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In the 1939 fantasy film, “The Wizard of Oz,” the wizard calls himself “great and powerful.” But it turns out that the wizard is not what he says he is. The wizard is a mere mortal trying to fool people.

There is a similar scenario when looking at the Pennsylvania senate race where Democrat John Fetterman is going up against Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz, the latter trying to come across as a “true” Pennsylvanian and is “strong” and “knowledgeable” on the issues. But like the wizard in the movie, Dr. Oz is not what he says he is, turning out to be a phony.

Oz has had celebrity status with his own show. He has been called “America’s doctor.” And he’s made Time’s list of the 100 most influential people. But all this sparkle does not make him the ideal candidate.

Oddly enough, Oz has lived in New Jersey but is campaigning for the Pennsylvania Senate seat. And this may not appeal to Pennsylvanian voters. John Fetterman is from Pennsylvania. So, it’s safe to say that he knows what is good for Pennsylvania and its residents compared to Oz. Fetterman sounds genuine and down-to-earth. Oz is a plastic celebrity.

In a piece published in Missouri Medicine (the journal of the Missouri State Medical Association), and reprinted with permission from Dell SJ. Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today, Dr. Steven Dell wrote “To say that Oz is a controversial figure is an understatement.” Dell described Oz as a “tireless promoter of so-called alternative and [homeopathic] medicine,” which Oz claimed can ease pain without a prescription. Oz has presented this on his TV show. Dell made the point that Oz “is a trained clinician and scientist.” But “in 2013, Forbes magazine published Oz’s ‘Five Wackiest medical Beliefs.’” Also in 2013, Dell quotes a query from The New Yorker in an article written by Michael Specter: “Is the most trusted doctor in America doing more harm than good?’”

In the New Republic (August 18, 2022), an article by Alex Shephard called out Oz. Shephard wrote that Oz was a “huckster” and sold “quick fixes for complex problems.” Regarding Oz’s senatorial campaign, “very little has gone to plan.” “The biggest problem with Oz’s candidacy is that he is an utter phony with a comical inability to conceal this fact from the public view.” Shephard wrote that Oz could have had better luck facing a corporate Democrat.

The following is a look at some of the positions Fetterman and Oz take on the issues:

Fetterman

Make more stuff in America: Fighting inflation and lowering costs starts with making more stuff in America and bringing jobs home. We also need to crack down on companies that falsely claim their products are made here and punish them for ripping off and misleading the American people. For too long, out-of-touch politicians in Washington have sold out people on factory floors to benefit their friends in corporate boardrooms, passing bad trade deals that have sent thousands of good-paying jobs overseas.

My take – Fetterman would prioritize the interests of the working class. And make corporations pay for screwing U.S. workers by sending more jobs overseas.

Cut taxes for working people: We need to cut taxes for working families to even the odds and guarantee that the ultra-wealthy aren’t abusing our broken tax code. I’ll fight for a tax code that ensures the wealthiest Americans and corporations like Amazon don’t get away with scamming the system.

My Take – The wealthy and corporations finally need to pay their fair share of taxes. They can well afford it. They won’t go bankrupt, go hungry or become homeless.

Ban Congress from trading stocks: Lawmakers should not be profiting off special access to closed-door information about the companies they’re supposed to be regulating…and the senate needs to get shit done for the people, not their own portfolios.

My take – Talk about a serious conflict of interest. Politicians have to free themselves from corporate interests. Banning the trading of stocks would be a step.

Slash out-of-pocket healthcare costs: We’ve got to end the stranglehold of health care costs on American families by instituting a cap on out-of-pocket costs. We don’t need any more simps for big pharma in the Senate – there are already plenty.

My take – Fetterman’s proposals would help, but he doesn’t mention the high cost of premiums and deductibles.

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End immoral price gouging: It’s time we crack down on the big corporations who are making record profits while jacking up prices for all of us. Big oil companies like Chevron, Exxon and Shell have seen their profits increase 200% since last year…these companies should be working to help drive prices down, even if it means their CEOs make a little bit less.

My take – The profiteering is obscene. What should be done as well is eliminating government subsidies to big corporations.

oz 2000

Oz

Israel: Dr. Oz has visited Israel and understands how critical of an ally they are to the United States. Now more than ever our dear ally needs partners in the Senate. The relationship between our countries is more than political; it’s etched into the bedrock of our shared values and our common belief in freedom, equality, and human rights.

My take – The statement sounds rather cliché and there’s no mention of AIPAC which has significant influence in the U.S. Congress. Freedom, equality and human rights? This is insulting because of Israel practicing apartheid against the Palestinians. The Israeli right are fascists, and flaunt the label of being the “Chosen People.”

Response to Covid-19: Dr. Oz is a world-class surgeon. He knows the truth, the data and the science about combatting COVID and understands how it affects you and your family. Dr. Oz is opposed to prolonged business shutdowns and he believes it is critical to keep our children in school because the science overwhelmingly supports it.

My take –– Dr. Oz saying he knows about COVID doesn’t sound reassuring since he has embraced quack remedies for illnesses. Businesses and schools were shut down because of the obvious: there’s a pandemic which has killed about 1 million U.S. citizens.

Stop illegal immigration: Dr. Oz believes that one of the core responsibilities of the federal government is to protect you. We need to have a secure border with a barrier – whether that is a physical wall or one patrolled by technological advances.

My take – Oz has been endorsed by Trump so it’s not surprising Oz would want a barrier to keep the “migrant hordes” out. Oz’s solution doesn’t even scratch the surface of the root causes of undocumented immigration, which is people fleeing poverty and violence in their home countries.

Tough on China: Dr. Oz believes the United States has failed to respond to the global Chinese threat. Every year we see more companies ship American jobs overseas while failing to stand up to China as they steal our intellectual property and manipulate their currency.

My take – Cold War rhetoric will not do any good when talking about China. U.S. companies willingly send jobs to China so it’s not exactly the latter’s total fault. China stealing? It is well-known that the U.S., in its imperial foreign policy, has stolen wealth, resources, labor and land with “Lets-Make-a-Deal” scams. And invading, bombing and occupying other countries quite consistently. Instead of looking for adversaries, like Oz does, there should be cooperation and negotiations between countries.

Second Amendment: As a proud gun-owner, Dr. Oz is a firm believer in the Second Amendment and our constitutional right to bear arms for our protection. He opposes anti-gun measures like red flag laws and liberal gun grabs.

My take – Some “enthusiastic” gun owners misread the Second Amendment. To paraphrase, A well-regulated militia, necessary for the states, the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed. The right to bear arms sounds like it’s for “a well-regulated militia.” Regulated. The right, and no doubt Oz, do not like regulations.

Judging from their proposals, Fetterman appears to be focusing on bread-and-butter issues to help the working class, while Oz seems to be tolerant of Cold War rhetoric, Israeli apartheid and a border wall.

Desperate, Oz is pulling out all stops to try and revive has floundering senate campaign. Fetterman had a stroke in May and Oz is targeting that. So, Oz has been taking cheap shots at a guy who was ill. Again, desperation.

Like the wizard of Oz, Dr. Oz is all talk with no substance.

Crossposted from the Starr Narrative