Florida is certainly not as homogeneous as it was when I grew up in Homestead in the 1950s and 1960s. There has been a great alien invasion from foreign countries and from yankeedom. Nevertheless, much of the original Florida survives in the heartlands of the state, while entirely different cultures predominate in other areas. Certainly I would love to see the entire state return to what is was like in the 1950s, but I realize that is not going to happen. But can Florida be free? And how might we help bring that about?
Radical political actions would need to be taken and while I don’t claim to have all of the answers, I do think that there are some things for which we can strive.
Some goals for making Florida free:
1. Sovereignty and political power need to devolve to the lowest possible level. Since we already have 67 counties in Florida, we can start with them. The most powerful and sovereign government should reside in the county -- and it should be none too powerful. The individual counties can make their own political decisions; raise their own revenues; and see to the protection of their own citizens. The character of the counties may differ greatly, from the strong Latin influence that is now in the South, to the strong traditionalist and Southern culture in the more Northern counties. Rural Levy County, where I now live, need not be forced into a mold that might work for the generally urban and liberal Dade and Broward counties.
2. Dismantle the strong central governments in both Washington, DC and Tallahassee. The only chief executive officer that any of us should have to deal with should reside in our own counties, and he should be directly accountable to the citizens of that county. Call him a mayor, county executive, county manager, sheriff, whatever. He should be elected or chosen as determined by the Constitutions of the individual counties. Such constitutions and forms of government should be determined by the individual counties.
3. Form a state government on the pattern of the original Articles of Confederation for the United States. Each county may send a designated number of delegates to Tallahassee to the State convention. In any case, each county shall have only one vote in any deliberations. The convention shall only consider things that are concerns of the state as a whole and which can only be addressed by the counties in aggregate. There will be no chief executive office for the state, i.e., a governor. The state can impose no taxes, but may request funds from the counties, when it is determined to be required by the state convention.
4. There may also be the need to form a miniscule government on the national level. That too should be on the pattern of the original Articles of Confederation with one vote for each state in the national assembly and no chief executive officer for the nation, i.e., a president. The national government can impose no taxes, but may request funds as may be required from the states, who, if approved by the state convention would request them from the individual counties.
The county would be the main and most powerful unit of governance (and it would ultimately derive its delegated power from the individual and the family). The county governments would be as limited as possible, as determined by the citizens of each individual county.
I understand that there are many things that would need to be worked out and thought through. However, I am convinced that short of something like this, we are on the path to blood in the streets. The left already seems hell-bent on bringing this about. I think they should be careful what they wish for; they might actually get it; and I don't see how it can turn out well for them. I don’t see how it can turn our well for anyone.
Without a president; without a governor; there will be no competition for these all too powerful offices and the only real government that matters will be local and accountable. San Francisco can keep on being San Francisco; Miami can keep on being Miami; and Levy County, Florida can keep on being Levy County, Florida. Why in the world should liberal San Francisco or liberal Miami have any say at all about how we live in Levy County?
As Jefferson Davis said in his inaugural address; “All we ask is to be left alone.” A system like the one proposed might allow all of us to leave everyone else alone and restore Liberty for all of us.
Before closing, I will address what might be a common objection: “How would all the various functions of government be maintained under such a system?”
First, it should be recognized that most of the things we consider to be “functions of government” today are totally illegitimate and should not be maintained at all. A system like this would bring about their dissolution.
The ONLY legitimate functions of government are to:
1) Protect citizens and their property from criminal violations.
2) To punish and extract restitution for any such criminal violations.
3) To protect the citizenry from foreign invasion.
Most government and government programs – at every level – could, and should be abolished. Those functions are best addressed by individuals, families, communities and voluntary organizations.
I’m just throwing this out for consideration. Hopefully some folks younger and more intelligent than I can improve on my musings and bring them, or something much better, to fruition.
Free Florida First advocates for a Free, Independent, Godly, Prosperous, and Traditionally Southern Florida.