US Senate candidate Sethi campaigns in Savannah

Manny Sethi

Trauma surgeon Manny Sethi visited Hardin County on Wednesday to speak to local voters and explain why he wants them to vote for him for U.S. Senate.
Sethi is currently running in the Aug. 6 primary election for the Republican Party candidate nomination for the seat being left vacant by Lamar Alexander, who announced last year he would not run for reelection.
Sethi, whose parents, both doctors, immigrated to the U.S. from India, spoke about how his upbringing gave him a special respect and love for America, Tennessee, the medical profession and service to others.
“I so deeply love Tennessee and I just want to share with y’all why I’ve embarked on this very crazy journey to run for the U.S. Senate. My journey, like for so many of us, begins with my mom and dad.
They grew up in India in the 1940s. Have any of you all seen this movie, Slumdog Millionaire?” he asked.
“So you know the poverty in that movie – it exists, it’s true. When my parents were children, their homes were burned to the ground by Muslim radicals. And they lost everything they had. But by the grace of God, by the grace of the good Lord, they were able to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and become doctors,” Sethi said, easing into the story of how he came to be standing in Mollie Monday’s restaurant asking for people to vote for him.
He spoke of the struggles his parents faced to get through medical school, and their realization that India would not give them the lives they envisioned for them and their children yet to come.
“But they watched the television shows and read the magazines and they’d heard of this far distant promise called America, and the American dream. A better way of life for their unborn kids. So they did what a lot of people did back then – they went to the U.S. embassy, and they stood in line and waited their turn, and in the 1970s, by the grace of God, they came to this country legally,” he said.
Sethi was born in Cleveland, Ohio, which is where his parents first lived in the U.S. and retrained in the U.S. medical system. Sethi and his family moved to Coffee County, Tennessee when he was 4.
He credits an experience he had with his father, who rushed to aid a man having a heart attack, with giving him his moral compass and making him the man he is today.
“After he helped save the man, a family member reached into his pocket not once, not twice, but three times trying to give my Dad some money, and he wouldn’t take it. Afterward I asked him why he didn’t take the money, and he said to me, ‘It doesn’t matter what’s in your bank account; what matters is the difference that you make,’” Sethi said.
In his early 20s his father died of liver cancer, which is when Sethi says he was born again and became a Christian, and decided to become a doctor like his parents. He’s been a trauma surgeon at Vanderbilt University Hospital for 10 years.
After becoming a doctor, Sethi and his wife started a non-profit corporation called “Health Tennessee,” which has provided preventative medical care to thousands of patients in the state at no cost. Preventative medicine remains one of his biggest campaign platforms, in the effort toward building a better healthcare system in the U.S.
Asked why preventative medicine isn’t more strongly urged in the U.S., Sethi said it’s because doctors have been trained by practice not to push it, and don’t have the incentive to.
“We have to pay doctors to push preventive care on their patients, and get the doctors to work with people on how they can stay healthier from the beginning. The way it’s always been, doctors get paid to fix what’s wrong, which is the worst way to go. If we work with people to get healthy and stay healthy, we cut healthcare costs across the board massively and have a healthier, happier society as a bonus.”
The other planks in Sethi’s healthcare platform are allowing free and open insurance markets to spark more competition, which he says will lower costs, and requiring transparency in healthcare pricing, so consumers can shop for cost savings.
Sethi also spoke bringing manufacturing back from foreign lands, and said as a Senator he will “fight to have a second industrial revolution in the U.S.A. Have have to bring manufacturing back.”
Explaining that it’s a personal issue for him, because his parents came to the U.S. legally, Sethi said he is strongly against illegal immigration and wants immigration reform.
He said he wants to end birthright citizenship, end chain migration, and build a border wall at the U.S. southern border.
“What I can tell you, in this race, is that I’m the Christian conservative outsider. I’m from outside of government, and I want to make a difference for you. 40 years ago, in a place just like this – in Coffee County – you opened your doors and your hearts to Indian immigrants. You gave them a chance; you didn’t have to do that, but you did, and look what happened next.
“I became a doctor. My brother became a doctor. I am running for the U.S. Senate. Yesterday I went to early vote, and I was in this voting booth, and I just became very emotional. Because I was thinking about the night that my mother and father left India – and here it is there son is on the ballot. And as I was walking out all these people were hugging me, people who had voted for me, encouraging me. So 40 years later, this kid from rural Coffee County – I’m here today and I’m asking you, to take a chance on me. To vote for me, and to help me support you.
“Send me to Washington, and together – and I mean together – let’s take on the Republican establishment, and let’s finally do the work of the American people. Let’s take on Communist China and bring manufacturing back here. Let’s take on the mobs and rioters. Let’s repeal and replace Obamacare, and build something better,” Sethi said.

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