Used to be that only frequent flyers could enroll in the TSA PreCheck program at the airport. You probably know what the PreCheck line is. It’s that more quickly moving line of shoe-wearing nonpareils that you used to see in the distance while your private parts were being radiated or groped in the snail-paced glacier of plebeians trickling through the “regular” security checkpoint.
But envy them no longer. Now you too can become one of the PreCheck elite. Just send in your fingerprints, identification, $85, and your firstborn and you too can keep your laptop inside its protective case while you’re being brutalized by a smug “little Hitler.” Well, less brutalized.
Having already established that they are intent on making your airport visit as miserable as possible, the TSA is now making it clear that they will relent, a little, if you give them money. Words like “extortion,” “Mafia,” and “legalized mugging” should all come to mind. It’s for your protection? I think the Godfather had a really similar line.
In the past, torture has been used for political re-education. That’s kind of the purpose of the TSA. They are torturing us so that we will get used to a pervasive array of government intrusions (some virtual, some manual) into our lives (for our safety of course). This re-education program has already been so effective that most people will probably sign up for this PreCheck service without thinking about it. They will remark to each other in the lines, at their homes, and at their water coolers: “PreCheck is just so much faster than the regular security checkpoint, isn’t it?” They will never think about the freedom they lost. In fact, 12 million people have already signed up for this “incredible new service.” And it is likely that very many more will follow.
I have an alternative idea: How about we stop paying the TSA with both our tax dollars and our after-tax dollars, and rely on the people we already pay (local law enforcement) to do their jobs? What’s that you say? Our local law enforcement is too busy collecting traffic fines to protect us when we need them? Well, let’s stop paying for those too.