According to this article, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson compared the national fear of terrorists to that of the Communist fear back during the Cold War. That’s not to say terrorists don’t pose a threat, of course.
What he means (or at least what I took it to mean) is that “terrorists” are often used as an excuse to monitor the populace more closely and impose tighter restrictions on everyone.
I found the article to be really interesting. Take a look and let me know what you think in the comments. Personally, I’d rather avoid riding a plane in my skivvies…well, OK, maybe that would be comfortable, but you get my point.