The Bull is a work of conservative contemporary fiction written by Matthew Weber and published by Pint Bottle Press in 2012. The novel follows one family's fight against the excesses of local government as the elected officials succumb to the undue influence of special interests at the expense of their constituents.
The mayor of Fulton Springs, Alabama, has one thing on his mind: His reelection, and the money and power that come with it. He's an old pro in the political game and quick to sell out the public to special interests if the price is right. He says all his decisions are made in the best interest of his citizens, so they should just shut up and follow the rules.
Restaurant owner, Frank Standish, is tired of having his business hamstrung by all the new taxes and regulations that crop up at each city council meeting helmed by the mayor's lackeys. The cronies in office are choking off his livelihood and stomping on his freedom. So Frank decides to do something about it.
Backed by a surge of grassroots support, Frank and his family and friends at The Bull, a local bar and barbecue pit, mount a blue-collar revolt against government run amok. Frank runs on a groundbreaking political platform: a promise to serve only a single term on behalf of the freedom-loving citizens of Fulton springs, imposing his own strict term limit to insulate himself from the influence of outside interests. His strategy resonates wildly with the voters who orchestrate an underdog campaign to unseat the mayor -- a concerted effort that refuses to be silenced by slanderous propaganda, corrupt authority, vindictive police or even bullets from a gun.
Conservative Themes in the Narrative
The central plot of The Bull begs the question: Where does government authority end and individual freedom begin? Frank Standish's goal of limited governmental influence in his business is fundamental to the the aims of conservative and libertarian political philosophy.
However, beyond this conflict between freedom and oppression, The Bull is a coming-of-age story about Frank and his family, particularly his rocky relationship with his son. Derek Standish is an adolescent entering the world of jobs and adulthood, and becoming disillusioned with the many pitfalls of civil society. Both men have endured aggression and learned from it, whether from schoolyard bullies or crooked city officials, and by joining forces to fight for the family business, they discover they share a unique outlook on life and a kindred spirit forged from the bond of father and son. In this way, the narrative not only reflects on themes of liberty and individualism, but also on the conservative principles of morality, responsibility and family values.
Pint Bottle Press
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