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Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023

Practice What You Preach


When the shoe is on the other foot, you might get the boot

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander” is a familiar phrase to most folks, generally meaning that if something is good or acceptable for one person, it is or should be equally so for another person. Some liken this phrase to the teaching of the “Golden Rule” in Matthew (chapter 7, verse 12): “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

So when Caddo Parish Commission members recently selected an interim commissioner for District 8 to fill the seat of (now former) Commissioner Jim Taliaferro, who was elected to the Shreveport City Council last November, the whole phrase of the “goose” and the “gander” indeed came to mind.

You see, voters in District 8 are overwhelmingly Republican. In fact, 48 percent of voters in District 8 are Republican – one of the most Republican constituencies in the state – with only 30 percent Democrats. It’s why they have elected Republican candidates to represent their interests going back over 30 years, from Lloyd Lenard to Michael Long to John Escude to Mike Middleton and, most recently, Jim Taliaferro.

Still, the majority of the Commission members saw it fit to disregard the Republican constituency in District 8 and selected a Democrat substitute to represent District 8 voters on the commission.

Shame on those commissioners. Period. Some may say, “Whoa, there, that’s a little much.”

But is it? If you believe the power of government comes from the people it governs, how could any commissioner have appointed a Democrat to this position? Some may ask, how important is it whether someone is a “D” or an “R”?

Fair enough. I have some very conservative friends, who are, in many ways, more conservative than I am, yet they are registered to vote as Democrats. And yes, we all know that just because someone has an “R” behind their name doesn’t mean that they will necessarily vote one way or another.

But the reason that one of the most Republican districts in the state (District 8) continues to elect Republican candidates is that those candidates understand the core, conservative belief that every individual is responsible for their lives. That everyone deserves a helping hand. That the role of government is to secure those rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and that smaller government and local control of our community is best. Government intervention should be limited. That government cannot “fix” all things for us. That America is more than just a place. That our rights come from God and not from the government. And that the power of government comes from the people it directly governs.

Are there Democrats on the Caddo Parish Commission who hold these core beliefs?

Perhaps. But when the “shoe was on the other foot” and there were vacancies on the commission in historically Democratic districts, the commission appointed only Democrats to fill those seats.

And, if you look at the record, the appointments of Steffon Jones, Stormy Gage- Watts and Lyndon B. Johnson to their respective commission districts were all aided by the votes of Republican commissioners (voting to appoint Democrats in districts traditionally represented by Democrats).

Jones, for example, was appointed with nearly a unanimous vote in 2021 of the commission, with Republican commissioners voting for him (following Lynn Cawthorne’s resignation after pleading guilty to federal charges). Similarly, Stormy Gage-Watts in 2015 received Republican commissioner votes, as did Lyndon B. Johnson in 2010. Johnson’s district is 58% Democrat, Gage-Watts’ district is 67% Democrat, and Jones’ district is 69% Democrat.

But when Jones, Gage-Watts and Johnson had the opportunity to return the grace extended to them, they chose not to pass it on. Not to practice the “Golden Rule.”

Turns out, what’s good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander. Republicans are always expected to do what is right, and the Democrats? Well, they just do what they want.

Louis R. Avallone is a Shreveport businessman, attorney and author of “Bright Spots, Big Country, What Makes America Great.” He is also a former aide to U.S. Representative Jim McCrery and editor of The Caddo Republican. His columns have appeared regularly in 318 Forum since 2007. Follow him on Facebook, on Twitter @louisravallone or by e-mail at louisavallone@mac.com, and on American Ground Radio at 101.7FM and 710 AM, weeknights from 6 - 7 p.m., and streaming live on keelnews.com.


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