In the past few weeks, as the stories from U.S. airports about the outright sexual perversion that now is characterizing the TSA have escalated, libertarian websites have jumped into the fray. (I will say that Lew Rockwell’s site is by far the best, but I am prejudiced, but even taking that into consideration, I can say that it is a wonderful clearinghouse for many of the links that have sprung up in the wake of what has been happening.)
As a college professor teaching at a place dominated by a pretty typical left/liberal faculty, we are bombarded with the usual material: Support V-Day! Take Back the Night! Sexual Assault is Rampant! I think you get the picture, and while it is not as bad where I work as, say, Duke University (which can afford to have a gaggle of leftist "Identity Studies" faculty that are utterly unproductive except in their griping about how Duke oppresses them), nonetheless the hard left pretty much controls the "campus dialog."
One of the constant themes on any American college campus is "sexual assault." Men, for the most part, either are rapists or are preparing to become rapists, or are closet rapists. Women are helpless, forced into a form of sex slavery, forced to show their bodies, and forced to live in constant fear from sexually-perverted men. Furthermore, there is a whole cottage industry out there, complete with websites, which shout back this ideology to anyone who is in hearing distance.
So, when the stories began to hit the airwaves and the Internet, I asked some of the more hardcore teachers here what they thought of this wave of assault, and for the most part, they see no problem at all with it. None. One female told me that she really didn’t mind if some TSA worker saw her nude body, and having read at least one feminist site in which the writer said that her generation is much more "comfortable" with being nude around strangers, I think I am beginning to understand.
In fact, I have not found one campus leftist who has anything negative to say about what is happening at the airports. To the profs where I work, the current outcry is much ado about nothing, a "right-wing" plot to undermine the power of government and the Obama administration.
I thought that perhaps such thinking is an anomaly, so I went to some other leftist sites to see if there was any outrage about men and women openly squeezing women’s breasts or grabbing someone’s testicles, or screeners gazing at images of nude children. The first was the hardcore feminist site, Feministing. Surely, I thought, this site which proclaims that men are rapists and women always are victims (except when they band together), would decry this madness.
But, after searching the site for a while, I found nothing. Apparently, it is possible for men to rape women even if they are not in the same zip code (i.e. Duke Lacrosse Case) at the time, but when a man literally squeezes the breast of a woman and openly assaults and humiliates her, that is OK, or at least it is not worth mention. No, there are much more important things to do like promote false accusations.
So, Feministing is out. However, thought I, surely the Daily Kos, the Standard Of All That Is True, Democratic, and Leftist, would speak up. I did a search of that site but also came up snake eyes. Maybe they really do believe that the TSA is keeping us safe from…terrorists.
However, I don’t give up easily, and I certainly did not want to be condemning the Left if there are leftists out there speaking up, so I went to Democratic Underground. Nothing. There was the usual stuff on how government is not spending enough, but a total blackout of news from the sexual assault professionals at the TSA.
I soldiered on. The next stop was the God’s Politics blog run by Jim Wallis and Sojourners, which is based upon the notion that Jesus really was a Politically-Correct Leftist (as opposed to the Politically-Correct Conservative on Republican sites). Surely the people who write about sexual oppression and at least claim to have some respect for traditional sexual mores would speak up. Nope.
So, I went on to the editorial page of the New York Times and did a search. I remember how the NYT demanded a government takeover of airline security, claiming that "well-trained federal workers" would keep us safe. During the Duke Lacrosse Case, no other newspaper in the country was more supportive of Mike Nifong and his gang, and even when the "evidence" didn’t fit, the NYT continued to pound the square peg into the round hole, claiming that there was a "magic towel" and other such nonsense that might "prove" rape.
Alas, there was nothing on the editorial page of the Newspaper of Record. There have been some articles on the news side, but the editorialists and columnists who claim to be the Standard of Liberalism have taken a powder on the subject of the TSA and sexual assault. (Why write about sexual assault that actually is occurring when Gail Collins and her friends can decry imaginary assaults which are much more ideologically palatable?)
After leaving the Standard of Righteousness and Justice, I went to Ralph Nader’s page and, yes, I finally found something. Nader writes Congress and outlines the whole problem from the health issues of the scanners to the "pat downs" that really are criminal assaults. Of course, one also must remember that Nader is on the outs with the rest of the Left because they blame him for taking votes from Al Gore in the disputed election of 2000.
What can I conclude from my small but revealing search? One thing I conclude is that with the Left (and also with many on the Right), all of life is political. Sex is political, conversation is political, and nothing is to be left out of the equation of politicization. If there is political advantage to making noise about rape or sexual assault, then by all means, make noise.
However, from what I can tell, the Left would have no political advantage taking on the TSA, given that most people on the Left truly believe that government does not have enough control of our lives. (When I converse with the Political Science faculty, they pretty much tell me that they are against "government control" of things, but that government should pay for abortions, block "political speech" when it offends them, put more business owners in prison, provide more "jobs," and so on. In other words, we need government to tell us what to do and what to eat, what to hear, what to read, and what to believe. Other than that, it should be hands-off.)
The TSA is there to remind us that the State is all-powerful, and that even to question any act is to commit a crime. (For those who don’t know it, openly questioning these procedures at an airport is to commit the crime of "Interfering with the Duties of a Federal Officer," and the maximum penalty is 20 years in prison. Look it up yourself.)
I have come to learn that leftists believe that people should be free to make claims of sexual assault along with child molestation, and even if the charges are not true, well, they still are true. There is a reason for the uptick of false sexual assault and child molestation claims, and it is federal law (the Violence Against Women Act and the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, both of which provide federal money to states that pursue these charges aggressively).
If government is to give us Utopia, then government must have a free hand. To the Left, since government should control everything, then government also controls your body (except if you want to have an abortion, but government still should pay for it). So, to those who believe we need even more state control, what is happening in airports is a good thing, for it reminds us that we are and should be subservient to the State.
William L. Anderson, Ph.D. [send him mail], teaches economics at Frostburg State University in Maryland, and is an adjunct scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He also is a consultant with American Economic Services. Visit his blog.