In Idaho, a Red State bastion, a state legislator has introduced a bill that would make reading “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand required reading for high school kids. Now I hate to give John Campbell or Don Wagner any ideas, but the notion kids will have to read this work of fiction, be tested on it, presumably have to write essays about it compared to other great literature should scare the hell out of you as a parent.
Here’s the story:
State Senate Education Committee Chairman John Goedde (R-Coeur d’Alene) introduced legislation Tuesday that would require the reading of Rand’s 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged by every high school student in the state, and the passage of a test on the book, in order to graduate, The Spokesman-Review reported. Goedde said that he only introduced the bill as a way to send a message to the state over a series of recent decisions, and not to force the reading of Rand’s book.
“It was a shot over their bow just to let them know that there’s another way to adopt high school graduation requirements,” Goedde said to committee members, The Spokesman-Review reported. “I don’t intend to schedule a hearing on it.”
Atlas Shrugged has become a popular book among the Tea Party for its pro-capitalism and anti-big government message. Among the fans of the book are Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and conservative pundit Glenn Beck. Goedde said he choose the book because it stresses “personal responsibility” and that it caused his son to become a Republican, The Spokesman-Review reported.
We’ll note, the real purpose of requiring this book to be read by High School students is to turn kids into Republicans. The truth of the matter, it’s a terribly written book. We might as well require the reading of the entire Narnia series to instruct kids on public policy. The difference here being “The Chronicles of Narnia” is more believable than “Atlas Shrugged.” Imagine the outcry if “Profiles in Courage” or “The Audacity of Hope” were proposed to be required reading?