Opt-out of gape-or-grope on November 24

Via Cogitamus: A surprising 70 percent of air travelers support National Opt-Out Day:

Asked whether they supported National Opt-Out Day, on which air travelers plan to call attention to what they say are overly invasive TSA screening techniques by intentionally refusing the full-body scans at the airport, a surprising 70 percent answered “yes.” The poll of more than 1,000 travelers suggests that air travel could be slowed significantly or even grind to a halt on one of the busiest travel days of the year.

The details of how this question was asked matter a lot, but that 70% offers a useful contrast to a recent CBS poll which found 80% of Americans are comfortable with the pornoscanners. My guess is that most Americans don’t actually know what any of this discussion is about. If the pornoscanners are presented as a measure that will make flying safer, they support it, and if protests against them are presented as a reasonable reaction to TSA’s invasions of privacy, people support that.

Public opinion is often flexible on issues that are changing rapidly, and this is just such a situation. Whether it’s “9/11 amnesia” or simply an ability to think rationally now that airport security has reached a safe plateau, people are in a position to rethink the supposed trade-off between security and freedom. They may be ready to acknowledge that having a government agent force you to choose between being virtually strip searched or being groped is itself a loss of security, not an exchange of freedom for safety.

Comments

  1. #1 megan
    November 23, 2010

    After 911 and the worldwide power brokers’ use of governments to control and corral citizens in response to the 1984 endless Al Queda scare, we in the US have long ago passed into the Franklinian judgmental proclamation that “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”