The following is an excerpt from John R. Hall’s book, Red, White, and the Blues: A Long and Hard Ride over Treacherous Terrain, August 2020, page 289. As you will read, John anticipated and, to large degree, foretold of January 6, 2021’s events: the attack on the United States Capitol building and upon duly elected officials in an effort to prevent Congress from certifying the Electoral College vote.
Oklahoma City On The Horizon, Again?
by John R. Hall
Interstate 40 is a very long road. At 2,559 miles it is America’s third-longest interstate highway. It runs through eight of her lower geographical states. From the west they are California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. Tennessee occupies the longest stretch of I-40; it hosts 450 miles of the road. When I pulled out of Jackson Town, I had a tad under one hundred miles left of Tennessee’s I-40 to ride before I would voluntarily depart the Volunteer State and enter the Natural State of Arkansas. “Yikes!” was the text message I sent that accompanied a picture of the Deuce in front of the welcome to Arkansas sign to my vicarious travelers. Melissa texted back with her own joke: “Ride through as fast as you can! Don’t you dare stop again.”
As I sped through Arkansas, I decided that I would stop for the night in Oklahoma City. I wanted to visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, which bears witness to the events of April 19, 1995. That’s the day when American homegrown terrorism exploded; the federal building in Oklahoma City was destroyed by a bomb detonated by an American citizen.
Does anybody here remember baby Baylee? She was the one-year-old baby girl who the day after her first birthday was thrown from the first floor of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building at the Stars and Stripes Daycare Center in downtown Oklahoma City by a homemade bomb detonated by Timothy McVeigh.
I will never forget the horrific image of baby Baylee being gently cradled by Oklahoma City firefighter Chris Fields as he stared down in utter disbelief and anguish at the baby’s broken body. It was absolutely devastating to see; it threw me to my knees, where I tried to scream, but I was too distraught and could only rapidly inhale and exhale in horror . . . trying not to pass out from the pain I was feeling.
That, my friends, is the end result of when government runs amok, and when an extremely small segment of society feels it is their duty to get government’s undivided attention or they feel that they are taking the action that their political leaders want them to take. Timothy McVeigh was a sick motherfucker! There’s absolutely no doubt about that, but in his delusional state he felt he was performing a patriotic duty.
Donald J. Trump is a crazed clown—a political huckster, a hack, a failure, and one of the sorriest examples of a human being ever to walk the earth. Until he seized the White House by being coronated president by the Electoral College even though he lost the popular vote by 2.86 million votes (“a bigger [losing] margin than any other US president in history”) he was easily dismissed as a daddy’s boy who was probably viewed privately by his father (Fred) as the greatest disappointment of his life. Trump is a joke, but his extreme dogma is extremely dangerous and is no laughing matter.
In 2006, the Associated Press reported that Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, said, “One of the great lessons of the Oklahoma City bombing is that the domestic radical right poses extremely serious threats. It taught us that not all terrorists speak different languages, wear turbans or speak to different Gods.” That’s a lesson that should never be forgotten, as was reflected in the article “Lessons Learned, and Not Learned, 11 Years Later.”
In Trump’s America that lesson was dismissed by one presidential statement. In response to the violence inflicted on protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, who rose in opposition to white nationalists and neo-Nazis, an American president said there “were very fine people, on both sides.”
My, my, my, that should have repulsed all Americans. Instead of repulsion, spin doctors got busy and Republican politicians sold their souls to Trump, hoping that he’d tweet nice things about them. Republicans fear Trump’s radical right base. They are terrified of Trump and have allowed him to run wild; Trump has damaged international relationships with America’s allies while embracing dictators; Trump demeans anything and everyone who does not bow down unto him. In spite of America’s First Lady’s pledge to help curtail bullying, her husband cyberbullies into submission all who dare disagree with him. In public appearances he uses intimidation, fear, slander, and outright lies to debase the free press and to deflect responsibility away from the Resolute desk.
A plaque used to occupy a prominent place on that sacred desk, proclaiming “The Buck Stops Here.” President Harry S. Truman took full responsibility for his actions. Trump blames anyone and everyone else for his immoral insanity. America is in dire need of a leader; she is adrift in the shameful political abyss of Trump’s parasite-infested and morally bankrupt swamp.
When I arrived in Oklahoma City, the weather had turned scary. A thunderstorm was descending all around me. I had pulled into a hotel’s parking lot to get a room for the night. The wind was blowing so hard that I thought it would topple my bike if I left it on its kickstand. So I got back on Interstate 40 and headed down the road.
The Deuce’s rearview mirrors were filled with the image of black clouds, and I could see sheets of rain falling from them. Debris was flying in the air as I rode away from Oklahoma City, barely staying ahead of the rain and windstorm. It felt as if I was attempting to escape a thunderstorm and a rapidly approaching tornado. When I outran the weather, I exited I-40 at Elk City, Oklahoma, and checked in to the worst motel ever.
Republished by Permission
Copyright © 2020 – Red, White, and the Blues Publishing – All Rights Reserved