Even in Nashville, Tennessee, Professor Carol M. Swain, Ph.D. is an unconventional candidate for Mayor, but the political Left’s fight to turn her city into an unrecognizable region where the needs of the well-connected are put ahead of the needs of city residents has propelled her on a path she never thought she’d take.
Swain’s personal story is one that quite literally exemplifies the American dream. She grew up in southwestern Virginia, living in extreme poverty with her mother, stepfather, and 11 other siblings.
A short documentary on Swain’s life tells the story most accurately, wherein an education changed her life’s trajectory forever.
“I’m a first generation college student,” Swain told me. “My mother had a 10th grade education and my father had a 3rd grade education.”
Swain was such a trailblazer of her time that when she wanted an academic scholarship, but was told that as a black woman it would not be possible, she set out to start her own.
“I thought I’d start one,” Swain said in our conversation.
She went to a wealthy black man in the area and simply asked him to help her start her own academic scholarship program for black students. Swain proudly relayed that the academic scholarship she started continues to reward eight to nine minority students every year.
That’s the type of woman Swain has always seen herself to be. Not a politician, but a rule changer, a change maker, a go-getter.
“I’ve always been an activist at spirit. I’m just wired that way,” Swain said.
So why a run for mayor of Nashville? Like her academic career and her journey through life thus far, Swain says she is not going to wait around for others to protect her city from a Democrat-led agenda that has made housing unaffordable for the working and middle class and is now attempting to put a billion-dollar transit plan in place.
Instead, like her fight to get herself out of poverty, Swain is stepping up to the plate.
For more than a couple decades, cities across America, including Nashville, have undergone rapid transformation at the hands of Democrat leadership who are often aligned with wealthy real estate developers, the political establishment, donors, and big business.
From New York to Los Angeles to New Orleans, the working and middle class communities that once were able to live in the cities they work in have been pushed out to the neighboring suburbs. Nashville, Swain says, is no different.
“People want to retain some of the character of old Nashville,” Swain said. “The Democrats are creating a city that the 1% will control and everyone else will have to live in the suburbs and have to drive into work.”
“Nashville needs some practical, common sense governance,” Swain continued. “No matter what the Democrats say, everything they’ve done says that they really don’t care about the people they purport to care about.”
Last year, Nashville experienced its second-highest murder rate in the city’s history, a sympton of Democrat leadership that is not concerned with its residents, but rather its donors. Meanwhile, property prices are through the roof and not slated to get better any time soon.
“It’s not a vision that the citizens want,” Swain said of the current direction of Nashville. “It’s what the developers and bankers want.”
Swain says between crime and unaffordable housing, Nashville — like so many American cities — has become a less attractive place to live.
“Cities run by Democrats have corruption, violent crime, and [are] unaffordable,” Swain said. “That’s what’s happening to Nashville. It’s not too late to turn it around.”
Swain’s vision? Nashville First.
“I want to give the city some tender love and care,” Swain said. “Focus on the citizens of Nashville. Find them affordable housing, to see if we can make the city affordable for people working in the city.”
Swain’s fight for Nashville is not one isolated to Nashville. It’s a broader fight for American cities that have had to endure rapid mass immigration, increasing housing costs, crime, and sanctuary city policies – all at the hands of wealthy, well-connected power players.
Along the way, Swain is optimistic that the fight for America’s cities won’t stop with her.
“I’m hoping there will be a lot of other people that will follow my example,” Swain says.