The state of the left is fractured in Louisville, in Kentucky, in America.
In a year of overwhelming cries for racial justice throughout the United States, our city was in the spotlight as the community called for justice for Breonna Taylor; while there should be no diminishment of what was accomplished, the denial of the majority of our demands stings. The sting is especially harsh when it is a Democratic supermajority on the Metro Council that turns its back on us. The political activist landscape is dominated by turf wars and managed by elite liberal nonprofit boards in an absence of unified vision and guiding principles.
In a year when our state began to undo some of the damage from the disastrous Bevin administration, the Kentucky Democratic Party continued a long descent into irrelevance, surrendering abysmal electoral losses. From an unpalatable, establishment-dictated candidate for Senate to the cringing centrist candidates slaughtered in the Kentucky House and Senate, we were treated to the biannual southern Democrat strategy which has failed across the region for a quarter of a century. Kentucky’s 2020 election will be remembered as little more than a grift generator for the political consultant class.
In a year dominated by a pandemic and economic collapse beyond the charts of Wall Street, corporate beholden politicians purportedly to the left of center rejected Medicare for All, sneered at comprehensive student debt relief, and failed to fight for direct aid to America’s struggling families. Throughout the developed world, citizens shake their heads at how we have been left out in the cold. Against the least popular sitting President to run for reelection in modern history, the Democratic Party could only muster a weak win from Biden, his coattails a bitter disappointment in Congress and statehouses nationwide.
Against this backdrop of political failure, where can we find hope? We find it in Solidarity. We find it in an awakening class consciousness. We find it in the belief that a multiracial working class coalition can lead itself out of the cave of crony capitalism and into the light of sustainable self-determination. There is hope in fighting for someone you don’t know, in meeting the needs of the many and not the few. There is hope in organizing, in fellowship, in shared struggle.