Charles Krauthammer summarizes why touching our junk has become a tipping point:
Homeland Security’s newest brainstorm – the upgraded, full-palm, up the groin, all-body pat-down. In a stroke, the young man ascended to myth, or at least the next edition of Bartlett’s, warning the agent not to “touch my junk.”
Not quite the 18th-century elegance of “Don’t Tread on Me,” but the age of Twitter has a different cadence from the age of the musket. What the modern battle cry lacks in archaic charm, it makes up for in full-body syllabic punch.
Don’t touch my junk is the anthem of the modern man, the Tea Party patriot, the late-life libertarian, the midterm election voter. Don’t touch my junk, Obamacare – get out of my doctor’s examining room, I’m wearing a paper-thin gown slit down the back. Don’t touch my junk, Google – Street View is cool, but get off my street. Don’t touch my junk, you airport security goon – my package belongs to no one but me, and do you really think I’m a Nigerian nut job preparing for my 72-virgin orgy by blowing my johnson to kingdom come?
With regards to airport security in particular, it is Krauthammer’s last point addresses the chief annoyance about our current system. Others have noted that the TSA “provides far more security theater than security” as it proceeds with a politically correct approach that treats everyone as a suspect–including 10 year old girls, grandmothers and nuns–while refusing to apply even the most basic of profiling. Many have mentioned the Israeli approach and, having been through that particular process myself, I can attest that it is both effective and reassuring, but it can be very time consuming (especially if you’re a single male–of any race–traveling alone). So, I’m not sure if that can be extrapolated to a U.S. scale. The bottom line is that there has to be a better way than what we’re doing now.
Krauthammer’s larger point is that this airport security brouhaha is the latest in a pattern of “Big” everything (government, business, brother) pushing around average Americans, who’ve had just about enough, thank you. Americans are mad as hell and are starting to lash out at anything they perceive as ridiculously hypocritical or antithetical to common sense. Like entities that benefit from a different rule set–from Wall Street bankers to government employees to health care waivers–than they do. Or like looking up a nun’s habit but not screening cargo from Yemen. The resulting mood, frustrated populism if you will, isn’t going to go away any time soon.