Invasion under guise of security
December 21, 2010

Article Homeland Security
by Missouri Rep. Ed Emery (R-126 including the counties of
Barton, Dade, Jasper and Polk)

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." [and "A good conscience is a continual Christmas"]--Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

New TSA airport security rules have been frequently in the news. Perspectives vary from demands for increased security to concerns over invasion of privacy and assaults on modesty. The Christmas travel season plus my own recent venture to Washington DC make it timely to comment on the appropriateness and effectiveness of this latest government intrusion. I was also asked by a close friend to offer some comments. First, let me say that in my trip to DC, I didn’t set off any metal detectors so I was not forced to endure a pat-down or digital disrobing.

Nevertheless, that this preposterous policy would be conceived in America, much less tolerated by Americans is a testimony to several cultural phenomena:

Part of American Exceptionalism is that we have the government we chose (some would say we deserve). Walt Kelly, cartoonist, in his “Pogo” comic strip coined the phrase “we have met the enemy and he is us.” If we don’t like the path our government is choosing, we can change it, and it doesn’t take a revolution – it takes an election. The 2010 election proves we can still take charge, and it was another testimony to American Exceptionalism. But is America falling victim to a thousand cuts, and are new TSA regulations one of those cuts? I think so. The question is not so much what will I do the next time I fly, but what will I do in 2012 when I vote.

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