Who Is Afraid Of Whom?

Posted by Larry Miller on July 15, 2012 under Why | Be the First to Comment

A few days ago, I took a little trip back to the time when it was almost a cliché to have a southern sheriff run a speed trap scam to separate Americans – and possibly a few illegals – from their hard earned money as they pass through their jurisdiction. I had been warned about three little towns along Rt. 301 in central Florida, so I was prepared when I rolled on through these three little towns.

Someone had the concern for his fellow citizens to create a billboard warn unsuspecting motorists that they were approaching a speed trap a few miles up the road. It was a simple sign – black with white letters telling people to watch out for officers in the bushes. It was a simple act of rebellion rarely seen today.

The situation became even more interesting as I entered the first town of Lawtey. Instead of running a few miles per hour over the speed limit… people were actually driving below the posted limits. This was different. I saw first hand what the town fathers were trying to do to the people – locals and out of towners alike. The people were afraid of the police – afraid of getting a ticket just for driving through town.

As this thought was forming in my mind, I looked in my mirror and saw a white Malibu driven by a clean cut young man who looked a little young to have even gotten into college, let alone graduated. He was, as the NASCAR boys say, “up on the wheel” watching my every move. I though, “OK, let’s see what happens.” I began to gradually slow down from my previous sub-speed limit pace. Nothing happened. Eventually I changed lanes and watched this young defender of right zip himself up to the truck that had been just ahead of me.

As he passed, I noticed that it wasn’t even a real police car he was driving. It did have the antenna that my confirmation, It also had a small radar device on the dashboard, and the only marking on the car was a “Click It or Ticket” bumper sticker. He followed the new fellow for a while and, as everyone was going between 5 to 10 mph below the posted speed, there was nothing for him to do… so he soon became bored with the chase and moved on to tailgate another unsuspecting citizen.

I had visions of Boss Hogg and Roscoe P. Coltrane sitting in some courthouse just waiting on their deputy to come running in with the news that he “got him another one.” On the other hand, as I looked around the community, I saw it was none too prosperous, like the other two municipalities playing this game, Stark and Waldo. For those who really wonder, “Where’s Waldo?”, it’s on highway 301 in central Florida.

In any case, I drove past many empty stores, gas stations and miscellaneous abandoned commercial buildings. It looked like things were not going well in this place. It is quite possible, given the plight of cities like Scranton, PA, that the various police departments were just trying to raise money to pay their salaries. While I felt for them if this was truly the case, I had no intentions of contributing to their finances.

I’m sure that some local LEOs would not agree, but someone driving 2 or 3 miles over the speed limit does not appear to be providing a threat to the public safety – and, to my understanding, this is the purpose of such laws. It does provide, on the other hand, the opportunity for some level of government to take more money from the people. Unlike Justice Roberts, I do not care if it is called a fee, a tax or a fine. Whatever one chooses to call the transaction, the individual has less of his resources and the government has more.

Worse than the idea of being fined for causing no harm, was what I saw in the people. Everyone was so cowed by these governmental actions that they proceeded through these three towns like sheep. I have no idea what the price of committing an infraction was, but the people sure seemed to have a fear of Barney Fife and unmarked Malibu.

In reality, this speed trap stuff is small potatoes. However with greater intrusions and penalizing of individuals and businesses, we see more and knuckling under to pressure from our governmental masters to take all sorts of foolish and detrimental actions for fear of having one agency or another come down on them, with no recourse available, like happened to Gibson Guitars. This regime is creating a climate of fear in some corners of our great land. These “public servants” fail to recognize that they exist to work for the welfare, not harm, of the people.

Thomas Jefferson told us, “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” At this time, we need to remember and heed the words of the progressive icon, Franklin Roosevelt, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Let these people not succeed in silencing the truth.

If we keep on doing what is right – no matter what the consequences – they will not be able to enslave us. These would be masters want to replace our God as supplier of our needs and definer of our morality. In the long term, they cannot win. We simply need to remember who the real source of our daily needs is, and who really sets the standard of right and wrong. As long as we do that and look into the eyes of the future generations, we cannot run in fear from the conflict, and we cannot be defeated.

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