By Dr. Jim Ferguson

My favorite modern Christian writer is Philip Yancey. If you’ve never read his meaningful and beautiful prose, I encourage you to pick up any of his books as a worthy experience. I have learned much from Yancey’s writing which he says is born of contemplation. I too am a contemplative which drives my writing.

As I was prayerfully contemplating and writing in my spiritual journal, one of Yancey’s observations popped into my mind. Life is complicated and it is hard to be totally focused on the Presence while living in a world of sights and sounds and even your own stray thoughts. The trick Yancey taught me was to jot a note to yourself if something intrudes on your prayers. This frees you to then return to the Presence unimpeded.

My note to myself this morning was a question. Why would anyone want to be President of the United States? And that’s where this essay began. I remember in grade school that the President was held in the highest esteem. And we were told that if you dreamed of being the President you would have to work hard to achieve that lustrous position because the presidency demanded the best and the brightest.

Sixty years later, my perspective has changed and now I ask who would put themselves through what Donald Trump has suffered at the hands of the utterly corrupt media, Democrats and the Deep State?

Not surprisingly, I’m often asked about choosing a career in medicine. It’s not for everyone because it’s a long, tough and expensive process. After high school, it takes eight years of competitive college and medical school, followed by three to five years of postdoc residency to become, for instance, an internist or a surgeon. Then most doctors have student loans to pay back which these days approach $200,000.

Though I had jobs throughout college and medical school, I was blessed that my parents were able to pay for my education and I began my medical practice without debt. I renounce any claim that I am just a privileged white guy because of the career I earned. All Americans are privileged. However, I studied hard rather than partying hard. I worked 100 hours a week during my internship training and 60 hours a week during most of my clinical practice. And like my achievement, Trump earned the Presidency despite the loons who refuse to accept his unprecedented accomplishment.

Though the Democratic party has become something else, the Republican or GOP (grand old party) likewise no longer exists. Yes, candidates march with a D or an R or an I beside their names, but these letters are little more than euphemistic titles for parties whose current policies bear little resemblance to their historical tenants.

Like few other politicians, President Trump has fulfilled his campaign promises and has advanced traditional Republican policies. Despite this, few in his own party openly support him, even now. And Trump haters (Swamp creatures like Bill Kristol and RINO wannabes like Mitt Romney) still curse him under their breaths. Unfortunately, in our political system winning the presidency as a third-party candidate is virtually impossible. So, I guess we’re stuck with what we have, but it’s important to pull back the Wizard of Oz’s curtain and understand the carping and who’s pulling the strings of your politician.

As I survey the Democrat presidential field I believe their party should be renamed the “diversity” party. They have young whipper snappers and old geezers. There are male and female candidates, straight ones and not, black, white, Asians, Indians and even “crazies.” And this just covers the 20 principal candidates rather than others who will proffer their names for presidency to enhance a pseudo-resume. Maybe I should announce my candidacy. Naa! I don’t need a resume enhancer, and I don’t want the job or the scrutiny of my high school dating record before my 50th high school reunion this September.

As Jesus stood before Pilate, the Roman procurator asked him, “What is truth?” Was the Roman asking a philosophical question? Was he being a legal beagle trying to sift through the chatter to find the truth regarding Jesus? Or, was he just being a snarky skeptic? We’ll never know because Jesus refused to answer him.

The same is true today. As an internist I see what is going on with my patients and how they got sick, but the foundational question I so often seek is why something occurs. In this seemingly perpetual political season, where it is hard to just do your job and find personal peace, I challenge everyone to ask themselves why something is being said or why something is being done or not done. You will then come closer to the truth of the matter.

For the first time in my awareness we truly have access to a diversity of ideas and perspectives. Alternative media of the Internet, blogs, talk radio and at least one cable news station offer challenges to the major news media’s Orwellian groupthink and group speak. You might think that the Democratic party, the purported party of diversity, would welcome various opinions. That concept is fundamental in classical liberalism of the Enlightenment. However, modern liberalism is actually progressive philosophy and is intolerant of any alternative perspectives. If you dare write a publisher’s opinion in The Knoxville Focus, you will feel the progressive’s intolerance of opinion diversity.

Diversity is defined as being composed of differing elements and, simply put, variety. Interestingly, twelve of Mr. Webster’s fifteen synonyms for diversity begin with the letter d. I’m not sure why. The Democrats describe themselves as the party of diversity, at least of ethnicities, sexual orientation and color, all now used as a cudgel under the banner of intersectionality. (Look it up!) Yet, progressive socialists (today’s Democrats) violently object to anything, but their ideology or perspective. If you doubt me, ask a conservative to lecture at most universities and watch snowflakes wilt in their safe zones and activists or their professors, who demand slavish devotion to ideology and groupthink, march in lockstep opposition to “hurtful” words.

I am thankful for the First Amendment to the greatest document ever written (The Constitution). As a result, alternative and diverse opinions can be voiced, and Knoxvillians are offered an alternative to the Knoxville Sentinel. I’m blessed to live in America, to have acquired some insight and be able to offer my opinions to 40-50,000 readers each week.

And you have the freedom to respectfully disagree with me and wrap trout with my column.