Well, that was over fast. The real or supposed national outrage in America over the airport body scanners was supposed to create a backlash, culminating in a "national opt-out day." Travelers would refuse to go through the new scanners, creating huge lines at airports and...what was supposed to happen from there, I'm not sure. David Carr of the New York Times argues it was a creature of media hype, but he's the media columnist (and, god knows, he wouldn't be the first such scribe desperate for a column idea). I never thought this opt-out would happen, and not because Americans had the wisdom to set aside media-wrought hysteria.
For one thing, we don't have many travel options. It's pretty much fly or drive. Six decades ago, we had the finest passenger train system in the world as well as the best airline service. We had far more intercity trains going to more destinations on the eve of Amtrak in 1970 than we have today. And this is just conventional rail, not the high-speed lines in operation and being expanded all over the world — and competing very well against airlines on many city-pairings. We opted out. Now, not only are we left with far fewer travel options, but we are an increasingly backward nation in transportation.