Sen. Ron Johnson tells the Atlas statue’s story

Chances are, if you’ve driven in or out of Oshkosh on County Highway A, you’ve noticed a statue of Atlas holding the world on his shoulders, with the phrase, “Fight to be free” emblazoned at the base.

The statue sits in the yard of Ganther Construction, a business owned by Oshkosh businessman Ben Ganther — and it was a topic of discussion in a recent interview with Sen. Ron Johnson.

“A friend of mine, Ben Ganther, who’s a small business owner and owner of a construction company, called me up one day and said, there’s this big old statue on the side of the road for sale,” Johnson said in an interview with the Ayn Rand-inspired Atlas Society. “It was Atlas; it had the world. It was obviously the ‘Atlas Shrugged’ symbol. He said he was thinking about buying it, and I said, yeah, absolutely, I’ll pay for half of it.”

Johnson said they chose the phrase, “Fight to be free,” because he believes humanity is involved in an ongoing struggle for freedom. One of the reasons he ran for Senate, he said, is because he sees those freedoms being threatened. He said he “absolutely” sees parallels between the plot of Rand’s novel, “Atlas Shrugged,” and the modern U.S. economy.

“The reason I ran, really, was in reaction to the passage of the health care law, which I think is really the greatest assault on our freedom in my lifetime,” Johnson said.

You can watch the interview in its entirety here:

About Jessie Opoien

Jessie Opoien joined the Oshkosh Northwestern as a reporter in December 2011. Politics and education issues are her specialties, but she loves to tell a good story regardless of the topic. You can find her on Twitter as @jessieopie.
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