Idaho Lawmaker Proposes Bill Requiring Students To Read ‘Atlas Shrugged’

Article by: Owen Davis, Daily Dolt guest contributor

Idaho state Senator John Goedde (R) has introduced a bill requiring students to read Atlas Shrugged. The conservative lawmaker’s bill would force students to pass a test on the Ayn Rand novel before graduating from the educational enslavement of high school.

Sen. Goedde said he introduced the bill primarily as a rebuke to the State Board of Education, though the new requirement would also foster egoism and “rational selfishness” among high school students, a population known for their selflessness and excessive empathy.

While he hasn’t read the book in thirty years, Goedde claims, “That book made my son a Republican.” The anecdote undoubtedly relieved some of the state’s more conservative lawmakers, who distrust reading on principle.

As a practicing Objectivist and passionate Idaho education policy wonk, your humble Dolt contributor here applauds the move to do away with bleeding-hearts like Steinbeck and Orwell. The only way to rid ourselves from the government’s overregulation of our children’s education is to enact state-wide regulations requiring all students read Rand’s works.

Alas, Goedde says he proposed the bill merely as “a statement” and does not expect the measure to pass, once again proving Ayn Rand’s claim that “[o]f all the government undertakings, none has failed so disastrously as public education.”


8 Responses to Idaho Lawmaker Proposes Bill Requiring Students To Read ‘Atlas Shrugged’

  1. Barjack


    Well, nobody I know has ever died from reading something – unless it was misreading a prescription bottle. So, I'm not going to condemn this idea. But, of course, it all depends on how the "lesson" is laid out, and the discussion that follows. If it's led by a republican, I see disaster.

  2. Paul


    Funny. It's not every day you find Republicans advocating reading books written by atheists. In keeping with the 'selfishness' theme, they might consider requiring reading The Selfish Gene too.

  3. Do Randroids dream o


    Atlas shrugged is far too large of a novel for a high schooler that really doesn't want to read it. It's also a hilariously flawed and narcissistic ego binge that suggests there are some people who are irreplaceable and that society cannot function without them.

    It's a crock. I also call bullshit on his son reading it. Atlas Shrugged is the Libertarian Bible: a very big book they will always reference but never actually read.

    • Barjack


      Maybe they have it in comic book format?

  4. aweraw


    Also need to force them to play Bioshock; for balance, of course.

  5. Tracey


    Because that's what the Republican party is all about: proposing ridiculous bills that even the proponents know have no chance of passing. Heaven forbid they should actually get anything accomplished.

  6. IDGem


    Unfortunately, this thinking is typical of the Idaho GOP. There is absolutely NO logic to any of their thinking. The point that he has totally missed is that most of the students in this state already take online classes because the state has underfunded education for years. A plethora of courses are NOT offered in the school classroom setting.

    If I had the money I'd move. The legislature is downright depressing.

  7. Jay Castor


    I think Idaho Repugs are getting dizzy, and it's not just the meth! BTW did you know Ayn Rand was a tweaker? How else do you think she finished writing those very lengthy farcical contributions to twentieth century literature?