of a man who wills himself to be the best. Continue reading