Coppin’ a Feel: TSA Continues to Push Travellers’ Buttons


In two days, I will be flying from Nashville to Kansas City to spend the holiday with my parents. Along the way, I will be subject to the increasingly ludicrous circus act that is the TSA-standard (Transportation Security Administration) airport security.

I read an article by George F. Will today in the Washington Post about a man named William F. Buckley. Buckley wrote a memorable complaint about the fact that Americans do not complain enough. At first, this comment seemed kind of ridiculous, considering we have it pretty good here in America and yet we seem to complain incessantly anyway. However, the more I thought about his topic, the more it made sense. Having long ago accepted airport security as a necessary annoyance, I, along with most other people, seem to have signed a mental contract to just accept their actions and move on. In other words, once I decided to give them an inch, I gave them a mile.

When I was a little kid, I would go to the airport with my Mom to pick up my Dad after a business trip. We would walk right to his gate without worrying about what we had in our pockets or factoring in the amount of time we’d lose at security. I could run down the hall and jump up into my fathers arms. Of all my memories I have of my Dad when I was little, those stand out most vividly. Now, I can’t even stay parked for longer than 30 seconds in a ring of traffic before a guard shoos me along. My father has to practically jump into a moving vehicle.

I understand why the rules are in place. There IS a danger. However, the extent to which regular travel has become a clogged, mismanaged exercise in frustration and privacy violation is simply intolerable. An 80 yr old woman is not a terrorist. A 3 yr old’s teddy bear is not a bomb threat. Call it profiling, but selective searches are far more likely to yield results. In the name of social equality we’ve sacrificed personal liberty.

Groping young women and searching under waistlines for possible explosives is a step too far. The TSA has made air travel such a tedious enterprise that it is little wonder that the airlines are suffering (sky-high prices play their part too).

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Comments
2 Responses to “Coppin’ a Feel: TSA Continues to Push Travellers’ Buttons”
  1. Bob M says:

    Great post! One of your best. Nice blend of the personal, the political, and plain old common sense. Buckley, by the way, probably was the pre-eminent voice of American Conservatism during the last half of the 20th century. It wasn’t until the Reagan presidency, though, that Buckley’s ideas were implemented as government policy. My favorite part of this latest blog entry, though, is of course the treasured memory of seeing you scamper toward me at the airport. See you on Tuesday.

  2. Karen says:

    Well said! I loved how you said that social equality has us sacrificing our personal liberty, so true on so many levels. Of course my favorite part was bringing the two of you together and watching the wonderful memory unfold.

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