Roger Kimball’s in Tampa posting about Perimeter Access,
The security arrangements at the convention are over the top, onerous, and almost comic in their look-at-me,-I’m-wearing-SWAT-gear swagger. But maybe the most disconcerting aspect of the affair is the two-tier, us-and-them, plebs-and-elites aroma that suffuses the event. Almost everyone is herded, cattle-like, through the security maze. Everyone who is let into the fenced-in enclosure has a bouquet of badges hung around his neck. But some few have badges that bear the legend “perimeter access,” and they get special treatment. A tiny elite is ostentatiously whisked through on golf carts or in limos, just as they are in various Latin American or Soviet-era despotisms. It’s the ostentation of the disparity that rankles.
People like me — knuckle-dragging, right-wing haters — often bemoan the cancerous growth of government. Usually, we’re talking about the government payroll, the government debt, the proliferation of government agencies, the explosion of government rules and regulations and the regiments of bureaucrats needed to force “compliance” with all those rules and regulations.
All that is real and it provides plenty of grounds for concern. But there is another aspect to the out-of-control growth of government, and that is the growth of the the government’s security superstructure, all those motorcades, and tactical squads that descend upon cities, closing the airports, commandeering buildings, rerouting (and snarling up) traffic, and generally throwing their weight around and using the sharp, pointy edge of their police powers to intimidate and inconvenience people — the very people, they like to forget, who pay their salaries and in whose employ they ultimately labor.
And yet, they ignore who exactly is paying them, and who they are supposed to serve.