To Pre or Not to Pre

Fact #1 – I travel a lot for work. In the next five weeks it is unlikely that I will spend ten nights at home with my beautiful wife and kids. This is not meant as a plea, but only to emphasize the first sentence of this post.

Fact #2 – I am also a staunch Libertarian. I am running for Texas State Senate. This is not plea for money, but only to emphasize this second point.

It is these two facts which have caused me some personal conflict. Because most of my travel requires air transport, I am intimately familiar with the TSA. I am guessing that by now you see the challenge.

In any case, about three months ago I received an email from American Airlines asking me if I would like to sign up for the TSA’s Pre program. This program allows travelers to register with the TSA and undergo a background check. In exchange, travelers get to go through a lower security regimen at airport security.

If an airport has the Pre line (and my home airport of DFW does), you can cut right to the security gate where you do not have top take off your shoes or remove your computer or liquids from your travel cases. Instead, your bags are x-rayed and you walk through a metal detector only, no micro scanning (and therefore no naked pictures). Basically, this is the same security procedure as existed on September 10, 2001.

Now the dilemma:

To Pre, or not to Pre: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The pokes and prods of outrageous agents,
Or to take arms against a sea of lawyers,
And by opposing end them? To Pre: to bypass;
No more; and by a bypass to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand unnatural scans
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d.  

3 thoughts on “To Pre or Not to Pre

  1. It’s an interesting dilemma. It also conflicts with your pleasure in showing the TSA agents your copy of the Constitution after being scanned.

    It almost seems like you can find a capitalistic loophole that makes signing up for Pre acceptable.

  2. In your situation, I would Pre and not feel as if I was compromising. Apply the faster option to ease your burdens and at the same time those of your family. That being said, Encourage your company and EVERYONE to Pre. Let’s all get better together. This strategy will encourage those who are allowed the Pre option to ask for even more and hopefully encourage those who fail the Pre qualifications to rebel. You might feel others resentment as you scoot past the guards quickly but this is your opportunity to advertise that the TSA burdening all of us.

  3. For now, Pre. Campaign against it and the existence of the very agency offering it, but take advantage of the benefit while it exists.

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