It took a while but now we know what we are up against in the Senate race in Pennsylvania - a state we should be able to switch from red to blue; however, we are under no illusions about how difficult that will be. After David McCormick conceded last week to the former President’s handpicked candidate, made for television doctor Mehmet Oz, we knew we were in for a long battle but we also know we are ready for the challenge. This will be a study in contrasts from the physical to the political.
When Republican Senator Pat Toomey announced his retirement, Oz moved to Pennsylvania solely to run for the Senate. He presents a slight, television-ready image which belies his ultra-Right politics. Oz is yet another anti-choice, pro-gun candidate whose website is filled with medical metaphors meaning absolutely nothing. His anti-choice stance makes no exception for rape or incest. He believes “every law-abiding American citizen should be allowed to buy the gun of their desire.” This man who holds dual Turkish and American citizenships wants to keep immigrants out and advocates building either a physical or a “technological” wall to achieve that goal. He believes “that the extreme left wants to use our schools to indoctrinate our children with an anti-American ideology.” His website is, otherwise, filled with meaningless platitudes designed to hide his ultra-conservative ideology.
On the other hand, Democrat John Fetterman is a behemoth of a tattooed man who is the absolute antithesis of the spit-polished Oz. And, the differences don’t stop there. Pennsylvania’s Lt. Governor, Fetterman, is a native-born Pennsylvanian who has devoted his life to the state. The former mayor of Braddock carries the zip code of his town tattooed on one arm. On the other are tattooed the dates on which people were murdered in Braddock while he was mayor. Seven of the nine were gun deaths and he pledges to work to reduce gun violence. For him, a woman’s right to choose her personal reproductive health care options is non-negotiable. He sees health care as a universal human right. He supports the rights of workers to organize free of employer intimidation and believes that organized Labor is the source of much of what has made our nation strong. He thinks the minimum wage should be raised to a living wage of at least $15/hour. He advocates transitioning to clean energy as quickly as possible and believes that good paying, union jobs will be created in the process. He is a firm supporter of the LGBTQ+ community and officiated at a gay marriage when it was still illegal. And, during a Democratic debate he asserted, “what we should be doing is looking for waste, fraud, and excess in our military budget and reinvesting that money in other areas like healthcare or education.”
As we said, the differences are striking. We can state forcefully that we have learned what having a television personality with no experience governing and right wing politics means. We hope the voters of Pennsylvania have learned as well and promise you we will do everything we can to work on voter education and get out the vote efforts there.