By Dr. Jim Ferguson
With all the miserable news that daily bombards us, is it any wonder why people are despondent and huddle in fear? The journalistic mantra of, “If it bleeds, it leads,” is on full display these days. A recent Gallup poll found that 84% of Americans believe the media is the major cause of our divisiveness. Actually, the media mantra has become, if it hates it leads.
Recently I found myself rousing about “fake news,” negative and hackneyed campaign ads, BLM and Antifa riots, rising murder rates in blue cities, the destruction of sports by politics and religious pogroms as churches are closed and anarchists burn Bibles in Portland.
Then, I caught myself. I was falling prey to media manipulation by pseudo-elites who spin everything as Trump hatred. Even Trump’s positive comments about the economy and COVID-19 are lampooned. Apparently, the intelligentsia never heard of Norman Vincent Peele who wrote the book of how to avoid negative attitudes. Personally, I try to avoid “nattering nabobs of negativity.”
These days, I find myself asking, “What is working?” Actually, a lot! Space X is a huge triumph. America now has a way to put astronauts in orbit and bring them home safely without using Russia. Since Democrats still see Russians everywhere, you’d think that might make them happy. Don’t count on it. Elon Musk’s program can even reclaim the booster rockets by landing them on ships! My marriage to the lovely, Becky, is an astounding success. My faith has never been stronger. I know where I came from and my purpose in life. And I’m no longer conflicted about what is wrong and what is right.
Too often we get caught up in the negatives and take for granted what is working. The internet is a beautiful thing for people with curiosity, and it is virtually free, if you pay your electricity bill. And we take for granted gas at the pumps and food in the grocery store.
Former Democrat presidential candidate, Michael “Doomberg,” infamously opined that farming is as simple as putting a seed in the ground. However, like Joe Biden and Diane Feinstein, he also said the Chinese government is not our enemy. To clueless elites, farming is tough and China is not our friend. I am thankful for my bounteous harvest this year of wonderful peaches, corn, pears and enough cucumbers to make Becky wave a white flag because she’s run out of canning jars for her sublime pickles. Her pickles certainly bear no resemblance to Mayberry’s Aunt Bee’s “kerosene cucs.” However, as a gentleman farmer like Mr. Douglas of Green Acres, I couldn’t feed myself, let alone my family. So, I am thankful for farmers.
When I was younger, I took life for granted. You’ve heard the adage that teenage boys consider themselves bullet proof and immortal. I no longer think as a child. Since I’ve walked through the “valley of the shadow of death,” aches and pains of aging can be suspect. These days, I thank God each morning when I wake up that I’ve been granted another day of life.
I’m thankful for excellent medical care in my community. My doctors know me as a person, not just a patient with various medical issues. Additionally, most things I need are in our neighborhood. My older daughter lives in Portland, Oregon, which is similarly organized as numerous small neighborhoods. I’m blessed to live in Knoxville which is not besieged by anarchists or subject to looting as in numerous large blue cities. And unlike Minneapolis where citizens are now advised to just surrender their wallets to criminals, we support our police, the thin blue line that protects our community. Interestingly, a new poll showed that 80% of African Americans do not want police protection reduced. So, why do Democrats want to defund the police?
Having traveled extensively, I am thankful to live in Knoxville. In fact, I’ve found only two places where I might consider moving. One is Wellington, New Zealand, and the other is Victoria, British Columbia. Never take the blessings of our city, freedom, the Constitution or America for granted!
As Democrats promote defunding police departments amidst anarchy and lawlessness, abolishing ICE despite criminal illegals on our streets, promote Green New Deals, increasing taxes and regulations, and cozying up to socialists and Marxists, I am thankful for the brash man from Queens who resists these Democrat socialists, their media mouthpieces and the enemies of America. Actually, I like Trump’s tough talk. I don’t want America burnt down, the economy destroyed or education held hostage to the demands of teachers unions.
I recently heard two comments which sealed my support for Trump. The NYT’s Thomas Friedman was asked when the chaos would end, and he said “after” the November election. In other words, the Democrats want the chaos (economy problems, COVID-19 isolation), to continue as an election issue despite the harm done to the country.
The second comment was from Dan Sterling, the owner of the NBA Los Angeles Clippers, who said sports should continue so as to provide a platform for athletes to protest. I have written off the NBA and major league baseball teams like the Yankees, Miami and San Francisco who kneel or pander to the Marxist BLM. We’ll see about pro football because I just learned that the NFL is launching a voter registration program! What does this have to do with football? I will not “show up” to see my country, the flag and the national anthem bashed by jocks and limousine liberals.
It is hard to be positive amidst negativism. As a student of history, what is happening in our country has happened over and over in other places and times, always with disastrous consequences. As a historical example, I cite the Bible as the greatest existing history of a people, the Hebrews. When they followed God they prospered, only to fall away and suffer destruction until a remnant refocused on God and they returned to prosperity.
To stay positive the doctor prescribes: turn off the so-called “news” when it becomes too much for your soul; avoid social media and instead interact with friends, neighbors and positive people instead of marching to protest of some imagined “first-world” grievance; and as the ancient prophet Micah said, “Act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.”