Coming elections will show how wise we are as voters

Published September 3 2015

Latest wrinkle in national politics: Donald Trump, an arrogant businessman, and Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed socialist, leading and advancing in the polls.

The common factor for success of both of these candidates is considered to be people’s “anti-establishment sentiment.” People are completely fed up with the career politicians.

Really? In 2014, Congress’ favorability rating was supposedly 11 percent, and 96 percent of them got re-elected. How does one explain that? If you ask Trump, he will likely say that a lot of people are stupid, idiots and losers. Did the people become suddenly smarter over the past year? What will happen to them in the coming year? They will certainly have a lot of choices.

Most will agree that the federal government’s responsibilities should at least include economy, safety, education and foreign relations.

How are we doing with the economy? The official U.S. poverty rate is about 14.5 percent. On a single night in January 2014, 578,424 people were considered homeless. The U.S. national debt is more than $18 trillion — each citizen’s share of this debt is more than $56,000. The national debt keeps on increasing at least $1.5 billion per day (yes, you read that right). The sad part is, about 16 percent of the total federal debt is borrowed from Social Security funds. Does that seem right to you?

We have to help, support or control other countries to demonstrate our greatness, generosity and protect our future. We borrow money to do that. Does that make any sense? Shouldn’t helping our own poor, elderly and homeless be a priority? Is rebuilding our own country first such a bad idea?

Another hot topic is immigration. Nobody can question controlled legal immigration. After all, this is a country of immigrants. It is not how long one stayed at a place that should count, but what that person has done to make a positive difference in that place. But anything considered “illegal” by the laws of the land has to be prohibited, with strict controls to prevent occurrence and more importantly recurrence. How can any civic-minded person, group or organization, irrespective of political affiliation, justify allowing and protecting criminal and habitual illegal immigrants?

Can we honestly say that we are doing great with education, infrastructure, race relations and foreign policies?

Make this country great again. Income equality. Elect the rich. Protect the poor. Better race relations. Welcome to the new century. We will continue to hear all these slogans, and more, until we become deaf. What do you think is going to happen in the next election? Are people going to be smarter, the same or dumber?

Time will tell. Meanwhile, let us stay optimistic.

This article was originally published in the Tampa Bay Times:

Rao Musunuru, M.D. Mini Bio

Dr. Rao Musunuru, who has called Pasco County his home since 1981, was instrumental in transforming a 50-bed rural hospital into a 290-bed Heart Institute at Bayonet Point/Hudson Regional Medical Center. He has received numerous awards and continually serves the community at large through education and philanthropy.