The Dumbest Idea in Recent Memory

Is there a more clear sign that students in your state don’t stand a chance if a literary genius such as this man is the chairman of your state’s education committee?

BOISE – Coeur d’Alene Sen. John Goedde, chairman of the Idaho Senate’s Education Committee, introduced legislation Tuesday to require every Idaho high school student to read Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” and pass a test on it to graduate from high school.

When Sen. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d’Alene, asked Goedde why he chose that particular book, Goedde said to laughter, “That book made my son a Republican.”

Goedde said he doesn’t plan to press forward with the bill, but it was formally introduced in his committee Tuesday on a voice vote. [...]

Nevertheless, as a formally introduced bill, the measure will be read across the desk in the Senate Wednesday morning and will receive a bill number; it will be among the bills posted on the Legislature’s website for the session and preserved in its records.

In the spirit of things, shouldn’t students feel compelled to read Atlas Shrugged on their own? Isn’t that their responsibility?

Required reading may not sound like a libertarian idea, but “that book made my son a Republican” is basically the only reason libertarians exist. Some fortunate souls eventually grow out of it. Others aren’t quite as lucky.

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  • Mike Huben

    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    John Rogers, on the blog Kung Fu Monkey

  • SlapFat

    I’ve always thought it would make sense for someone to write a book called “Atlas Farted” about an island created specially for “libertarians” so that they can voluntarily live in an oblivious happiness amongst themselves, complete with restaurants that serve “freedom fries” and “liberty cabbage.” Crap, I think my previous statement is likely to spawn in about 30 conspiracy theories. Oh well.

    • Victor_the_Crab

      Or, “The Fountainpenis”.

      • muselet

        No, no. “Book.” Not “short story.”

        –alopecia

        • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

          No matter what it would be a short story as they’d turn on each other in a heartbeat.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/LeShan-Jones/100000478051440 LeShan Jones

            They already made it into a game, it’s called Bioshock.

  • http://profiles.google.com/olivpit Olivia Pitts

    Maybe they should also be required to understand the difference between fact and fiction and give examples.

  • lib4

    let’s imagine for a minute the sound of heads exploding at Fox News if Obama proposed a similar scheme

  • Draxiar

    As long as they also must read 1984 then go ahead!