Local opinion: Voting means never having to say "Not my fault!" (2024)

The following is the opinion and analysis of the writer:

We are living in strange times. School board meetings, unattended snooze-fests in the past, are now hotbeds of rowdy oratory, with parents trying to keep recorded history and proven science from today’s school districts’ curricula. A Tucson rant-radio host, who insisted that requiring a child to wear a mask during COVID was, literally, child abuse, now proposes “defunding the libraries.”

Too many Americans are more likely to believe the craziest internet posts and conspiracy theories than the legitimate results of the 2020 elections. Some elected Republicans and conservative media pundits, historically the staunchest law and order proponents, are calling for “defunding the FBI.”

Centuries ago we were warned that we will have our republic, “if you can keep it.” We have seen what is possible, if we are not vigilant enough to keep it.

Consider, in 1995, a decorated American soldier, Timothy McVeigh, a self-admitted hater of the federal government, obtained an enormous amount of fertilizer, along with diesel fuel and other chemicals, in order to make a huge bomb. After renting a truck, he drove to Oklahoma City, made the bomb, and put it in the truck. On the morning of April 19th of that year, he parked the truck in front of the Murrah Federal Building, went to his getaway car, and fled the impending horror he would cause.

At 9:02 a.m., McVeigh’s truck-bomb exploded, just as he intended, bringing down a multi-story federal building that housed offices of many government agencies that he despised, like the FBI. The explosion killed 168 people and injured 680 others. In addition to government offices, there was an America’s Kids day care center in the building, and 19 of those deaths were children in the day care center.

I happened to be on a business trip in Oklahoma City a few years later and had the interest and time to check out the memorial site. The fence surrounding the site had memorabilia placed by loved ones. Photos, letters to those they’d never see again, stuffed animals, flowers, you name it. Heartbreaking does not begin to describe the depth of the loss felt by those who said goodbye on that fence, not with hugs and kisses, because they couldn’t, but with poor substitutes.

The memorial included rows of chairs — 168 chairs in all — each one representing a victim of McVeigh’s extremist hatred for our country, and lack of love and respect for human life. No one could see that memorial in Oklahoma City and not tear up. I am tearing up as I write this.

Timothy McVeigh, an American-born patriot/terrorist, was either born too early, or lacked enough patience to wait until he could join the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, Neo-nazis, and other “good people” and participate in the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol, as directed by our former “Commander-in-Chief.” Maybe McVeigh “coulda been somebody”, instead of a busted, prosecuted, convicted and executed, traitorous felon.

We Americans all love our country, just differently. The majority of us do not want to overturn elections or interfere with the peaceful transition of power. The McVeigh-like, MAGA patriots, who rationalize these attacks on government buildings and elections, are supporting attacks on our very democracy, and life as we know it.

Again. these are strange times. If Timothy McVeigh had just waited to emerge from his bunker until January 6, 2021, he might, today, be Congressman Timothy McVeigh.

Unbelievable? Look at some of the current members of Congress. In any state, in the right gerrymandered district, candidate McVeigh could be a shoo-in.

I am a never-Trumper, yet horrified, hold-my-nose Biden voter. This pathetic choice notwithstanding, please be a minimally responsible citizen and vote.

Timothy McVeigh may not be on any ballot, but our democracy is!

Rick Singer received a political science degree from the University of Illinois Chicago. Singer has spent his time as an air traffic controller, defense industry analyst, candidate for Congress, and time-wasting writer of many published letters to editors. He lives in Oro Valley.


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Local opinion: Voting means never having to say "Not my fault!" (2024)


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