By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – I abhor censorship, especially when it comes to books and things like banned books lists and instances where people who deem themselves more forward thinking than all the rest of us in their decisions to “protect” us from offensive material.

You will have no doubt heard by now about the decision to strip Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name from a prestigious book award title:

A division of the American Library Association has voted to remove the name of Laura Ingalls Wilder from a major children’s book award, over concerns about how the author portrayed African Americans and Native Americans.

The board of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) made the unanimous decision to change the name on Saturday, at a meeting in New Orleans. The name of the prize was changed from the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal to the Children’s Literature Legacy Award.

The association said Wilder “includes expressions of stereotypical attitudes inconsistent with ALSC’s core values”.

The first award was given to Wilder in 1954. The ALSC said Wilder’s work continued to be published and read but her “legacy is complex” and “not universally embraced.”

So this is my question:  why must something be “universally embraced” for it to be acceptable?

As a child I read every one of the Little House on the Prairie books; I loved them.  They transported me to that frontier era and taught me a lot about how those early settlers survived.  I was fascinated by them.

I never read the books as a child and thought, “Well, my goodness, that’s an awfully racist way to depict Indians.”

The Association for Library Service to Children has the right to make decisions about their own award, certainly.  What concerns me, and always has when it comes to things like this, is where does it stop?  Are we now to go back and revise every piece of literature that mentions Indian violence on the frontier?

What else in our American literary canon might offend someone?  The list could be pretty extensive.

This is so closely related to those people who want to ban To Kill a Mockingbird or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from reading lists and libraries because they contain language we no longer use today.

Somebody cue Guy Montag…he can handle this.




Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.  She is the author of Cane River Bohemia (Oct. ’18).  Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter.

The DaTechGuy Blog is guided by two foundational principles on being both Catholic and Conservative.

The endeavor to be “Catholic” and “Conservative” is fraught with perils and pitfalls; the current culture that we live in is akin to swimming in a sea of moral relativism where moral absolutes are dismissed as political power plays.

When evaluating the aspirants in the Republican Party with regards to their devotion to the reality of being Catholic and Conservative, it is safe to say that it is not necessary for each candidate to be Roman Catholic per se – it will be sufficient enough if they each have a hearty disposition to defend Religious Liberty (this will safeguard Catholicism) and our Judeo-Christian heritage (currently seen as a conservative anachronism).

If we were to ask ourselves, whether or not the top-tier of Republican candidates are really Conservative, we would receive a myriad of different answers.

For the purpose of our discussion this writer will refer to the American Conservative Union’s (the ACU was founded in 1964) political rating scale of politicians to deem if they are sufficiently conservative.

The ACU is one of the nation’s foremost Conservative organizations and they are the counterpoint to the Liberal Americans for Democratic Action (ADA founded in the 1940s).

With this in mind, let us rate the Conservatism (in this limited fashion) of the leading actors in the Republican Party’s polls:

  • Senator Marco Rubio possesses a lifetime (ACU) score of 98%. One would venture to say that Mr. Rubio’s impeccable conservative credentials should be beyond dispute.

Alas, this is not the case.

Senator Rubio committed for many Immigration Hawks the unpardonable sin by supporting the GANG of 8’s Immigration Reform measures.  For this he has obtained the wrath of Boarder Security Conservatives.

Nevertheless, Mr. Rubio has been in the Senate for four (4) years and his voting record and public service testify that he is a “True Conservative.”

State Representative Marco Rubio was Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives when he mounted a race for the US Senate and ran against former Republican (establishment?) Governor Charlie Crist.

Mr. Rubio ran as a Tea Party Conservative; this writer is shocked and somewhat baffled over how anyone could call Marco Rubio “an establishment Republican.”

  • A look at Senator Ted Cruz of Texas’ (ACU) score is equally impressive: Senator Cruz has a lifetime rating of 100%!  This is an astounding voting percentage (two years of Senatorial service).

Mr. Cruz is an intellectual wonder who graduated with distinction from both Princeton and Harvard Law School.

A similarity of both Senators (Rubio & Cruz) reminds Conservatives of how far they have come since President Obama became President:  Both of these Senators are products of “The Tea Party Movement”; and both men ran against the Republican establishment.

A brief look at the two young Senators (Rubio & Cruz) is a testimony to both the Intellectual and Political transformation that has affected our nation since William F. Buckley, Jr. founded “National Review” as a conservative journal in 1955.

As the old song states, “You’ve come a Long Way Baby!”

Both Misters Rubio and Cruz are certifiably “CONSERVATIVE!

  • But what about the conservatism of Mr. Donald Trump and what are we to make of it?

A look at Mr. Trump’s past might cause one to question his bona fides as a “true Conservative.”

When we look at The Donald’s past political involvement what does one find?

Did he (Donald Trump) stand with Conservatives at crucial junctures and at critical times?

Where was Mr. Trump when Ross Perot brought to the nation’s attention in 1992 that our deficits could strangle the future health and wellbeing of our nation?

Where was “the Donald” when Father Richard John Neuhaus and Minister Charles “Chuck” Colson – and others warned us about the impending “Cultural War” that was transforming our nation away from its Judeo-Christian heritage and into rampant Secularism?

Where was the Donald right after 9/11?

Did Mr. Trump support the 9/11 Commission’s’ findings or offer insightful critiques – or was he AWOL?

Unfortunately, Mr. Trump has NEVER held an elective office so there is no voting record by which to gauge his political pedigree.

Is This Man – the Donald – A True Conservative?

In the past, the Donald Trump has been socially liberal on family issues (Pro-Abortion) and suspect with regards to speaking out on issues pertaining to or protecting Religious Liberty.

Again, is this successful businessman – Donald Trump – a True Conservative?”

In the case of Dr. Ben Carson, we have a history of this man championing Pro-Family and Religious Liberty.  Dr. Carson’s life has reflected his Christian beliefs.

Question:  What does the Donald believe and what are his guiding principles?

A cursory look at Governor Jeb Bush’s two terms in Florida presents a compelling case that he was one of the most effective Conservative Governors in recent memory – period!

Governor Jeb Bush has a track record that can be judged and sifted through.

What of the Donald?

Is Mr. Trump a true Conservative?

We know two things about the Donald:  (1) He is skilled at wealth creation (he is a shrewd negotiator), and (2.) he pursues his goals with gusto and reckless abandon.

Conservative voters of ALL stripes and ALL garden varieties whether they be (1.) Judeo-Christian (Social); (2.) Economic (read that Libertarian); or (3.) Strong National Defense (Foreign Policy Hawks) – need to remind themselves that the issues that face our nation are too great to gamble them away on people or a persons who may not embrace their “True Conservative Values and Principles.