On Tuesday, our community will choose their representation in the United States Senate — Democrat and Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman or Republican TV personality and medical doctor Mehmet Oz. Only one candidate, however, will best support the ideals of our community and has, for so long, remained committed to the people of Pennsylvania, even through adversity — John Fetterman.
Both Fetterman and Oz took the debate stage last Tuesday. Fetterman remained steadfast in his stances to move Pennsylvania forward on issues of climate action, workers' rights, and equality.
Oz, on the other hand, has fueled a campaign of hate and ableism. The Republican campaign against Fetterman has long been criticized by disabled activists, who underscore ways in which ableism turns a condition someone is experiencing into a weapon to be used in opposition to them and to make hostile inferences about their abilities.
On the campaign trail last May, Fetterman suffered a stroke. For many, the medical emergency can be deadly and life-alternating thereafter. Yet in Fetterman's case, his doctors report his resilience as he is “recovering well” and “has no work restrictions.”
Fetterman’s doctors continue to emphasize no effect on his “cognitive ability” or his ability to think and reason after the stroke and that his speech and ability to respond quickly are still in recovery. With his cognitive ability intact, we have no doubt that Fetterman will fulfill his duties.
Despite his stroke, Democrats recognized Fetterman as the most dedicated candidate to uphold democratic values and voted to elect Fetterman as the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in every single county.
Born and raised in York, Pa., Fetterman was first elected to public office as mayor of Braddock, one of the poorest cities in Pennsylvania at the time. As mayor for 13 years, Fetterman worked tirelessly to improve the lives of his constituency by starting a GED program, fighting gun crime in Braddock, standing up for LGBTQ rights, and bringing creative urban policy solutions to Braddock. Later, as lieutenant governor, Fetterman transformed criminal justice — overseeing the Board of Pardons and pushing for statewide legal support of marijuana. Additionally, as the 6-foot-8 sweetheart he is, instead of residing in the lieutenant governor’s mansion, he and his family opted to remain living in Braddock and allow the community to have access to the mansion’s pool for children who typically wouldn’t have access to one.
Fetterman’s empathy and championing of progressive causes represent his agenda in the U.S. Senate. As our next senator, Fetterman will invest in renewable energy, enshrine abortion rights at the federal level, enact common sense gun regulations, see health care as a human right, abolish the filibuster, and expand voting rights.
Born and raised in Delaware, Mehmet Oz, on the other hand, has no past of public service, yet he has followed in the tracks of other Penn alumni like Donald Trump to spread lies in his time as a TV doctor. Earning his M.D. from the Perelman School of Medicine and MBA from the Wharton School, Oz has used his skill to promote falsehoods in medicine. He made medical recommendations on his show, many of which proved false. The British Medical Journal conducted a study on his claims, which found that half of his recommendations either contradicted scientific evidence or lacked scientific evidence altogether. Additionally, Oz consistently neglects to mention that he has lived most of his adult life in New Jersey.
And similar to his campaign of hate, Oz plans to pursue a harmful agenda if elected to the Senate. As our next senator, Oz will remove Biden’s climate protections, fight abortion rights on a “100% pro-life” agenda, and oppose measures to prevent gun violence. All the while, Oz employs numerous staffers who attended the Jan. 6 insurrection and support Trump’s election lies and efforts to overturn democratic election results.
Last month on Locust Walk, students, faculty, and community members expressed why they will be voting this November in our #WhyIVote campaign. From upholding democracy to protecting reproductive rights, our community reflects the values of empathy and equity invariably upheld by John Fetterman. We encourage you to vote blue — for Fetterman and for Democrats down the ballot.
Our country should reflect the values of our community and the values of John Fetterman. If you want a senator to have the resilience of John Fetterman in the U.S. Senate as opposed to the lies of his opponent, then make sure to have your voice heard on Nov. 8. Let’s elect John Fetterman and other Democrats to move Pennsylvania forward.
PENN DEMOCRATS is a student-run political organization dedicated to promoting progressive political values on and off campus. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.