Opinion | Raymon Doane: Make lives easier for individuals, not large corporations
U.S. Senate Libertarian candidate
Live and let live.
We all possess the right to pursue life, liberty and happiness, so long as we don’t infringe upon the rights of others to do the same. This is the philosophical mindset that has brought about some of the most important and transformative episodes of American history, from the our independence from the British crown to the abolition of slavery.
Sadly, this philosophy isn’t widely practiced now. Arguably, what we are witnessing right now is the exact opposite of the “live and let live” axiom — from those dying from COVID-19-related complications to those not being able to reopen their own small business due to heavy-handed mandates and from the countless individuals like George Floyd who were deprived of life and due process via extrajudicial killing to the millions who are currently incarcerated for victimless crimes.
And our leadership from government — or the complete lack thereof — is entirely to blame for this mess.
The early days of the pandemic demonstrated a failure of leadership at the highest levels of government. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration failed us when they only approved the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s coronavirus test — and that test didn’t even work. Our inability to properly test for COVID-19 resulted in a vacuum of information where few people knew what to do with this new virus.
The increasing demands to “do something” resulted in local and state governments shutting down and quarantining their people and shuttering their businesses. We now face one of the most dire economic futures that we have ever experienced since the Great Depression.
And how did our leaders support you during this economic downturn? They wrote you one measly check to cover your expenses for a monthslong lockdown. Meanwhile, while they expected $1,200 to cover your rent, utilities, food, health care and child care expenses for three months, Congress approved billions of dollars in subsidies for large corporations.
Simply put, our leaders failed us.
But this failure isn’t a recent phenomenon.
What we are witnessing in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death is further evidence of the failure to challenge bad policies for far too long. Such bad policies include, but are not limited to, qualified immunity that shields bad actors from legal liability and the overcriminalization of everything — from small traffic infractions to intrusive gun laws. When we increase the reasons for police to interact with the general public — i.e., more laws to enforce — we increase the likelihood of tragedies like George Floyd to occur.
So what do we do?
We need to find and develop creative solutions that protect the health of the immunocompromised but not at the expense of our economic livelihoods. This means harnessing the scientific and technological prowess that has made our country the intellectual hub of the world while also working with local and state governments to reopen so that small-business owners and entrepreneurs can drive our economic recovery. Meanwhile, if the government continues to restrict the economic activity of individuals and families, then it needs to provide a higher level of support that favors actual individuals and families.
We also need to address the issues being raised by the Black Lives Matter protests. George Floyd’s murder is but one part of a multidimensional issue that has been ignored for far too long, involving a half-century’s worth of failed drug prohibition that has only yielded an incarceral state that overwhelms our prison system, an increasingly militarized and aggressive police force, and a downward spiral of our civil liberties — from civil asset forfeiture that robs Americans of their property rights without due process, to “no-knock raids” that kill Americans in their very own homes.
But, as we all know, our issues are not limited to the pandemic and police accountability. We need to scale back our military efforts abroad. We also need to develop a fair, equitable and easy-to-navigate tax system — one that makes lives easier for individuals, not large corporations. We also need to escape the vicious cycle of electoral insanity — namely, our two-party system — that keeps putting our country on this collision course.
Again, we need to live and let live.
All of this — and more — is why I am running as the Libertarian Party’s candidate for the U.S. Senate. If you are ready for the United States to live and let live, please visit Doane4Colorado.com and consider supporting my campaign.
Raymon Doane is an Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate.
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