Alexander Hamilton and the TSA

Lee Cary
In Federalist Paper No. 8, Alexander Hamilton writes about the Transportation Safety Administration, accidently.

Nearly every week, the TSA makes news by strip-searching an elderly woman, or suffering an inexplicable breach in security, or detaining a U.S. Senator (Rand Paul), accusing him of being hostile when a security camera clearly indicates that "passive" better describes his demeanor.

Many frequent business travelers, also known as "road warriors," can recount, on demand, their own unflattering anecdotal stories involving the TSA. (One of my favorites is how a TSA screener angrily jerked a rag doll out of the hand of a one-armed girl, about seven years old, who was reluctant to give up her doll to a stranger to put on the x-ray conveyer belt. Another is how a screener demanded that my now-deceased, then elderly mother-in-law get up out of her wheelchair and walk through the metal detector. The screener couldn't understand that Ola couldn't walk a step.)

Hamilton's intent in Federalist Paper No. 8 was to make the case that a strong Union among the states would help ward off hostilities between and among them.

 

In the context of making a somewhat tangential point, he wrote this:

 

"Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct. Even the ardent love of liberty will, after a time, give way to its dictates. The violent destruction of life and property incident to war, the continual effort and alarm attendant on a state of continual danger, will compel nations the most attached to liberty to resort for repose and security to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights. To be more safe, they at length become willing to run the risk of being less free."

Does "they" sound like us?

In Federalist Paper No. 8, Alexander Hamilton writes about the Transportation Safety Administration, accidently.

Nearly every week, the TSA makes news by strip-searching an elderly woman, or suffering an inexplicable breach in security, or detaining a U.S. Senator (Rand Paul), accusing him of being hostile when a security camera clearly indicates that "passive" better describes his demeanor.

Many frequent business travelers, also known as "road warriors," can recount, on demand, their own unflattering anecdotal stories involving the TSA. (One of my favorites is how a TSA screener angrily jerked a rag doll out of the hand of a one-armed girl, about seven years old, who was reluctant to give up her doll to a stranger to put on the x-ray conveyer belt. Another is how a screener demanded that my now-deceased, then elderly mother-in-law get up out of her wheelchair and walk through the metal detector. The screener couldn't understand that Ola couldn't walk a step.)

Hamilton's intent in Federalist Paper No. 8 was to make the case that a strong Union among the states would help ward off hostilities between and among them.

 

In the context of making a somewhat tangential point, he wrote this:

 

"Safety from external danger is the most powerful director of national conduct. Even the ardent love of liberty will, after a time, give way to its dictates. The violent destruction of life and property incident to war, the continual effort and alarm attendant on a state of continual danger, will compel nations the most attached to liberty to resort for repose and security to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights. To be more safe, they at length become willing to run the risk of being less free."

Does "they" sound like us?