Ah, the illusion of security. Most Americans love it, need it, crave it.
Need an example? Let us examine everyone's least favorite (and ever present) national ritual. We've all been there: you queue up, empty those pockets, undo the belt, (maybe) kick off your shoes, do a final liquid check, and wait your turn for airport security. Depending on the day and the culture of the town, you listen as a cynical, jovial, or sometimes even clever TSA agent rattles off familiar instructions. "No metallic objects…blah blah blah…liquid…ounces…step back…step forward." Wait, wait some more, then we raise our hands in a—for me—familiar pose of enemy surrender.
If you're lucky, the whole affair consumes less than 20 minutes. Then you load the plane, do a cursory check for vaguely Arab faces—feel a tinge of liberal guilt about that—and settle in for the miracle of flight.