OP-ED: Who is York County GOP chair to decide predecessor is 'anti-American'?

Zachary Hearn
Springfield Township

Let’s see if I get this straight: Former York County GOP Chairman Bob Wilson has concerns about the tone and tenor of Scott Perry at a recent event. This is a perfectly understandable response considering the unrest throughout the country, his wife’s Caribbean heritage and his concern about the direction of racial relations in this country. 

In response to the comments, Bob elected to financially support Perry’s opponent. He made a simple statement on Facebook, something well within his rights. The York Dispatch notes his post. Again, this is well within their rights.

More:Perry: Systemic racism isn't real, Black deaths sensationalized

More:State HRC, Congress member condemn Perry in joint statement

More:Former York County GOP chair disavows Perry following comments about race

The current County GOP chairman responds to the post by calling Bob anti-American for believing in the existence of systemic racism and a traitor to the party and his previous principles. This, too, is within his rights; however, the petulant approach has much to be desired.

Jeff Piccola, chairman of the York County Republican Committee.

First, I think it’s safe to say both parties have shifted dramatically to one wing or the other over the past 10 to 12 years, leaving a rather large vacuum for the moderates. Secondly, who is the chairman to level the charge of being anti-American?

This amped-up hyperbolic rhetoric is what’s driving people away from common decency. There have been numerous articles, to include the Wall Street Journal, citing the existence of systemic racism. Colin Powell has reported this. Is the chairman honestly going to call a man who dedicated his life to this country and shed blood in Vietnam anti-American?

I’m a little confused what the standard is for being “a good enough” American.

I get it. Sometimes it’s fun to have witty comebacks. Lord knows I’ve leveled my share. I’ve done it privately and publicly when I testified on Capitol Hill. It doesn’t make it right, but the one thing I am certain of, I’ve never insulted a person publicly and questioned their dedication or loyalty to this country.

My understanding is that what separates the U.S. from most other nations is that we are a nation founded upon ideas, not common ancestry. In other words, we are on the same team, looking to get from point A to point B, and how we view getting there may be entirely different. But we all should have a similar belief in the American ideal of seeking common ground. It’s like religion. If someone changes from one denomination to another, does that person become more or less devoted to his or her religion? No. It means that person found another flavor of ice cream that is more enjoyable.

Nothing Bob did was illegal, and it wasn’t unethical. He simply exercised his rights as an American — and nothing is more American than that.