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Peterson, Brian, Dml - Star Tribune Star Tribune

Airport checkpoints? Mr. Ventura, I feel ya

  • Article by: DAVID BANKS
  • Star Tribune
  • November 9, 2011 - 7:50 PM

For all of his -- shall we say -- style, Jesse Ventura was no less capable and no more disastrous during his term as governor than your standard politician might have been.

Presumably feeling the weight of responsibility, he acted largely like an adult and surrounded himself with qualified deputies. Afterward, he fully resumed his role as professional irritant, and why not, if that's what suits him?

Most recently, he's been in the throes of a tantrum over the rigmarole that travelers go through (well, that he specifically goes through) when choosing to fly. He has vowed, variously, to run for president to right this one wrong or to spend more time in Mexico to escape it altogether.

Most people, I suspect, have at least some sympathy for his complaint. It's awfully hard to shuffle up to a security checkpoint, drop one's dignity in a basket and exclaim, "Why, yes! Only this could keep us safe!"

It's also awfully hard to assume that there won't ever be another terror attack, and it would be even harder to have concluded incorrectly that the compromises demanded of travelers outweigh the risks.

Cost-benefit analysis in our society tends toward "if it saves just one life, it's worth it." That's a fallacy, of course -- it can justify anything -- but people are basically risk-averse when it comes to existential threats.

So onward we pad in our stocking feet, distrusted, disquieted and, if deemed necessary, disrobed. If we're lucky, our handlers will be humble and in a good mood.

It's all so very icky, and things may never go back to the way they were, but the process can and should be as restrained as is possible. Now and then this may require someone to (in the appropriate venue) pitch a fit.

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David Banks is the Star Tribune's assistant commentary editor.

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