For almost a decade we have had heavy-handed rights abuses all in the name of keeping people safe from threats which kill far fewer people than traffic accidents do each year. We allow the files on your laptop to be perused with no cause. We take for granted that people can be detained indefinitely without being tried or even accused of a crime. The United States now condones tortuous acts, which we ourselves once prosecuted others for, as normal. We think it’s OK to listen in on private conversations of anyone without any judicial review at all. The American public accepts all this, and more, in the name of safety.
But there is something that your average American, bred with a history of puritan ethics, just wont stand for. That is allowing someone else to either see or touch your private parts.
I understand this on an intellectual level, from a sociological perspective, yet am still gravely disappointed by it. Personally, if someone wants to look at me naked before getting on an airplane, I really don’t mind. They won’t enjoy it, but it won’t bother me. If someone would like to fondle my family jewels while waiting at an airport, they can give it a go. In fact, I know people who would pay someone to do that while still in the airport parking lot.
I suppose it does make a difference that I’m not sought out by GQ as a male model, and that when you pay for an “aggressive pat down” you get to chose who does it. But again, these are things that just wouldn’t bother me that much, especially when compared to getting arrested and detained without warrant or trial.
Of course, I’ve never been a particularly good Protestant. I don’t have the ingrained moral outrage at pornography, prostitution, revealing swim wear at the beach, or anything else that reminds us we are humans who, on occasion, have sex.
So let me join the masses of people who are complaining about the new invasive full-body scans and new aggressive pat down policies now being used by the TSA. I’m not complaining about these new systems, though. I’m complaining about all of the Americans who couldn’t be bothered to complain about their freedoms being wrenched away in the name of security, yet can’t overcome their moral outrage at being seen naked in a fuzzy, monochrome image by a bored security worker before getting on an airplane.
The new security scans do, at least, provide one good service to the country. We will finally be able to see (or feel) if the American citizen can grow a set of balls.