By Jeff Simpson
20 years ago today, Timothy McVeigh changed America. McVeigh was upset at how the Government handled known pedophiles in the Branch Davidians in Waco, TX.
McVeigh, a militia movement sympathizer and Persian Gulf War veteran, sought revenge against the federal government for their handling of the Waco Siege, which ended in the deaths of 76 people exactly two years before the bombing, as well as for the Ruby Ridge incident in 1992. McVeigh hoped to inspire a revolt against what he considered to be a tyrannical federal government.
In the Oklahoma City Bombing, killed 168 people and injured more than 680 others. The blast destroyed or damaged 324 buildings within a 16-block radius, destroyed or burned 86 cars, and shattered glass in 258 nearby buildings, causing at least an estimated $652 million worth of damage.
This weekend in New Hampshire, Scott Walker plagiarized an anti government speech from Ronald Reagan(without giving credit). Here is what he stole(and said):
What happens when you try and get your base riled up by turning them against the government? People die!
When this anti government fervor boils up into terrorist attacks, it does not specifically indict people like Scott Walker, but they are the cooks in the kitchen.
Has anything changed in the last twenty years? Why yes, the anti government zealots have become mainstream Republican, As Leonard Pitts points out:.
Twenty years ago, the idea of anti-government resistance seemed confined to a lunatic fringe operating in the shadows beyond the mainstream. Twenty years later, it is the mainstream, the beating heart of the Republican Party. And while certainly no responsible figure on the right advocates or condones what he did, it is just as certain that McVeigh's violent antipathy toward Washington, his conviction that America's government is America's enemy, has bound itself to the very DNA of modern conservatism.
It lives in Grover Norquist's pledge to shrink government down until "we can drown it in the bathtub," in Chuck Norris' musing about the need for "a second American revolution," in Michele Bachmann's fear that the census is an evil conspiracy. It lives in dozens of right-wing terror plots documented by the Southern Poverty Law Center since the 1995 bombing, including last year's murder of two police officers and a Wal-Mart shopper by two anti-government activists in Las Vegas. It lives in Cliven Bundy's armed standoff with federal officials.
These days, it is an article of faith on the political right that "government" is a faceless, amorphous Other. But this government brought itself into being with three words -- "We the people" -- and they are neither incidental nor insignificant.
Our government may be good, may be bad, may be something in between, but as long as we are a free society, the one thing it always is, is us. Meaning: a manifestation of our common will, a decision a majority of us made. We are allowed to be furious at it, but even in fury, we always have peaceful tools for its overthrow. So there is never a reason to do what McVeigh did.
We all know that, of course. But 20 years after the day they brought babies out of the rubble in pieces would be an excellent time to pause and remind ourselves, just the same.
PS; If you want o know who was dependent on the Government twenty years ago? Everyone involved, from the EMT's that helped people. to the hospitals that took and treated the victims to the police and FBI that caught the monster McVeigh. Without the Government ready to go that day it would have been much much worse.