Oct. 22, 2014

Mark Pryor's Thesis Shows Evolution of Southern Democrats

It’s easy to rip some sort of conclusion from the headlines screaming that Arkansas Democrat Mark Pryor is some sort of racist for writing in his college thesis desegregation caused the state to be “invaded unwillingly.” It’s a man bites dog headline. A Democrat says racist things when they’re supposed to be the go-to party for minorities. But like most stories, this one is more nuanced. Arit John writes at Bloomberg, “Pryor’s real problem lies in the paper’s theory on how Arkansas Democrats win elections: they have to prove they put state before party. … What’s important to note here is that the Arkansas Democrats of 1957 are not the same Arkansas Democrats of the 1970s and ‘80s, who are not the Arkansas Democrats of today.” And so, Pryor is facing a fight to prove he is not one of Obama’s yes men. His paper is a snapshot into the past of what the Democrat Party in Arkansas once was: more conservative and focused on the state. Come to think of it, that’s what any party should strive to be. More…

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