Donald Trumpís Message: Be Very Afraid And Only I Can Fix It

If you saw the Republican convention in Cleveland and especially if you saw Donald Trump’s speech that he gave on the final night of the convention; you might think that the sky is falling and only Donald Trump could fix it. Throughout this campaign season, the Republican party and especially Donald Trump have been pandering to our fears while telling the nation that they hold the solution. But much of that fear is irrational.

Sure there are criminals among us. Terrorism is an ongoing threat. But none of us should give in to fear. A woman I know refused to leave her suburban enclave to go into the city during the week of the convention because she was fearful of violence. But during the convention, there was probably less violent crime committed in Cleveland than during a normal week in July. 

In perhaps one of the most stirring speeches ever given by any American President, Franklin D Roosevelt said in his inaugural address on March 4 1933 “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself, —nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance”. In 1933, the nation had much to fear. The banking system was on the verge of collapse. Millions were unemployed and many lost their life savings. 

Twenty eight years later, John F Kennedy gave his inaugural address stating that as Americans, we should "bear any burden" and "endure any hardship" to make the nation and the world a better place. He concluded that memorable speech with the words "And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country could do for you, but ask what you could do for your country."  

Now eighty three years after FDR's speech and fifty five years after JFK's speech, Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump is telling Americans that we have a lot to be afraid of. Our cities are the wild west with criminals everywhere. There are illegal immigrants who are drug dealers and murderers. Then there are Moslems who want to kill Americans in the name of Allah.  

Donald Trump is saying that we should be afraid, very afraid and that only he could protect us. My question is where was the cape and the blue leotard with the red S on the chest when he gave that speech? But now we have Super Donald here to fight for truth, justice and the American way!  

As Americans, we are much better than that. In that pivotal year in our nation's history, 1776, things looked very bleak for the colonies. The British had taken control of New York City (and they held it until the conclusion of the war) and were threatening to move on Philadelphia where the Continental Congress was meeting. The easy thing to do would have been for the members of the Continental Congress to leave Philadelphia and go home to tend their families and farms. 

After all, the British were on the verge of crushing the rebellion. And as a rebel congress, each member would surely be executed by the British as traitors and rebels should their revolution fail or should they be captured by the British.  

But did they flee and give in to fear? Of course not! They remained in Philadelphia during the summer of 1776 and boldly created a document declaring their independence from Great Britain. John Hancock, one of the wealthiest men in the colonies and President of the Continental Congress, was the first to place his signature on the Declaration of Independence. He was reported to have said that his bold signature "could be read by King George III without his spectacles".  

Now 240 years later, a candidate for President is saying to Americans that we have a lot to fear and that only he could fix things and allay our fears. If that isn't the talk of a demagogue, then what is?  

In 1950 Eleanor Roosevelt said in a speech: “Somehow we must keep ourselves free from fear and suspicion of each other. I sit with people who are representatives of communist countries, and to sit with them is a lesson in what fear can do. Fear can take away from you all the courage to be an individual. You become a mouthpiece for the ideas that you have been told you must give forth.” 

Dictators thrive in a climate of fear. Adolph Hitler used fear to cement his power and control over Germany in the 1930s. We all know what happened after that. The old Soviet Union maintained control through the use of fear. When we surrender to fear, very often we surrender freedom as well. 

We Americans are much better than that. Americans do not surrender to fear. A leader is one who doesn’t stoke fear or panders to fear, but one who inspires the people to greater things. 

Perhaps what we really should fear is that Donald Trump may become the next President. Only we, the voters can prevent that from happening.  


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 8, Issue 8, Posted 10:17 AM, 08.02.2016