Why Are So Many Americans Angry?

This month all across the country, families and individuals will be sitting down for a dinner and to give thanks what ever we have received throughout the year. The annual feast of Thanksgiving is truly a unique American holiday that is neither a religious holiday nor a purely secular holiday. Throughout the country Americans will be sitting down with family and/or friends and giving thanks for what we have, regardless of personal wealth or faith.

Of course, we all have learned the story of the first thanksgiving ceremony in 1621 at the Plymouth settlement in Massachusetts where the English settlers invited the native Americans to join with them in a celebration of a successful harvest and surviving in the new world. In fact, had it not been the friendship of the native Americans living there few of those English settlers would have survived.

Yet, despite just about every American sitting down to a Thanksgiving dinner and giving thanks for what we have in this world, it seems that so many Americans are angry. It is everywhere. We see examples of “road rage” on our streets and highways of people actually using their car as a weapon against another person on the street or highway. Hardly a month passes without a mass shooting taking place somewhere in the United States. Then there is the domestic violence that plagues many families.

Then there is the political arena. The two political parties are not just opponents with differing approaches to solving the nation’s problems; but are enemies in mortal combat as if an election were a war for the very survival of the nation. Every time the President gives the annual State of the Union address to congress; whenever the President says something that they want to see accomplished, the members of congress of the political party of the President applaud while the opposition party sits in silence.

In our government bipartisanship and compromise have become dirty words. But throughout our nation’s history anything great has involved making compromises. If a President or member of congress actually attempts to make compromises with the opposite party, they are called a traitor or worse.

Families have become estranged from each other over political beliefs. I have had Facebook friends “unfriend” me because we have different political viewpoints. Families have been torn apart because one member doesn’t vote the way the other likes. But is it worth it?

The past number of years I have seen political rallies that resembled more like one of those rallies in Nazi Germany complete with thugs to beat up anyone who dares disagree or protest. We even saw a presidential candidate offering to pay legal fees for any supporter who “punched out” a protester at a rally. Then we saw a video clip of the Speaker of the House saying that she wanted to “punch out” the President who incited a mob of his supporters to storm the capitol with some in the mob calling for the assassination of the Vice President.

We have all seen the videos of that riot at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. There was definitely a lot of anger in the people at the Capitol that day. Then there was the current President saying to his supporters “if you don’t fight like hell, then you won’t have a country”.

There is a line in an old song that went “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”. Perhaps one thing that seems to have vanished in our society nowadays has been civility and respect. There was a time in my life when I remember politicians of both parties actually showing respect for each other and of an outgoing President who lost a bid for a second term leaving a nice welcoming letter to their successor at the White House.

I also remember a President sitting down with the Speaker of the House who was in the opposition party having marathon negotiations over proposed legislation. Then coming together with something that both could agree upon. Then after the negotiations, relaxing with some whiskey like two buddies. We need to get back to that before “we don’t know what we’ve got till it’s gone.”

Lee Kamps

Lee has been working with Medicare, Medicaid and private health insurance since he began working at the Erie County Welfare Department in January 1973 where a major part of his job was determining eligibility for Medicaid. He went into the private insurance business in 1977 with Prudential Insurance Company and within a short time had become one of the company’s top sales agents. In 1982, he was promoted into management where he managed two field offices and as many as thirteen sales agents. After leaving Prudential in 1986, Lee decided to become more focused on health insurance and employee benefits. He has advised many local employers on how to have a more cost effective employee benefit program as well as conducted employee benefit meetings and enrollments for many area employers. The companies Lee has worked with ranged from small “mom and pop” businesses to local operations of large national companies. Lee received his B.S. degree from Kent State University where he has been active in the local alumni association. He has completed seven of the ten courses toward the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist designation. He has taught courses in employee benefits and insurance at Cleveland State University and local community colleges. In addition, Lee is an experienced and accomplished public speaker. He has been a member of Toastmasters International where he achieved the designation of “Able Toastmaster – Silver” in 1994. He has also served as a club president, Area Governor and District Public Relations Officer in Toastmasters as well as winning local speech contests. Lee has also been a member of the Greater Cleveland Growth Association’s Speaker’s Bureau where he was designated as one of the “official spokespeople for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” prior to the hall’s opening in 1995. He has given talks and presentations before many audiences including civic organizations, AARP chapters and many other community groups. With the implementation of the Medicare Modernization Act (Medicare drug bill) in 2006, Lee has shifted his focus to Medicare and helping Medicare beneficiaries navigate the often confusing array of choices and plans available. As an independent representative, Lee is not bound to any one specific company or plan, but he can offer a plan that suits an individual person’s needs and budget. In addition, Lee is well versed in the requirements and availability of various programs for assistance with Medicare part D as well as Medicaid. While he cannot make one eligible, he can assist in the process and steer one to where they may be able to receive assistance.

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Volume 14, Issue 11, Posted 8:51 AM, 11.01.2022