The Pursuit of Happiness


Just when we thought the Carroll County Democrats would accept a hand up and out of 1996, we learn that Party regulars are feeling picked on, and called on Big Shots down in Little Rock to set the fruits and fruitcakes west of the Kings River on the straight and narrow. It looks like the election of Charles Templeton as Party Chair will be overturned because members followed democratic rather than Democrat rules.

East of river Power Brokers have got one thing right: government in Eureka Springs frequently looks like Act IV of Macbeth: business and real estate investors meet three witches and get sent to see Hecate at Planning and Zoning. But they are wrong about everything else.

West of river Democrats are out of step with most Arkansans, but they are in step with mainstream Democrats nationally, and with the majority of Americans everywhere. They know that real Democrats publicly support human rights, environmental protections, unrestricted health care for women, and for the constitutional rights of LBGTQ citizens. They don’t ignore district and state elections and call it pragmatism; they refuse to slide down the bell curve of culture, morality, and decency into that disgrace called our state legislature. They’ll show up a fight for decency and morality – and they’ll put up fighting candidates.

East of river claims that they successfully elect Democrats to local and county offices are factitious. Candidates win because they do their jobs. Tim McKinney is elected and re-elected mayor of Berryville because he is, and is recognized as, one of the best small-city mayors in Arkansas. Mayor Butch Berry was elected and will be re-elected because he is an active listener and a graceful man. With the exception of County Judge, party affiliation and party support are merely incidental.

And everyone should stop believing the childish fiction that there are no mainstream Democrats east of the Kings River. These Democrats go unrecognized because of west of river xenophobia and arrogance… the same afflictions suffered by Party Pros east of the river. It won’t matter who the next Party Chair is unless that Chair is a real Democrat who represents all Democrats.