In an opinion piece published by MSNBC, Liz Plank asserted that Democrat John Fetterman, running against the Republican candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz for Pennsylvania Senate, was attempting to use discriminatory tactics to gain edge over his opponent.
“Disabled Americans have the right to be represented, and most importantly, to work, and that includes working for the U.S. government. An employer wouldn’t be allowed to refuse to hire a person because they have a hearing or speech difference, so why is it acceptable when it comes to holding office?”
Plank’s article comes days after Dr. Oz released his own medical records and called on Fetterman to do the same following many obvious speech and thought problems since his May stroke. In a statement at the time of the release of the medical records, Dr. Oz said, “Voters should have full transparency when it comes to the health status of candidates running for office.”
Joining others in publicly questioning Fetterman’s mental ability to fulfill the role of Senator, Republican Senator Pat Toomey said, “If John Fetterman were elected to the Senate, and he’s not able to communicate effectively, if he’s not able to engage with the press, if he’s not able to engage with colleagues, he will not be able to do the job.”
Commentator Dan Bongino said the fact that Fetterman is still running despite obvious cognitive abilities is an “enormous scandal.”
“I had a stroke. I survived it,” Fetterman said previously. “I know politics can be nasty, but even then, I could never imagine ridiculing someone for their health challenges.”
In response to the request for medical records, a statement from Fetterman said, “In June, I released a letter from my doctor where he clearly stated that I am fit to serve. Dr. Oz built his entire career by lying to people about health. I trust my actual doctors over the opinion of a charlatan who played one on TV.”
Fetterman had declined to debate Dr. Oz’ many calls for a debate until finally relenting, and the two went head to head on October 25. Once it finally occurred, it became clear to anyone who hadn’t already noticed that Fetterman was having trouble processing questions, speaking clearly, and understanding what even he himself was saying.
It was so bad, that even Chuck Schumer spoke on it to Joe Biden. Getting caught on a hot mic, Schumer told Biden, “Looks like the debate didn’t hurt us too much in Pennsylvania.”
Further, other liberal mainstream media outlets have commented on the issues, with the The Washington Post writing, “Since returning to the campaign trail, Mr. Fetterman has been halting in his performances. He stammers, appears confused and keeps his remarks short. He has held no news conferences.”
“If having a stammer or a hearing impairment disqualifies someone from running or holding office, are we living up to the promise of democracy and government by the people?” Plank wrote. “President Joe Biden’s stutter has been the subject of ridicule and has been used to discredit him, but don’t we want children with speech challenges to grow up knowing they can aim for any job, even the presidency?
“People with disabilities are one of the most underrepresented populations in local and federal government. You don’t have to look far to understand why, when demeaning and discriminating them based on their disability is the accepted status quo.”
Perhaps the real “why” is their inability to effectively handle the demanding and stressful job of a federal government politician. But maybe that statement is discriminatory, too.
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