Anyone perplexed about why the Republican Party continues to hemorrhage support among conservative Americans need look no further than the ongoing episode in Livingston Parish involving a Leftist librarian, the cabal who funds her, a concerned parent, taxpayer money, and smut in the children’s section of a library paid for by Louisiana citizens.
Ryan Thames is a resident of Livingston Parish and the father of two girls, ages 13 and 5. Thames had the impertinence to publicly protest the placement of sexually explicit books located in the children’s section of a public library. His grave offense was to request that library personnel simply move the objectionable material to another part of the library, out of the reach of children. Your writer has viewed a sample of the books at issue, which include wholesome prepubescent themes such as anal sex, butt plugs, masturbation, sex toys for “bonus fun,” and the proper use of sex lube, complete with graphic illustrations.
The books’ content is so graphic that it had to be redacted from a local news article, and no media outlets have seen fit to publish the actual material. What makes the situation even more alarming is that the books were not accidentally placed in the kids’ section, they were intended for their consumption. In any other setting besides a public library, an adult who provided the material at issue to a child would likely be arrested.
In addition to objecting to the placement of the books, Thames also publicly criticized Leftist Louisiana Association of School Librarians President Amanda Jones for her asinine opposition to having the books removed. Jones’ rewarded Mr. Thames by filing a lawsuit against him and Michael Lunsford, founder of the watchdog advocacy group Citizens for a New Louisiana. The suit is pending in Livingston Parish District Court.
Jones claims that Thames defamed her by suggesting that her support for children’s access to graphic sex books amounts to complicity in the sexual grooming of children (which is at the very least an arguable point). Jones also claims that removal of the books amounts to unconstitutional government censorship.
Jones’ claims have zero merit, as both Thames and Lunsford’s statements are constitutionally protected speech, and the US Supreme Court has long held that society has a fundamental interest in protecting our children from prurient images. Jones should be summarily bounced out of Court just after she is sanctioned for causing the expenditure of valuable judicial resources on patent nonsense. The fact that Jones’ claims are the legal equivalent of a protracted bowel movement has not deterred Leftist groups from donating a hefty $100,000 to fund her suit in an execrable effort to intimidate and demoralize Mr. Thames and his family, as well as Mr. Lunsford.
Once the fever of the moment passes and Jones is rightly forgotten, this episode must endure in our memory as a supreme example of stunning political and moral weakness exhibited by the Livingston Parish Republican Party. In a moment when the core values of its community are under vicious attack by Jones and her Leftist co-agitators, both the Louisiana Republican Party and the Livingston Parish Republicans remain as mute as a pond of fish.
With the noteworthy exception of Representative Valarie Hodges, not one prominent Livingston Republican has uttered a single public word of denunciation of Ms. Jones or a single word of support for either Mr. Lunsford or Mr. Thames and his family. The Party, along with Livingston Republican RINO Representative Buddy Mincey, sits on the sidelines and watches as the life of a decent man is torn apart for standing against evil as he tries to protect the precious innocence of our children. The same Party will inevitably seek the financial and political support from honorable citizens like Ryan Thames in Livingston Parish and across Louisiana, hoping that they will forget its repeated betrayal of their interests. They will not and they should not.
The Republican Party should never again wonder why a substantial majority of Louisianans no longer trust, no longer feel loyalty to, and no longer fight for an institution that is too weak and compromised to fight for them, a Party that somewhere along the line lost its soul. Unless it recovers its identity and its backbone in very short order, its epitaph will read “Here lies the once great Republican Party, dead by its own hand.” And maybe that is as it should be, for the patriots are amassing over the hill.
J. Christopher Alexander, Louisiana Citizen Advocacy Group www.lacag.org