Monday, September 18, 2017

Why Dan Canon For Congress? Read His Guest Post


Yesterday Blue America endorsed my campaign and sent out a letter to its national membership asking for contributions. I appreciate everything Blue America is doing to advance progressive causes nationwide, and I am honored to have their endorsement. I want to make it clear that this campaign isn't really about me or what I've accomplished. It's about you. It's about building a movement. And it's about bringing real change to the whole country-- the kind of change that I believe has to come from the heartland. I'm running for Congress because I have a vision for a fairer and a better America for working families, and for the kind of world we want our kids and grandchildren to inherit. I think we can make this vision a reality.

I'll be taking on some of the big-ticket items our elected officials should have been tackling for decades, such as:

Healthcare. As diverse as my district is, nearly everyone is talking about healthcare first and foremost. And for good reason. Every other advanced nation in the world - including nations which Americans have supported with our tax dollars - guarantees healthcare for all of its citizens. And every one of those nations have better health outcomes, including infant mortality, maternal mortality, and overall life expectancy. Not one of these countries would require its citizens to ruin their financial futures just for the privilege of staying alive. But here in the United States, we still can’t even find out what we will pay for a service before we receive it, and working-class families go bankrupt from medical debt every day. That's inexcusable. If there is a silver lining to the Trump cloud, it's that people are really talking about where we ought to be with healthcare instead of where we are. Even the Democrats who opposed a public option in the ACA are starting to see the light on single-payer-type systems (or "Medicare for All," if you prefer). I want to help everyone see that light a little brighter.

Paid family and medical leave. Everyone I have talked to in my district knows someone who left to go to the coasts - New York, California, etc. The heartland of America consistently produces top talent in all areas, but we have a tough time hanging on to it. Five states and D.C. have a carrot that the rest of us need: they support working families by offering paid family and medical leave. New York is going to provide 12 weeks of paid leave beginning in 2018. Again, this is an amenity that is enjoyed by most of the rest of the world. Only America expects families to have a baby and then go back to work the next day - or else. Our working families, in all 50 states, deserve better.

Campaign finance reform. Very few people of any integrity are interested in getting into politics at this level. That's partially because very few people of integrity can afford it. I’m not wealthy, but I am a self-employed lawyer and am fortunate enough to be able to do this stuff without getting fired or going bankrupt (so far). I don’t see how a worker who gets paid hourly could do it. Maybe 50 years ago, when these races cost a couple thousand dollars at most. Not now, when congressional races cost in the tens of millions. It is next to impossible for the working class to become political leaders, and thus next to impossible to get anyone to earnestly try to resolve the widening wealth gap. To the extent there should be any one issue that should govern whether and how vigorously you back a candidate in any race, anywhere, it should be their stance on campaign finance reform. So ask. Ask us what our position is. Ask us where our campaign's money is coming from. Ask us what specifically we intend to do about toppling American oligarchy. And ask whether we'll remain committed - really committed - to that course of action once we get into office.

Dramatic increase in the minimum wage. This has got to happen now. The working class is dying off because wages are obscenely low. We should make the idea of the "working poor" a relic of the past, and stop letting the GOP scare us with fairytales of economic collapse if workers are paid a liveable wage. Nearly all available, relevant data suggests that a substantial wage increase would boost workers and small businesses alike, and it is long overdue.

Fully subsidized public college. Everyone has an interest in an educated society. Very few people think it's okay for our children and grandchildren to have to be saddled with debt for their entire lives just because they want to be well-educated. The student-loan bubble is one that will eventually burst, and there's just no reason for it to exist. Tennessee's recent move to make their community colleges entirely tuition-free should be a wakeup call. We can and should invest in our country by providing fully subsidized education to students who are ready, willing, and able to accept it nationwide.

Marijuana. Finally, I am committed to a course of action that has wide bipartisan support all over the country: the decriminalization of marijuana. The state of Colorado pulled in nearly $200 million in tax revenue last year thanks to its $1.3 billion in marijuana revenue. Cannabis sales are forecasted to grow at a compound rate of 25%, from $6.7 billion in 2016 to $20.2 billion by 2021. If you extend that policy to nationwide sales, and cut the head off the federal government's ridiculous 80-year vendetta against cannabis users, we are talking about a big revenue booster. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Last I checked, drug dealers and other black-market "professionals" don't pay taxes. But a legitimate marijuana industry takes away needless taxpayer expenditures on the criminal justice system, creates jobs, and boosts all tax revenues substantially. We can turn that additional revenue into prescription drug monitoring programs, expanded access to healthcare services, and effective, ongoing treatment programs for addicts. Legal medical cannabis has cut opioid deaths as much as 20%, while it is increasing in states without it. All relevant, available data so far suggests that marijuana is not a "gateway drug," but an exit drug. Our farmers, our workers, our towns and cities need a new industry to help replace jobs we’ve lost, and our District will benefit from growing, processing, researching, and providing medicine to the people who need it.

Goal ThermometerI fully recognize that many of these ideals can't be achieved overnight. But we have to start talking about and working toward a better society with some clear goals in mind. The ideas above are just some of the big changes we need, and we have to figure out how we're going to make them happen. We can be incremental in our methodologies, but we must be revolutionary in our aspirations. And elected officials who bring no revolutionary aspirations to the table should be denied a seat. Blue America, and the progressives who support their mission, understand that. I'm proud to be able to do this work with them, and with all of you.

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At 5:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's fucking Indiana. and it's the fucking democraps. Hope you can work miracles.


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