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David Dunn-Rankin

Sometimes I get emails from readers that sound something like this: “You liberal lamestream media are the enemies of the state.”

I want to be clear to our readers. Thank you for the compliment – I wear the Enemy of the State badge with honor.

You might also be an Enemy of the State.

At heart, I am neither a Republican or a Democrat. I am a believer in the principle that a government closer to the people governs better than a government far away. I’m a believer in individual rights and responsibilities.

I prefer the ability of individuals to make their own decision versus more and more government rules. I don’t want the “state” at any level trampling on the individual. That’s what politicians do – make more rules. All levels of government, the state, make more and more rules each year we individuals must follow.

The Republican-led government of Florida passed several hundred bills last year. How many old rules did they undo? I counted one. That’s a supermajority Republican-controlled state government. A party that, in theory, is about smaller government.

The tendency of elected officials to make more and more rules is natural. Could anyone get reelected on the slogan, “I went to Tallahassee and we didn’t pass a single bill”?

If there must be a rule, like mask-wearing, I’d prefer the city make rules than the federal government, or the state government, because the city is closer to the people. They can customize a solution locally to their people rather than have a one-size-fits-all rule like the state of Florida or federal government applies.

I’d prefer our school boards have more decision-making about our local children’s education. Our state and federal governments have passed so many laws relating to our children's education that our local school boards are allowed to play in a small sandbox with predetermined toys.

Wanting power and decision-making first in the individual and next closer to the people makes me a localist and anti-state.

But the growth of the state at each level is inexorable. They even make rules for each other. I’d prefer the county stop getting all these unfunded mandates from the state. That’s not going to happen. Decision-making becomes more centralized in Tallahassee every year.

I prefer the state of Florida to make rules I must follow over the federal government with its one-size-fits-all laws. That’s not going to happen. Decision-making is more centralized in Washington, D.C., every year.

I prefer a messy split of power in Washington, D.C., between Congress, the Senate, the President and the Judiciary instead of the increasing trend to a more imperial president. That’s not going to happen. Our country’s decision-making becomes more and more centralized in the President with each new person elected.

We have a Supreme Court that recently ruled the President of the United States does not need to follow the laws passed by Congress. A President, thanks to our Supreme Court, can spend taxpayer money however he wishes, despite that money not being spent on what Congress authorized.

Unfortunately, both Republicans and Democrats want to create ever-increasing power of the “state” – just for different passions and programs.

We are on a long-term path, embraced by both Republicans and Democrats, to centralize more and more power in the state. I am an enemy of that “state.” I believe ever-increasing centralized government power is neither healthy nor follows the core principles this country was founded on.

I believe it is part of the job of the news media to push back on the ever-increasingly powerful state – whichever party is in power. If the media won’t advocate for individuals versus the state, who will?

I’m a proud enemy of the ever-increasingly powerful “state.” By my definition, are you an enemy of the state, too? Would the founders of this country be enemies of the state?

Share your thoughts.