In Louisville, a socialist candidate speaks to an abandoned working class



As for the voters, they don’t care. No one at the door said anything negative about me being a socialist or engaged in red bait. Nothing like that happened. People in my neighborhood already know me for the work I did with DSA and elsewhere, not to mention my grandmother. When they look at my campaign platform, hear me speak, talk to one of our volunteers, it resonates with them. This district is, in anyone’s opinion, the most progressive district in Kentucky since redistricting.

When people ask me questions about democratic socialism, I can tell them, “Like Bernie Sanders”, and more often than not they say, “Oh, I voted for Bernie”.

There is still a Democratic Party machine, even though they have lost everything they could lose in the state over the past twenty years. They went from a majority to a minority of 25 to 75 in the State House, but they still have a sort of stranglehold on the city of Louisville. And of course, it’s not just particular individuals who are elected or hold official positions within the Democratic Party. It’s the whole constellation: NGOs, donors, various power brokers. They still have some influence here in terms of what endorsements you get, whether this union or that union supports you, whether this or that organization supports you. They are the ones who are the most negative towards me as a socialist. I think what they really don’t like is that we represent DSA, because Louisville DSA has gone from what they considered small potatoes a few years ago to a legitimate political bloc and formidable in the city.

We ran two really great metro council campaigns in 2020 and lost both by around 350 votes combined. On top of that, we have Chris Cobb, whom we elected to the school board. We make noise and walk around all the time, so they know who we are. They know they don’t own us. The whole constellation of eminences, donors and elected officials considers us as foreigners, which we are. Why would we want to be in their club, which lost everything?

They have abdicated all responsibility and renounced all influence on the working class in this state. But they cling to their power, even as the state crumbles around them. They see us as a threat to them, and they’re right. They are fighting my campaign, and DSA in general, with everything they have. And like I said, we’re not going to leave anything in the clip. We will fight.


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