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....Do you remember how the government presented this newly intensified bodily search? Why did the Obama administration — which I associate with opposition to enhanced interrogation techniques used on terrorists — adopt enhanced pat-downs on ordinary citizens to protect us from terrorists? Was it done because of the introduction of the enhanced imagining scanners? I really don't know. Did the government explain this to us when I wasn't paying attention? Because I monitor the news for hours every day, and I don't know the explanation.
It seems to me that these 2 things happened together: new machines that see you naked and newly intense body searches. Am I wrong to believe that the new groping procedure was intended to get more people into the scanners they would otherwise resist? Someone, at some level of the Obama administration, decided that the only way to channel people into the see-you-naked machines was to make the alternative more offensive to nearly everyone. Personally, I'd take the grope over being seen naked, but I did a poll yesterday, and I see that the scanner is significantly more popular than the grope. I suspect that was the calibration. And I suspect that if too many people choose the grope over nakedness, the plan is to intensify the grope until they get the scanner acceptance rate they need.
But why were the scanners introduced when they had to know people didn't want them? With healthcare reform, the Obama administration became associated with ramming things down our throats. The government knows what we should want and doesn't bother to find out what we do want or even to persuade us to want what they think we should. The scanners are the ultimate graphic example of forcing something on us without asking. We're only asked: Well, would you prefer to have us feeling all around your genitals? That's the kind of consent of the governed we're facing these days.
But why push the scanners on us? Do you remember hearing Obama or Janet Napolitano or anyone say anything persuasive about why these machines were bought? (Suddenly, I want to follow the money. For that, I will move to a new post.)
(In my unscientific poll, 73% of those who would keep flying, picked the scanner over the grope. I suspect the government needs a better acceptance rate than that to keep the lines flowing and justify the investment in the machines. But most of those of us who picked the grope haven't been groped yet, and if being seen naked becomes the norm, more of us may fall into that brain-dulled line that shuffles into the machine.)