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Donald Trump confused a lot of people when he endorsed Dr. Mehmet Oz in the Pennsylvania Senate race, as Oz has never impressed anyone as an America-First type. In fact, he maintains dual citizenship in the United States and Turkey, even as Turkey has become increasingly hostile to the United States. Oz claims that he maintains Turkish citizenship only so that he can visit his ailing mother, but actually, visas to Turkey are easy to obtain, and Oz obviously has a much greater interest in Turkey than he has been willing to admit, having voted in Turkey’s most recent presidential election, in 2018. Now Oz is raising even more eyebrows among those who should be his core constituency by accusing his Republican primary opponent Kathy Barnette of “Islamophobia.”
Oz made this accusation to Martha MacCallum on Fox News when she pointed out that while Trump had criticized Barnette, he had also praised her. MacCallum asked Oz if he was worried that the former president was “hedging his bets,” which would be entirely understandable given the fact that Barnette’s views are much closer to Trump’s than Oz’s have ever been.
In his answer to MacCallum’s question, Oz opted to go on the attack. Trump, according to Oz, “said she cannot win in November. Frankly, every time Kathy tries to answer a question, it leads to a lot more questions, which is why she’s not answering any questions. Imagine if you’re a Democratic pollster or a partisan and you are watching a woman that said openly homophobic statements and Islamophobic statements, made all kinds of allegations in her past, we can’t even verify very important parts of her history.”
Trump supporters might wonder why Oz is worried about what Democratic pollsters will think. Many would no doubt say that the problem with far too many Republican elected officials is that they’ve been much more concerned about what Democratic pollsters might think than they ought to have been. Trump supporters are generally hungering for politicians who will do what is right for America and Americans without being worried about how what they do will play in the eyes of socialist internationalists who have consistently put the interests of other countries and their own bank accounts above any concern for the well-being of the actual citizens of this country.
In fact, while Oz is upset about Barnette’s alleged “homophobia” and “Islamophobia,” Trump supporters are likely to value a genuinely America-First candidate even above the interests of the LGBTQ lobby and Hamas-linked Islamic groups in the United States. Mediaite referred darkly to “some of Barnette’s controversial past statements, including comparing Islam to Nazism.” This was designed to make the sheep who read Mediaite think that Barnette had sinned unforgivably against the noble religion of peace, but here is what Barnette actually said:
You are not a racist if you reject Islam, or if you reject Muslims, because they are not a race of people. They are a particular view. They are people that have a particular view of the world, and we have a right to discriminate against worldviews.
We discriminated against Hitler’s Nazi Germany view of the world, right? That was a worldview. That’s how he saw the world around him. And we discriminated against it. We rejected it. We rejected Stalin’s view … of the world, right? Because that’s a particular view of the world that we don’t agree with.
That’s not actually comparing Islam to Nazism at all. Barnette was merely saying that everyone agrees that some worldviews, i.e., Nazism and Stalinism, can be and should be rejected and criticized. She also pointed out that to criticize Islam did not mean that one was racist, as Islam is not a race. She did say “if you reject Muslims,” but this was in the context of her explaining that one may reject ideas; it was certainly not a call for any kind of vigilantism, violence, or anything of the kind.
What’s more, Trump supporters saw exactly the same “Islamophobia” charge brought against Trump himself when he tried to restrict immigration from a handful of countries that would not or could not provide adequate information about the people wanting to enter the U.S. It’s unlikely that they will be impressed by Oz’s charge of “Islamophobia” now.
Oz, however, complained that Barnette “won’t respond to questions from anybody, it’s difficult to vet her in a way that Republican primary voters will find acceptable.” He added: “Thankfully, President Trump already said I’m the America first candidate.”
Yes, he did. But so far, Oz himself has not done much in the way of proving him correct.