Politics

Oklahoma Republicans Want to Rename Route 66 For Trump, ‘President Donald J. Trump Highway’

Two Republican state senators in Oklahoma introduced a bill on Tuesday that would rename a portion of the famous Route 66 highway after President Donald Trump.

Republican state Sens. Nathan Dahm and Marty Quinn announced their plan to rename the stretch the President Donald J. Trump highway, according to local news outlet KOKH.

“We feel like this is a perfect opportunity to commemorate the great impact his leadership has had on improving the economy and bringing jobs and commerce back to our great state,” Dahm told the outlet.

The bill would rename a roughly 13-mile stretch of Route 66 from the town of Miami through the town of Commerce to Industrial Parkway in Ottawa County.

The lawmaker’s SB 1089 calls for the necessary funds needed to provide the sign be covered by the Senate and House authors and co-authors. The signs will come at no cost to taxpayers.

“It is an honor to have authored this legislation that will help memorialize President Trump and his contribution to keeping America free and prosperous,” Roberts said.

He added that several portions of Oklahoma’s highways already bear the name of former presidents, including Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

However, just in the time it took to write this article, the idea has been quashed.

State Sen. Nathan Dahm told the Tulsa World on Wednesday that he’s done trying to rename the 4-mile (6-kilometer) span of the historic highway in Ottawa County, which borders Kansas and Missouri.

Dahm may find another spot to rename Donald Trump Highway, but it won’t be associated with the Mother Road.

“I am open to working with anyone to find a satisfactory solution,” Dahm said.

Republican Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell, who oversees Oklahoma’s marketing and branding, swiftly rejected the idea of naming sections of Route 66 after Trump or any other political figure.

“I don’t care if you want to call it Mother Teresa Highway or Donald Trump Highway; there is only one thing to call it, and that’s Historic Route 66,” Pinnell said Wednesday at a ribbon cutting ceremony for a visitor’s center in west Tulsa along the roadway, which once connected Chicago to Los Angeles.

Beyond the branding effort, some people who have been long associated with the highway just don’t want it pulled into politics.

“Route 66 is not red or blue,” author and Route 66 historian Michael Wallis wrote on his Facebook page. “The Mother Road’s color is purple.”

The Oklahoma Route 66 Association also denounced the idea.

“The Route 66 shield … has become one of the most iconic symbols in the world, appearing throughout Europe, Asia and points around the globe,” the organization said in a statement on its Facebook page. “Officially calling the road anything other than Historic Route 66 adds confusion and dilutes the uniquely American experience that the highway represents.”

As could imagine, Twitter thought the idea was horrendous:

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