About Berry Craig

Berry Craig is an emeritus professor of history at the West Kentucky Community and Technical College in Paducah and a freelance writer. He is a member of American Federation of Teachers Local 1360, the recording secretary for the Western Kentucky Area Council, AFL-CIO, and the author of True Tales of Old-Time Kentucky Politics: Bombast, Bourbon and Burgoo, Hidden History of Kentucky in the Civil War, Hidden History of Kentucky Soldiers and Hidden History of Western Kentucky. He is a native of Mayfield, Ky., where he lives with his wife of 33 years and their 20-year-old son.


  1. I agree, Berry. I remember a time when the media was playing the death knell for the Democratic party. The cartoons of the donkey not knowing its ass from its elbow were legion. And we came back.

    Almost certainly, the elephant will find its way back, too. I hope it divorces itself from the fringe it cultivated only to regret it. A minimum of two REASONABLE parties is necessary for a democratic republic to thrive and right now, this nation doesn’t qualify.

    The recent talk, among Republicans, of abandoning the Southern Strategy for Howard Dean’s Fifty State Strategy bodes well for them – IF they follow through.

    In order to make that work, they will have to modulate their tone and actually become more inclusive rather than parse the words they will use to disenfranchise anyone who doesn’t look just like the older white men who control the party at the moment.

    If they’re not up to the challenge – - well – - my original premise still stands:
    At least two REASONABLE parties are necessary for the US to survive.

    If not the Dem’s and the Rep’s it will be the Dem’s and somebody else. It will have to be – - – or God help us every one.

  2. I agree with the thrust of this piece. Too many Democrats have gotten cocky. Besides history, I would point out that Obama’s 3.5-4% win isn’t all that big, merely magnified by the electoral college. Despite winning most of the votes, we lost the House and lots of state legislatures. Partly that was because of gerrymandering, and partly it’s still hard to beat incumbents, but also because of where we live. Democrats tend to live in urban areas while Republicans are rural or in outer suburbs, and if redistricting respects municipal boundaries, then Democrats are hard to divide up. Republicans can be cut multiple ways, so even a non-partisan redistricting is likely to mean Democrats in heavily Democratic urban and inner suburban districts, while Republicans hold smaller majorities elsewhere. So both parties get built-in advantages. We’ll have an advantage in presidential races and maybe most state races, but Republicans have an advantage in anything districted.

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