Whether it’s library boards, county commissions, city councils or local boards of education, Alabama Republican Party chairman John Wahl said focusing on electing the right people at the local level is vital for proper governing.

On a recent episode of “1819 News: The Podcast,” Wahl spoke about how these boards can be fertile ground for “social engineering” via socialist policies.

“If we hold true to what makes America special, we believe that every one of these boards, every one of these councils, every one of our elected officials, their first job should be representing the people,” Wahl said. “That’s what makes good government, and we have forgotten that as a society. A lot of these boards and especially these leftist groups, they don’t even realize what makes good government anymore.”

Wahl discussed the criticism he’s been getting from Read Freely Alabama for meeting with parents in Prattville who want sexually explicit books removed from their children’s libraries.

“My agreement to meet with concerned parents in Prattville with Clean Up Alabama, I would just as soon meet with [Read Freely] if they would have invited me,” he said. “I believe in open dialogue. I believe in a strong open debate on the issues, but when we get in this territory where we’re trying to silence our opponents, and I believe that was their attempt… This is a classic socialist move. Don’t argue, don’t debate the issues because you’ll lose. You lose if you debate the issues; just silence your opponents.”

Wahl also pushed back against those calling him anti-free speech or a “book burner.” He said he’s not against parents buying these books in theory, but the government should not be using tax dollars to make them available in libraries.

“Governmentally, there’s no excuse to be engaging in social engineering because that’s what it is, let’s be honest about it,” he said. “Social engineering our children into a socialist worldview. And some people ask, ‘What does sexually explicit material have to do with socialism?’ It’s about destroying morality, destroying the family unit, destroying faith in general. Whether it’s the Christian faith or not, it’s about secular humanism because they cannot have strong faith. They cannot have strong morals and maintain a socialist form of government.”

Wahl said the fight against socialism is “interconnected” with other issues Alabama has been dealing with, such as constitutional carry, transgender bathroom legislation and vaccine passports.

He said the next battle would be regarding school choice and parental rights in education. He said the bill currently being worked on by Gov. Kay Ivey’s office appeared to be “impressively good” so far.

To connect with the story’s author or comment, email daniel.taylor@1819news.com.

Don’t miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.