Yea, it’s a bit of a click-bait headline, but i’m confident that if I deliver the goods you’ll be so dazzled by my historical insight that you’ll follow me on Facebook and share my blog with your friends.
So here goes..
Let’s ask a simple question. What on God’s green earth do we have speed limits for? I can’t be sure what insane amount of money this country has blown on big, shiny speed limit signs (and neither can those who carelessly spent the money, for that matter), but I can tell you that they serve absolutely no purpose other than to provide a means of fundraising for the state. I claim this based on the fact that the police enforce this law entirely by discretion.
It doesn’t matter one iota if the speed limit – ie, the fastest you’re allowed to go before breaking the law – is 70 mph. You can definitely go up to 75 without getting pulled over. Right? Hell, you can easily go 80, everyone does. Even 85 is usually fine. Unless it’s the end of the month and the highway trust fund ‘revenues’ are falling short, then 75 is the most you’ll want to do. But if it’s a rainy day, the limit is probably closer to 85 because, come on, why enforce the law if it means getting wet?
The enforcement of speed limit law is completely arbitrary. It means nothing. If you’re driving just 1 MPH over the outdated speed limits easily obtainable by todays lighter, faster, more efficient cars, you can be stopped by a policeman, brought before a judge, and fined by the state. It’s not a certainty, however. Whether or not you experience such misfortunes are based on whether or not the law enforcer feels like it.
Furthermore, there are many many many many many police who are obviously above the law becsuse they’ll happily cruise down the highways the same speeds the rest of us would be ticketed for. Make no mistake, i don’t blame the police. They’re operating in an environment that we as society have created. We accept these terms and move on with our lives because it’s easier.
There is literally no question that James Madison rolls over in his grave at such system of governance. In his own words from Federalist No. 62:
It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.
It’s simple. Laws are either laws or they’re not. If I can reasonably expect to break the law up to a gray, immeasurable point without enforcement, than the law means nothing at all. It’s ‘incoherent’. It ‘cannot be understood’. After all, laws are supposed to exist to protect our rights as citizens, not put us on edge when we’re driving our kids to baseball practice.
More brilliance from Madison:
It is a misfortune incident to republican government, though in a less degree than to other governments, that those who administer it may forget their obligations to their constituents, and prove unfaithful to their important trust.
The predictable counter to my argument is to simply follow the speed limits in every case. You don’t need to worry about getting a speeding ticket if you’re following the law, right?
Ok, fair point, but I would caution you about throwing stones in glass houses, since it seems that literally no one follows speed limits. I drive every day. I have eyes. No one does 70 in a 70. No one ever does 45 in a 45. Ever. And even if you do, what about everyone else? If we comply with a law, do we not expect the enforcement of those laws against those who don’t? Or do laws only exist to monitor our own personal behavior for our own personal benefits? That’s what Jesus is for, friends. Government exists to protect our rights from those who would trample them, the least of which would be ourselves.
I don’t point all of this out to slow us down, but to speed us up. These laws and the arbitrary enforcement of them only impede our progress as individuals. Am I to believe that if we deregulated the roads every driver would suddenly lose all interest in self preservation and start flying in and out of oncoming traffic doing 120 mph? I doubt it. People want to live.
Abolish the ridiculous speed limit laws that aren’t saving any lives and let people live. Either that, or enforce the laws.
Anything in between is, as Madison would say, tyranny.