History Maker

Academic historians (and those on the periphery like myself) like sitting around talking about pressing issues of the day and their solutions. Rare is the academic historian who actually goes out and tries to affect change. That’s what makes Allan Lichtman so different. The noted professor of history at American University is running as a Democrat in the Maryland Senate race, hoping to fill the seat vacated by the retiring Paul Sarbanes. “Hoping” may be the best he can do: in the Democratic primaries he’s up against former NAACP Chair Kweisi Mfume, Congressman Ben Cardin, and 10 others (holy cripes!). And if he gets to the general election, he’d then likely face Republican Lt. Governor Michael Steele, who represents the GOP’s best chance to hold a Maryland Senate seat in a generation. Still, Lichtman seems intent on making a go of it, and has spelled out his reasons in this article from History News Network. He comes across as another Paul Wellstone-style Democrat—intelligent, articulate, and well-mannered, but definitely part of the “Democratic wing of the Democratic party.” If I were still in Maryland, Michael Steele would be my first pick in the general election, but the state of Maryland and Maryland Democratic party could do a lot worse than Allan Lichtman.


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