Driver’s licenses do not make roads safer

I find it somewhat disturbing that both candidates in the District 7 Republican state senator primary race consider violating the fundamental human right of free travel a pressing issue. The "most significant local issue," in fact.

Of course, this violation is dishonestly framed as ending the issuance of "driver's licenses" for "illegal immigrants."

It is strange that the people most in favor of this out-of-bounds abuse of authority are also the ones who most often advocate restoring the Constitution to its position as the highest law of the land. Those two positions are mutually exclusive. The Constitution, not to mention Natural Law, makes no provision for declaring anyone an "illegal immigrant' That's right — regulating immigration is unconstitutional and puts you on the wrong side of the law. Who's "illegal" now?

You can support the Constitution, or you can try to enforce laws against "illegal immigrants," but you can't do both without being inconsistent.

Where does that leave the issue? Isn't there a problem that needs to be solved? Yes, but it isn't what you might believe it is.

The root problem is the unfounded belief that government has the authority to require a license before anyone is allowed to drive. How far do you think such a bizarre notion would have gotten with Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, or Benjamin Franklin? I think they would have ridiculed the first politician or bureaucrat to make such a demand, and resisted, in a spirited manner, the first soldier who tried to enforce it. Once again, the Constitution that they established simply doesn't allow it.

Remember that the Constitution was intended to restrain the government, not "the people," and that anything that is not expressly permitted of government, in writing in the Constitution, is strictly prohibited. If it isn't there, the government can't legally do it.

Those who make the claim that since government builds the roads they can regulate travel thereupon are missing the point that government has no business building roads in the first place.

So, I am in the position of provisionally agreeing with both candidates and those who find this to be a "most significant local issue. "Illegal immigrants" (or independent migrants, if we were to be more honest) should not be issued driver's licenses. And neither should anyone else.

It's not about "safety;" it's about liberty. If a driver is being dangerous there are real-time ways to stop the threat when it occurs.

Possessing a license is a guarantee of nothing, as some of the safest drivers I have ever known have proved by not being caught.

Kent McManigal is a freelance writer who sometimes offers commentary on our websites. Contact him at:

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