Shannon Bray is the Libertarian Party’s nominee for the United States Senate in North Carolina and will be on the ballot for the upcoming midterm election.
Bray formerly served in the United States Navy and worked as a cyber analyst at the Department of Defense. He currently works various information technology jobs and is pursuing a remote doctoral degree in computer science at the Missouri University of Science and Technology.
In 2019, Bray unsuccessfully ran for Congress in North Carolina’s third congressional district to replace late Congressman Walter Jones.
Why he’s running
Bray hopes to be on as many ballots as possible in hopes that people “care enough about the future of America” to actually research the people that they can vote for.
Bray asserted that he doesn’t necessarily want to be elected, but rather wants to use his candidacy to “put a spotlight on corruption and then have everyone else fix it.”
“I just want to live in a world where people aren’t messing with us,” Bray said. He argued that the federal government is only responsible for national defense, while the other responsibilities they’ve taken on only force people’s dependence on the government.
Despite being personally anti-abortion, Bray believes that abortion should be legal until birth.
“I don’t believe that the federal government has any right to tell a woman what she can and can’t do with her body,” he said.
Bray indicated that he would not support a federal law preventing states from banning abortion. He thinks abortion should be left entirely to the states.
Economy, inflation and crypto
Bray believes that inflation is a tax on the poor caused by “decades worth of government over-printing” of money.
“Both the Republicans and the Democrats both unilaterally believe that the best way to get out of inflation is to tax the poor,” Bray said.
Bray believes the best way to help people is to stop taxing people. He supports abolishing the Federal Reserve, returning to the gold standard and decentralizing government money.
“One of the huge things on my platform is cryptocurrency,” he said. “I understand not only the micro and cryptocurrency aspects of it, but also how blockchain can enable a society for transparent elections.”
Ending the war on drugs
Bray supports the decriminalization of all drugs and the legalization of small amounts of all drugs except fentanyl. As a disabled veteran, Bray supports legalizing both the recreational and medical use of marijuana for pain management.
“I have chronic pain in the right side of my body. The VA, their recommendation is about 20 sets of pills that contain antidepressants,” Bray said. “The opioid crisis has killed more of my brothers I served with than the bullet did, and when that happens, it breaks my heart.”
Bray argued that criminalizing drugs makes it harder for drug addicts to get the help they need and scares people from calling for help when they see someone overdosing.
“Right now, what we have is a society that is built on punishment, to the point where states get federal funding for the number of prisoners they have, so they’re being paid to imprison more people,” Bray said.
Lowering healthcare costs
Bray blamed both major parties for forcing healthcare regulations which have driven up costs. He argued that big pharmaceutical companies fund the re-elections of many representatives to avoid negotiating drug prices.
Bray said he supported the collapse of the U.S. patent system for medicines to reduce costs, instead allowing the free market to determine drug quality and cost.
Protecting the environment
Bray believes the best way to protect the environment is to hold people financially responsible for environmental damages they cause that end up harming others.
“The people [harmed] should be able to sue and make whatever money they can,” Bray said, asserting that the government often protects polluters from accountability. “The EPA is one of the biggest culprits.”
Bray also voiced his support for nuclear power and its safety after living on nuclear-powered submarines for parts of his life.
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Jazper Lu is a Trinity junior and managing editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.