Indiana has been a red state for many elections, and most of its counties lean republican. Because of this, it is not uncommon to see strange and extreme ideologies among democrats running in the state, perhaps hoping to gain national attention for fundraising or to get greater notice (or even to buy votes).
Dan Canon is a democrat running for the national Congressional seat in Indiana’s Ninth Congressional District. He’s running a heavily ‘populist’ and ‘progressive’ platform, including a lot of the more extreme leftist ideological points. Among his policy proposals, Canon apparently wants to pay reparations to African-Americans. Further, he wants some part of those reparations to be paid by companies that ‘benefited’ from slavery.
Dan Canon is known in the Ninth District, and in Indiana in general. He is a ‘prominent’ civil rights attorney who worked on gay marriage issues in Kentucky, and actually had some degree of success.
He’s known for being a leftist, which isn’t likely to play well. Even less likely to do well in Indiana’s heavily-republican Ninth Congressional District is the fact that one of his big policy proposals is reparations for slavery.
Under the ‘priorities’ subheader of his website, are a number of liberal talking points. He wants single-payer health insurance (which he incorrectly calls healthcare), he vows to ‘bring back the middle class,’ he wants to use legislation to prevent what he perceives of as ‘discrimination,’ the list goes on and on.
But at the bottom of the page, hidden nicely under the tagline ‘Work to Close the Racial Wealth Gap,’ he says he supports House Resolution 40 (H.R. 40), the Commission to Study and Develop Reparations Proposals for African-Americans Act.
Basically, H.R. 40 is a bill designed to try and find ways to provide an advantage to African-Americans (a somewhat racist suggestion that the government has to do things for them).
Among other duties, it would set up a study on ‘reparations’ for the African-Americans who can prove some sort of slave background, those who can show that their ancestors were brought to the United States in chains.
As the bill suggests, it ONLY cares about reparations for African-Americans and their descendants. There’s no mention of reparations for anyone from Europe who was a slave or indentured servant.
At least some portion of these reparations would be taken from businesses who ‘profited’ from the slave trade, even though most of those businesses no longer exist (and haven’t for decades) and even though current owners and investors (who would be penalized by his ideas) had nothing to do with the slave trade.
Reparations are a terrible idea. The last group in America to receive reparations were the Japanese-Americans who were put into internment camps during World War 2 by then-President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (a noted leftist/progressive of his time).
They received reparations because they could point to clear monetary loss; homes, real estate, and real property.
H.R. 40 was introduced in Congress by disgraced former Congressman John Conyers, who has since resigned under the weight of multiple allegations of sexual assault and harassment.
It is a far-left pipe dream for democrats, and not something moderates can agree with. It is certainly not something that republicans or libertarians would agree with. It’s also simply absurd on its face.
But then again, most of Dan Canon’s policy proposals are extreme and nonsensical.
Canon wants to push for $15 an hour minimum wage, as well as requiring businesses and the government to provide more coverages for employees, like maternity and paternity leave, more sick leave, and the like.
He’s in favor of forcing private unions upon businesses, and of measures that allow unions to identify and bully people who don’t vote for unionization.
He wants to see more power given to the EPA, which has long abused that power to slow the growth of businesses and to slow construction projects.
He wants to see abortion-on-demand and to ensure that it can be funded with tax dollars by repealing the Hyde Amendment.
He wants to “fully subsidize” public higher education, further flooding the market with college graduates with worthless degrees.
He wants to create a de facto gun registry by forcing universal background checks on every ‘gun-related’ transaction (what is a ‘gun-related’ transaction? Buying a magazine? Buying ammunition?), and to allow the CDC to waste more money pushing obviously biased and poorly-performed research like it did before 1996.
He even wants to make sure that students are forced to go to terrible public schools and crush the charter school system that has, in many places, improved outcomes for students in poor and under-served areas.
Indiana’s Ninth Congressional District includes the city of Bloomington, along with much of the Indiana side of the metropolitan area of Louisville, Kentucky. To call the Ninth Congressional District a Republican district is an understatement; in 2016, it voted for Republican Trey Hollingsworth to fill the seat vacated by Todd Young (who moved on to the Senate), giving him 14 percent more of the vote than his nearest competitor.
So, whatever Dan Canon may say, it is not likely that he will be able to do it. He’s a progressive populist, and that isn’t likely to serve him well.