Wake me when we get crotch-bombers on the Greyhound
[B]ut there was something, well, synthetic about all the coverage today, that caught me in an unexpected way. And suddenly I realized... "Terrorism" - especially plane-based terrorism - is largely an upper class, luxury problem.
What clued me into the realization was Sunday morning comments from both Candy Crowley (subbing for John King) on CNN and David Brooks (apparently doing his worst George Will replacing) on ABC; both talked of the event in terms of the heightened airport security which was bound to come... and then sounded cynically dismissive of the lines and inconvenience involved for, well... people like them.
You know... upper middle class, college educated professionals whose jobs cause them to travel fairly regularly, both domestic and foreign.
Maybe I really am onto something, after all.
Throughout the post 9/11 age, we've had these odd dualities in the discussion: the need for increased security on planes seems obvious... yet most regular travelers look at it in terms of inconvenience. We talk of being a nation extremely vulnerable... yet at the same time, We Are America and We Can Win, and there's a tension between what we think we need to do, and what we can't really do to feel entirely safe.
Those dualities, though, have everything to do with class; when much of the threat we currently deal with has to do with people traveling, by plane, to the US from international destinations, the real vulnerability, on the plane, is largely confined to the upper middle class people who travel that way. Outside of the upper middle class (and remember, a vast majority of Americans do not travel outside the country to begin with, and lack passports), the threat of blowing up on a plane for many is highly remote. ...
In the meantime, I suspect, listening to well off white professionals moan about shoe removal, and shampoo in plastic bags [Cavity searches. That's what I say. Kidding. Kinda. --lambert] may well have short shelf life. You want to know why terrorism is such a problem... the problem is on your plane, not in the slums. As usual.
I'm mean, what are the odds? I'm a hell of a lot more likely to [buy the farm|take the last call|sun my moccasins|cease to be] because the Dems decided to service the insurance companies rather than reform health care, than because, next time, the crotch-bomber decides to take the bus.
One more reason to turn off the teebee, so far as I'm concerned.