David Dunn-Rankin

Every week I receive lots of reader email. I especially enjoy hearing from those who disagree with me.

I can’t share all the reader mail I received about my column where we discussed the fact that 10 percent of all Florida’s drivers on the road have a suspended license – but here are just a few more of the many thoughtful notes I received.

“I read your viewpoint with interest. While I’m sure you are much to the left of me politically (I say, if the poor can’t pay the court costs, they should be –  as all should be – careful to stay out of the courts), I agree with you on this subject.

“I have long thought the driver’s license should be issued solely for the purpose of establishing a person’s qualification to operate a motor vehicle. It should be revoked or suspended only if that person demonstrates they no longer meet the qualifications by virtue of violation of traffic laws, of which there are thousands (I like to exaggerate, but not by much).

“The driver’s license should not be used by governments at any level as a ‘sword’ to hold over the head of any citizen. This means the license should not be subject to suspension or revocation for reasons such as: failure to pay child support, not behaving at school, failure to pay tolls, failure to carry car insurance, failure to pay fines or court costs, etc. (A suspension of tag registration may be appropriate for some of these.) As you stated, people will drive anyway, and suspending the driver’s license is just an excuse to ‘pile on more charges’ and collect more money.

“Many years ago, when Lori Edwards and Ginny Brown-Waite were state representatives (or was one a senator?), I presented my idea to both. Lori Edwards, a Democrat, was kind enough to reply that it was worth consideration. On the other hand, from Brown-Waite’s reply you’d have thought I’d called for the execution of all the children. She (or her staff) totally missed the point. I never supported her again, while I’ve continually supported Ms. Edwards. She is about the only Democrat that gets my vote. I am assuming she is still a Democrat. – W.”

“I completely agree with you. Court costs should be paid out of general taxes. And it’s so unfair that those young people who are working are paying such a higher rate than all people. – M.”

“Thank you for helping some of us who have blamed the poor, whom we are not, for their violating the law, when we are as much guilty by allowing ourselves a cheaper ride at their expense. I am embarrassed. Though the law should be upheld, it is not law-abiding when we who can operate the law to our advantage and to others to their disadvantage. My support would be to level the playing field so that every citizen has at least a fair chance. – R.”

We are lucky to have the best newspaper readers in America. Did you notice the polite and thoughtful comments? Almost all the reader emails that I received did not contain the angry adverbs and adjectives that often seem to permeate public discussion.

My goal each week is to tell folks something new or old in a new way. Sometimes I’m a little left, advocating for those with a suspended driver’s license. Sometimes I’m a little right, advocating for our main street merchants who’ve been crushed by the heavy hand of government in this pandemic.

It juices my batteries to hear from so many readers. I’m sorry that space won’t allow me to share all of your wonderful emails.

Share your thoughts.