My husband is handicapped and goes through the airport in a wheelchair. Every time he passes through security, he gets a pat down. There is a lot of talk about how only small percent of people get pat downs and that we should be grateful to have this security, but that is probably not the voice of people who will get a pat down every time they go through security.
The Americans with Disabilities Act may or may not apply to airport pat downs. TSA will correctly argue that anyone can pretend to be handicapped. This is true, because every able-bodied person is one automobile accident away from needing a wheelchair, even if the need is temporary.
We have two conflicting needs: security and the rights of an increasingly large minority. I am not saying I have answers to this, but we should not ignore the question.