Commentary: Anti-American ideas infiltrating GOP

Last Memorial Day weekend, I thought about why we were memorializing our warriors.

Like many others who have asked this question, it came down to men and women fighting, and many dying, to protect our democracy, our right to vote and to select our government representatives, and our unalienable rights as individuals.

However, I also considered why these values and rights are being changed and, in my opinion, it is due to an anti-American element that has infiltrated the Republican Party.

Our democracy is being subverted to one that is run by PACs and Super PACs, such as Karl Rove's, that are supported with large sums of money from big businesses. These organizations and their merchant sponsors are symbolized by the Mitt Romney–Bain Capitals of the world that dismantle companies without regard for supporting the local community.

Let's remember Jefferson's quote: "Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains."

Obviously, not all merchants are bad or disloyal. However, when the disloyal merchants are done exploiting our human and material resources and reaping the profits, they will just move on to another place or country they can exploit.

The anti-American elements of the GOP are also trying to restrict voting rights in many states, such as Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, by requiring various forms of voter identification. They are doing this under the guise that there is large scale voter fraud in their state.

However, what little voter fraud there may be occurs primarily by mail in voting and won't be resolved by requiring voter identification. They have simply used this as an excuse to disenfranchise opposition voters that don't have or need a driver's license or do not have easy access to obtain other forms of identification.

Keep in mind that many of these people have been U.S. citizens for many years and/or are military veterans or family members of veterans who have legitimately voted in many previous elections.

Lastly, the anti-American elements of the GOP are attempting to restrict the reproductive rights of women. Some states, Arizona for example, have enacted legislation that bans abortions beyond 20 weeks of gestation.

At about 20 weeks fetal abnormalities can be detected. If a serious abnormality is detected at 21 weeks, the Arizona law would force the women to carry the baby to term even if the baby would suffer, have a very short life, result in numerous risky, painful and costly corrective surgical procedures or require long term specialized care.

These disabled children can put a very significant strain on a family's physical, mental and financial resources. This is mitigated by the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and various state programs like Early Steps. But wait, the anti-American element of the GOP at the state level for Arizona (now temporarily reversed) and Florida have proposed dropping these programs from their budgets.

The result is that women may have to decide to abort a fetus before 20 weeks, not knowing whether it is normal or not, to avoid the consequences to them and their family if they wait to 21 weeks.

So, in my opinion, the GOP has been infiltrated by an anti-American element that celebrated Memorial Day by dishonoring the war dead by subverting our democracy, disenfranchising voters and restricting the individual reproductive rights of women.

It is not too late yet, but unlike the courage of those being memorialized last weekend, true Republicans have not summoned the courage to reclaim their party from this anti-American element.

CHARLES MOONEY is a Costa Mesa resident.

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