Diagnosis for Democracy
Insights into the State of Our Union
A Blog by Rob Tenery, MD


Stopping this Country's Descent into Mediocracy

By Rob Tenery, MD on November 2, 2016

As this country faces what may be the most important Presidential election since the end of WWII, it is essential to step back and take stock of where this country is now and where it appears to be headed.

There are five major areas of concern that threaten our sovereignty: Uncontrolled immigration, terrorism, dwindling military capability, increasing national debt and unachievable funding promises for the entitlement programs.  There are two reasonable candidates for President, who are vying to lead the way. Hopefully, the candidate that wins will potentially reverse the course as this country continues to spiral downward in the coming years.

A vote for other than one of the two major candidates has significant consequences. Voting for the Green Party candidate is a vote for the Republican candidate. A vote for the Libertarian running for President has the consequences of helping the Democrats. The most recent example is the votes cast for Ross Perot, cost George H. Bush a second term in office and elected Bill Clinton. What happens in this scenario is the most liberal voters end up helping the Republican candidate and the most conservative end up helping the Democratic candidate.

Immigration: The populous is rapidly changing from Caucasian dominance to a more homogeneous mixture of white, black and brown. In and of itself, the skin color is not the problem, but how they vote related to their skin color, matters significantly. Past voting patterns reflect that the majority of Caucasians lean toward the right, while black and brown lean to the left.

Unchecked immigration strains our job market, institutions of education, health care delivery systems, entitlement programs and our criminal justice  system. The voter shift to the left elects candidates who, wanting to insure their own perpetuity in office, vote for even more entitlements. Additionally, these same left-leaning elected officials are not as concerned about capping immigration, legal and illegal, because the majority vote liberal and they also count toward an advantage in the Electoral College numbers.

Terrorism: Is tied to immigration, law enforcement and military capability. The growing threat of world terrorism creates shifts in populations to safer countries. Unfortunately, the humanitarian effort opens up receiving countries to terrorism from within and poor assimilation into that country’s culture such as with those of the Muslim faith that follow Sharia law.

Military capability: There is an ongoing battle between those who believe that a strong military presence prevents more problems around the world and the current administration’s position. Our military capability, compared to previous technology and manpower resources, has been decimated by this current administration. The argument for cutting costs is because of the sequester and the development of advanced weapons technology that require fewer reserve forces.  Additionally, there is a portion of the population that is against wars in general, unless they are fought on our own soil.  

National debt and the entitlement programs: These two concerns are integrally linked. This country is on a crash course in both areas by 2030 or possibly earlier. We cannot meet the promised obligations of the entitlement programs without drastic changes in the benefits for the beneficiaries. Printing money to pay for more promissory notes leads down the one-way street of devaluation of the U.S. dollar and default on our debt or both.

Race relations and gun control, along with the social issues of freedom of speech, abortion and gay marriage often dominate the conversation and influence election results. In the bigger scheme, they don’t affect where this country is headed.

Without a tsunami level shift, this country will continue to follow its current course of decline with mounting debt, unachievable entitlement commitments, loss of influence around the globe and a move away from capitalism and toward socialism.

Getting the two political Parties to come together on entitlement program revisions and curbing the national debt seems close to impossible, because the Democratic voting base feels they will be disproportionately affected by the changes. With respect to illegal immigration controls, the Democrats will still drag their feet, because they want to expand their voting base. Since the problems of drugs, gangs and overloading our hospitals, schools and jails are expanding exponentially, there is probably some consensus that can be reached in these areas.  With respect to dealing with terrorism, both at home and abroad, and building back the military, once Obama is gone, both candidates appear to want to move ahead.

Each of the two leading candidates for President claims a vision. Hillary Clinton’s campaign slogan is ‘Stronger Together’.  Trump’s is ‘Make American Great Again’. Although both are admirable, they demonstrate a different projection for the future. Hillary Clinton’s plans appear to be more of the same, but hoping to mend some of our racial and economic differences. Trump sees a different picture--- one of reviving this nation to its rightful place on the world stage.

Stepping back and looking at the big picture may be the only way to grasp the gravity of where this country has been heading for the last several decades. Otherwise we will continue our gradual descent into mediocrity.

The outcome will determine if the Supreme Court leans liberal or conservative and could more often question the Constitution, especially with respect to Second Amendment rights. The next President will determine the direction this country will take. Unfortunately, upwards of 80% of voters have already made up their minds. Many vote robotically. Sadly the facts are parceled out and twisted by a biased media.

Each individual owes it to themselves, and those that will come after, to look at the ‘big’ picture and not just their own pocketbook or their chosen Party’s platform.





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