EDITORIAL: Perry finds a new way to humiliate Pa.

York Dispatch editorial board

Thumbs down to Rep. Scott Perry, Pennsylvania’s leading exporter of political imbecility.

The York-area Republican, who has already distinguished himself this year by taking a leading role in trying to overturn November’s presidential election, has now glommed onto a vile line of “thinking” among conservative provocateurs: That migrants are coming to America to somehow “replace” white residents.

In this image from video, Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., speaks as the House debates the objection to confirm the Electoral College vote from Pennsylvania, at the U.S. Capitol early Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. (House Television via AP)

This conspiracy theory — as toxic as it is doofy — has made the by-now familiar trek from alt-right fringe to conservative media to the floor of Congress. The last step, courtesy of Perry.

During a House subcommittee hearing on Wednesday to examine migration from Central America, the congressman delivered this nugget of numskullery: “For many Americans, what seems to be happening or what they believe right now is happening is, what appears to them is we’re replacing national-born American — native-born Americans to permanently transform the political landscape of this very nation.”

(Native-born Americans, you know who you are!)

Where does Perry get this drivel? Most likely, where most Republicans get most of their drivel: Fox News. Host Tucker Carlson has been ranting about the white nationalist-spawned “replacement theory” with increasing regularity of late.

“I know that the left and all the little gatekeepers on Twitter become literally hysterical if you use the term ‘replacement;’ if you suggest (that) the Democratic Party is trying to replace the current electorate, the voters now casting ballots, with new people, more obedient voters from the Third World,” Carlson recently said. “But they become hysterical because that’s what’s happening, actually. Let’s just say it! That’s true.”

Let’s just say it: It’s not true. It’s an asinine, race-baiting dog whistle. Perry should know better.

It was tempting to think that, after voting to throw out his own constituents’ presidential ballots, Perry couldn’t sink any lower. He keeps finding ways to surprise us.

Thumbs up for Pennsylvania’s showing in a recent YouGov survey ranking American states and the District of Columbia. The Keystone State clocked in at … No. 17. Not a top-10 finish but not bad! 

Survey participants were asked to choose the “better” of two states in a series of head-to-head matchups. States were ranked based on how often they won. Pennsylvania’s “win percentage” was 55%.

By way of comparison, Hawaii and Colorado topped the list with ratings of 69% and 65% respectively; Alabama (38%), Mississippi (38%) and Washington, D.C. (35%) brought up the rear.

Of its contiguous neighbors, only No. 8 New York (59%) bested Pennsylvania. Trailing were No. 26 Maryland (49%), No. 32 Delaware (46%), No. 33 Ohio (45%) and — oh, dear! — No. 48 New Jersey (39%).

Our fare state is clearly judged by Americans on its own merits and not on the geographic company it keeps. (Or the representatives it sends to Washington.)

Thumbs up for the recently approved initiative to shore up the historic Slate Hill Road bridge over Yellow Breeches Creek. The $2 million project — to be paid for by York and Cumberland counties, which the stone arch span connects — will see the bridge reopened to traffic by the end of the year, if all goes to plan.

More:York County approves $2M contract to repair historic Slate Hill Road bridge

The effort, welcome though it is, will need to replicated on a massive scale throughout Pennsylvania if sub-par roads and bridges are to be significantly improved. 

The state’s infrastructure received a grade of C- in a new White House Report, which cited some 3,350 bridges and more than 7,500 miles of highway in poor condition. Public transportation, drinking-water delivery systems and broadband were also listed as lacking.

All of which is why voters should push their congressional representatives to make sure the state benefits from a $2 trillion federal infrastructure plan now being debated in Washington.

The alternative is to continue to making improvements one Slate Hill Road bridge at a time.