With less than a week to go before the primary elections in Minnesota, it seems that Ilhan Omar’s main opponent, Antone Melton-Meaux, found that his opponent’s confrontational character could be her weakness.
According to a new report released by Life Zette, Antone Melton-Meaux became the main challenger of leftist Democrat Ilhan Omar who is going for her second term. Meaux discovered that even her own voters were tired of her extensive discussions on Twitter and in the media, and are calling on her to focus more on the concrete problems of the city than to waste time on pointless discussions.
“We don’t need anyone to be distracted by the fights on Twitter,” said lead challenger Antone Melton-Meaux at the last debate, according to Politico. He added, “I don’t want to be a celebrity. I want to serve the people, and the people are tired of the politics of division and distraction.”
Omar was the first black Muslim woman to serve in Congress, managing to build an image of a rebellious and progressive woman who is not afraid to stand up to anyone.
President Trump, in turn, often targeted her, pointing to her as an anti-Semitic socialist, an American hater, and an al-Qaeda supporter. Several media outlets, including The Washington Post, reported on the incident.
Many of Omar’s voters also have distanced themselves from her comments on Israel. Omar was accused of anti-Semitism after suggesting in a tweet, which was later removed, that support for Israel was popular among politicians because of the campaign donations they usually make and that pro-Israeli lawmakers had dual loyalties to both the United States and Israel. She also said that Israel had “hypnotized the world.”
While she later apologized for her remarks, the message was not well received by the local or international Jewish community.
Rabbi Avi Olitzky, who leads a congregation in the Minneapolis district, said Omar’s published comments invoke anti-Semitic rhetoric of yesteryear and provoked nightmares of persecution.
Olitzky supported Melton-Meaux, who spoke about Omar’s comments on Israel, and said Melton-Meaux brings urgently needed conflict resolution skills to the political climate.
Omar has defended the protests to bring down the Minneapolis Police Department in the wake of George Floyd’s death. In early July, she took a further step by calling for the dismantling of the U.S. political and economic systems that serve as a “system of oppression.” “We must begin the work of dismantling the entire system of oppression wherever we find it,” Omar said during a press conference.
Her comments were highly controversial given the escalation of violence and insecurity in Minneapolis, the city she represents, in recent months.
According to Politico, Minneapolis attorney Don Lewis, who supports Melton-Meaux, says his main problem with Omar is not only her controversial comments about Israel, but her lack of connection to the needs of the district. Lewis said he sees Melton-Meaux as an effective alliance builder, which is what the city needs now.
Omar’s rebellious and confrontational attitude seems to be turning against her. The biggest criticisms of her come precisely for focusing her attention on arguing and fragmenting, rather than responding to the urgent demands of the citizens.
Although Omar still leads in the polls, there is no doubt that she will have to change her confrontational attitude to continue gaining supporters.