Loyalty, Courage And Cowardice

One of the points in the Boy Scout law is that a scout is loyal. Loyalty is a key virtue and essential for the success of any business and the nation. However blind loyalty can be a danger as well as false loyalty. It is expected that employees of a company or elected official will be loyal and support the organization. However, it is important to realize that loyalty is also a two way street. If an employee or partner is loyal to one person; the other person should be loyal in return. That means that an employee should be free to disagree with their supervisor or manager in a civil manner without fear of retaliation. At the same time, it should be expected that a loyal employee should also report wrongdoing or any violation of ethics without retaliation as well. This keeps a company and government running in an honest and efficient manner.

However, when any manager or superior views disagreement or pointing out ethical problems as disloyalty; there is something wrong. Blind loyalty becomes dangerous and often leads to problems. The same applies to supervisors and managers who fire or retaliate against subordinates who they feel are “disloyal” by reporting wrongdoing or disagreeing with the superior.

It takes courage to stand up for one’s beliefs and honesty in the face of corruption and dishonesty. Very often people who speak out or do something when there is corruption or dishonesty become heroes for their courage. In fact, John F. Kennedy wrote a best selling book before he became President while he was recovering from back surgery titled Profiles in Courage. That book highlighted several people who dared to speak out against injustice or corruption or just what did the right thing and suffered severe consequences.

But all too often many people just ignore or dismiss corruption, dishonesty or wrongdoing in fear of consequences. Remaining silent in the face of corruption or dishonesty is nothing but cowardice. Call it blind loyalty to a bad leader, whether it is the President of the nation or CEO of a company, it is cowardice.

Right now, the United States is faced with perhaps the most corrupt and incompetent President in its history. A few brave people, such as the whistleblower who exposed the call between Donald Trump and the President of Ukraine to assist in the 2020 election campaign. It took real courage to expose this blatantly illegal action by the President.

At the same time, members of congress in the party of the President have either been silent about this latest event or are taking the line of the President that nothing was wrong. Such blind loyalty is cowardice. Whether or not there is enough evidence to impeach the President is up to the House of Representatives to discover and determine. It is a constitutional process that carries risks for both sides. But to call such a process illegal or unconstitutional is also cowardice.

No matter how this scenario works out; eventually those we have elected to represent us in the congress will have to decide whether to remain blindly loyal to the President and in fear of his supporters or to speak out for the truth. It is fine to be skeptical since until and unless the truth is discovered one way or the other following an investigation; no one can be certain. But for elected officials, eventually they will have to answer to the voters. In the end, cowardice is seldom rewarded.

As Yogi Berra once said; “it’s déjà vu all over again”. This is history repeating itself. I am old enough to remember a very similar situation back in 1973 and 1974 when the Watergate scandal broke and dominated the news. Since then the source of the information that led to the exposure of the scandal, “deep throat” who later was revealed many years later, was remembered as a hero. While those who failed to speak out or expose the corruption were remembered as cowards. Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it. Or if you flunk history, you have to repeat the course.

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 11, Issue 11, Posted 8:50 AM, 11.01.2019