As I've said elsewhere, I fly regularly, and until this weekend, the TSA, while generally surly, has not been as much of a hassle as most people here that swear off flying think it is. Yes, I'm a white Canadian, so it colours my experience, but I don't think that makes it worth dismissing.
I flew the day the airports reopened after 9-11, through the shoe bomber incident, the liquid bomber crap, and now this fire cracker asshat. I do think the TSA needs to change it's policy on responding to terrorist threats, and avoid these panic-stricken restrictions, like the ones this weekend, or 2006's liquid/gel restriction. They are pure theatre.
But usually, after the initial slow down, things get quite manageable and efficient at security checkpoints. For every anecdotal horror story, there are dozens of regular travellers that continue to travel this way, and it's gotten much more efficient than back in 2001-2002. The TSA needs to improve, absolutely, but I think many people that swore off flying years ago have imagined a beast far worse than the reality.
One can stop flying because they don't like being patted down and searched, and that's fine. It's a tradeoff.
But I also believe that it is politically impossible for the U.S. to drastically change their philosophy of airport checkpoint security, in spite of your best efforts to contact your congressman about this matter. The political climate is way too polarized. Minor adjustments will probably be achievable though. And I really hope this weekend's restrictions are lifted, the current news seems to indicate it will after Tuesday.