I am sitting in an airport. Everything about it is sterile, bureaucratic, and inhumane. Just moments ago, I got past the beady-eyed TSA official as he glared at me and begrudgingly signed my boarding pass, only to notice a large glass box. It looked like something from a science fiction movie. If only, that would have been much easier to bear. Instead, as I am still disgusted and a bit befuddled by the fact that it is right in front of me, the women says, “mam, this way, step inside. Lift your hands up. Put your feet on the yellow spots.” There, in the middle of the airport, I feel as if I was being watched, watched by an omnipotent aura of government officials behind some desk, snickering at me. But, the horror of it all is that it was not just a feeling—it is a reality. I see some mysterious bar pass through the glass box and go back in to hiding as I was ushered out of that cold, slimy thing. As soon as I think I have escaped the terror, a large man says, mam, please wait here. He just looks at me, as if he feels sorry for me. I tried to tell myself, he’s just doing his job, it’s not his fault the government has forgotten the Constitution. After an awkward silence, I say, “This wasn’t here last time I traveled”, and he responds, “it’s all new.” Then, I hear a voice coming through his ear, and I watch as he gets that same woman who ushered me in and out of the box and has her come over to me. She says “mam, I am going to do a lower waist pat down.” A look of horror passes over my face, and I begin to shiver. As she touches me, my embarrassment and anger boils, I contemplate quoting the 4th amendment, yet I simply rush to get my shoes and gather my belongings.
I have been stripped of all dignity, all humanity, and all property. What does the Constitution mean if any random person can be deprived of their rights in such a graphic way any time they have a business trip, family reunion, vacation, etc. planned. What has America come to if all sense of republicanism is lost. And, in this case, all of republicanism is lost, seeing as the first republican right is the right of property, and the right to defend that property. Yet, now, in an airport run by the government, all rights are neglected. How far will we let them go before that massive government force, antithetical to the Republican militia, invades our towns, our schools, and our homes. When will it stop?
Until the 20th century, as immigrants sailed across the ocean, and approached America, they were struck by Lady Liberty—an embodiment of American freedom and opportunity. Now, every time an immigrant finally reaches land, he is scanned by the most monstrous machine. As I still quiver, I ask myself, and I ask you, can the republic be redeemed, or has it morphed.
Books mentioned in this essay may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore.