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Start With the TSA

I’ve had a strong preference for one of the Republican presidential candidates for most of the past year. But at times, I think I would’ve lined up with anyone who would have promised they’d make a priority out of shutting down the TSA (the Transportation Security Administration). Let me explain.

Political parties need to market themselves. Everyone knows what the Democrat Party is selling these days – handouts and class warfare. For our nation’s sake, the Republican Party should be marketing something very different – a return to Constitutional values. It should be publicly advocating the elimination of every federal agency which isn’t both necessary and authorized by the Constitution.

When the Democrats and their media flacks start up their crying, Republicans should give the same basic response: “Sorry, but we’re only authorized to do certain things, and oh, by the way, we’re broke. You want something? Go ask the states.”

Now it’s true, if the federal government were to shutter up, say, the Departments of Energy, Education and Small Business Administration, it wouldn’t make a sizable dent in the federal deficit (the big bucks are in entitlements). But there’s more to this than mere savings. Even besides cutting down on regulatory costs and restrictions, it’s also a matter of demonstrating conservative principles and intent.

Still, big government wasn’t built in a day, nor can it be shrunk down in one. But to make a proper start, the right place should be chosen. And I’d say that place might be the TSA.

Oh, the TSA. What an abomination. An essentially useless agency that accomplishes little besides hassling Americans at airports across the land with surly union drones. Americans used to look forward to air travel. It had glamour. You daydreamed of getting away and hop-scotching across the country. Now heading for an airport has all the appeal of a trip to the Division of Motor Vehicles.

What a colossal, demeaning waste of time. Shuffling about lines with your shoes off, surrendering your possessions and emptying your pockets – all for a pretense about safety. Where else do you have to endure watching some drudge pat down your wife, mother, or child – while knowing that you’re paying for the indignity? But then, at other times, the experience rises above the level of a mere annoyance.

The last time I flew, I had to watch some feeble elderly lady trying to assist her stumbling spouse through the process. The poor guy was shaking badly with Parkinson’s and looked completely lost and frightened. I remember just smoldering while some officious TSA guy “wanded” the guy over. It was one of those moments when I found myself hating a part of what our country has become.

Along those lines, I’ve been seeing in the recent news where the TSA keeps popping up in ugly events across the country. Up in Chicago, a three year old with a broken leg in a wheel-chair was filmed being pestered by a TSA agent, swabbing under his shirt for possible explosive residues.

Another story tells how the TSA is rolling out a new “service.” For $100, in major airports, background-checked frequent flyers can buy their way out of being patted down. What a racket. And how interesting that the cost just happened to come to such a round number. I wonder how many more people will cough up the dough, if the TSA makes their examinations slower and more extensive? I mean, we are talking about union activity here.

Then of course, there are the police blotter stories where TSA employees are being busted for  heroin buys and child pornography. Oh yeah, these people will keep us safe.

Finally, I’m including below an interesting graphic that pertains to the TSA. It was produced by an educational website called Naturally, I can’t vouch for the accuracy of every thing mentioned in the graphic. But all the footnoted sources I checked out did come up as legitimate. Take a look.

TSA Waste
Created by: Online Criminal Justice Degree

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Third Base Politics is an Ohio-centric conservative blog that has been featured at Hot Air, National Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and others.


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