Leadership and Secure Travel

We have all reflected these many past days on safety as you board a plane and what you have to do to even get on board the plane.  In addition, we have been hearing from our leaders just how necessary it is to go through these security checks at the airport.  So the big question for some is do they have to go through the security just like we do?  The answer, by and large, is no.  Many of our leaders from Barack Obama to Secretary of State Clinton to incoming House Speaker John Boehner get to step past security and move on to the plane itself, either because they have their own security detail or because they have a plane at their disposal.  They may never have the indignity to step into the full body scanner or the privilege of getting up close and personal with a TSA agent.

While I am a big believer in the idea that leaders should do what they tell others to do and to do otherwise is hypocritical, I believe that what they get to do leads us to a solution for some that do a great deal of traveling.  No, we all do not get to have our own plane.  What happens with many of the leaders that get to bypass security is that they have extensive background checks that take place before they get to jump the line and board the plane.  It’s a solution that has been talked about before, but what about a safe flyers program.  These are the people that buy tickets and fly several times a year for business or otherwise.  They go through an extensive check of everything and are issued a card that they then show to those doing the screening.  After a quick step through the metal detector, they are on their way.  While that won’t keep many of us out of the screening machine, it would keep the line down with those that fly all the time being in a “circle of trust.” 

More fully though, I believe that it would speak a great deal if you saw Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner or even the head of the TSA going through the scanner or getting the rather friendly pat-down when they fly.  Not necessarily as a way to show them what we live with, although it would accomplish that, but as a way to show that they believe so strongly in what we are doing as a nation that they are willing to undergo these measures.

From the stories that have come out about these full body scanners, some of which are so disgusting that I will not share them here, it is clear that something needs to change.  It starts with our leaders walking a mile in our shoes and continues with using a little common sense.  It also may take some profiling, which from what I’m told, is just good police work in action.

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