Calm Competence Versus Bombastic Incompetence

The election this year is one of the most important elections in our nation’s history. Since our country’s founding 244 years ago, there have been divisions among Americans. In 1776, the divisions were between loyalists who wanted to remain subject to England and rebels who wanted independence. Even after the constitution was ratified, there were divisions about its interpretation and the power of the federal government.

But now the country is divided along cultural and ideological lines that haven’t been seen in fifty years. I remember when the nation was divided in the late 1960s and early 1970s over the Vietnam War. But the roots of the divisions now can be traced back to that era.

The country has united previously. Usually it was a threat from abroad that united the nation. The Japanese attack on Peral Harbor united the nation to war. The terrorist attacks on September 11 2001 also united the nation. But we have become a nation severely divided. This election poses a choice on whether we want to stoke the divisions or heal them.

Donald Trump, ever since the day he descended the escalator in Trump Tower, has exploited and stoked the divisions in the country. Listening to his rhetoric, he makes no attempt to understand some of the issues that have caused protests in the streets of some of our cities. Instead, his rhetoric is inflammatory and exacerbates the situation.

I witnessed what can happen when a public official uses inflammatory rhetoric to stoke divisions and it ended tragically. That was fifty years ago on my college campus at Kent State University. Following the rioting that burned the campus ROTC building, the governor tore up an order closing the university for one week to allow things to calm down. Instead he called the students, most who were not involved in the burning of the ROTC building, “the worst elements in our country today, worse than the brownshirts”. He then said that everything would go on as normal the following day Monday May 4, including a planned demonstration protesting the presence of National Guard troops on campus. The rest is history.

We are at such a crossroad right now in the United States. Our current president would like us to believe that only he could fix things. But he has been president almost a full term. Has he really “fixed” anything? Donald Trump has a record of failed businesses and stiffed contractors. He hasn’t fixed anything. Instead he has made things worse. No doubt he will go down in history as perhaps the most incompetent president in history.

His opponent Joe Biden is a long time fixture in Washington. He served in the Senate for 36 years and then eight years as Vice President under President Obama. Rather than make wild promises and saying that “only he can fix it”; he offers a calm and reassuring voice that shows empathy, a quality that Donald Trump cannot show. He understands how government works and has worked “across the aisle” earning the respect of political opponents.

He knows that politics is not a war between the two political parties. Opponents are not the enemy. In the United States we can have political differences and work together to hammer out solutions to the nation’s problems. Joe Biden has been a centrist all his career. But now the Republican party has moved so far to the right that the center is to their left. Good government happens when both parties work together for the benefit of the people, not to please their campaign donors.

This is what is at stake in this election. Do we want to continue down the same path that the nation has taken over the past four years or do we want to somehow come together and actually solve the problems facing the nation? This year, the United States has faced a pandemic, the likes we haven’t experienced in more than a century. As of this writing, it has killed over 200,000 Americans and sickened more than six million.

It didn’t have to be that way. Other nations have successfully dealt with this pandemic. But Donald Trump has completely mismanaged this pandemic from the start. He has ignored science and the medical experts while attempting to cast the blame elsewhere. If, for no other reason, this is why the voters should end this “long national nightmare” and vote next month as if our lives and nation depended on it (which it does) and elect Joe Biden for President. Our nation desperately needs quiet competence, not more bombastic incompetence.

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 12, Issue 10, Posted 11:58 PM, 09.30.2020