By Dr. Jim Ferguson

While campaigning in South Carolina, Hillary Clinton once intoned, “I don’t feel no-ways tarred.” Well, these days I often do.

When I was younger, I used to get up, take a shower, drink Dolly’s “cup of ambition” and be at the top of my game. Not so anymore, at sixty-nine years old.

Perhaps it’s just the rain, the lingering gloom of February and winter’s chill. But these days, it takes a hot shower, several cups of “Joe” and spiritual journaling to rise above the barrage of negative “news” which floods my iPhone each morning. I suspect my internet “windows on the world” may not be healthy for me. However, I believe staying informed is my duty as a citizen, especially when my country is at war.

At this writing, I carry the ashes of Lent upon my forehead. Though I am a Christian, the Lenten season has always been less joyous for me than the Christmas Season. And Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday never did much for me. I tried fasting once, but it didn’t help me focus on the reason for the season. In years past, I tried giving up various things, but this didn’t help my focus either. Consequently, this Lenten Season I’m taking a different approach. My goal is to try and associate all everyday life events as a means to refocus my prayers on “what is better” (Luke 10:42).

Actually, I feel better when I trust in the Lord. And I’m not alone in this conclusion. Sages down through the ages have come to the same revelation. That does not mean I just sit passively and wait for Jesus to brush my teeth each morning. Nor, do I expect the government to feed me, provide me with “affordable housing” or pay for my education.

During the recent South Carolina Presidential romper room “debate,” the Dems were challenged to outline their policies that would provide these needs and “equity” for minimum wage workers. Folks, the answers from Bernie and the Bros was socialism. Minimum wage is for unskilled entry level workers. It is not a career choice, unless you aspire to live in your parent’s basement and take community college courses on women’s studies.

I graduated from high school in 1969 when America was winding down from the Vietnam war and decreasing the military. As a result, I never served in the army, and in some respects, I regret this. Soldiers in war zones do their duty. I believe my tour of duty is here and now. The war against the seditious Deep State, the dishonest “Drive-by Media,” the hate filled anti-American leftists like Antifa and the Democrats who even politicize the coronavirus crisis takes its toll even on soldiers of the home-front.

I’ve previously written about the various “isms” (Get Woke January 13, 2020), but apparently this needs to be oft repeated and explained to millennials and others you encounter who are misinformed.

Socialism is a political, social and economic philosophy which arose in the late 19th century in opposition to capitalism. Socialism advocates collective ownership of all means of production. Advocates recognize that class struggle may be necessary to effect societal change. The more radical socialists moved beyond the ballot box to armed conflict in Russia, China and Cuba. These radicals identify as proponents of Communism, a system where a socialist system is run by an elite ruling class (Washington?). Vladimir Lenin once said that the “goal of socialism is communism.”

Perhaps it’s just ignorance that so many young people have a favorable opinion of Socialism, a system that has a 100% failure rate. Winston Churchill once said, “Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy.” If young people haven’t been educated, then we have a duty to educate them. Unfortunately, a bigger problem is the realization that the educational system is too often a source of malicious indoctrination and maleducation.

I am certainly not advocating the unfettered Capitalism of the late 19th century robber barons. However, capitalism which is based on private property, personal industry and market demand, has lifted more people out of poverty than any other system. Again, I quote Churchill, “The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”  However, rest assured that the Washington elite will be spared the misery they advocate and create.

I have friends who are more conservative than me and others more liberal. I don’t personally know any leftists, a perspective that advocates ever larger government, open borders, elimination of free speech and racial issues inherent in all aspects of life. Antifa devotees are leftists and anti-American.

Like me, Liberalism espouses civil liberty, free speech, American national sovereignty and free markets. However, I get confused by Pelosi and the Democrat Presidential candidates who actually espouse Progressive philosophies such as economic, social and environmental justice, universal healthcare and a living wage. Perhaps Democrat politicians only masquerade as liberals and are actually progressive socialists like “Bolshevik Bernie.”

I’ve found the best way to respond to the confused is to ask them why they believe such and such. When you encounter misinformed people, ask them for an example which supports their position. I’ve found this less confrontational than saying that you just don’t accept their premise, which is often emotional parroting of political correctness.

Soldiers all undergo training, and it is important to get informed and codify your thoughts. Then, I recommend you ask The Master for courage and strength and the wisdom to “speak the truth in love.” Though all should be viewed as children of God, I don’t advise this approach with Antifa types or the Bernie Bros. Only the Lord can help them, but fortunately they remain a decided minority. Like the self-described socialist, Bernie Sanders, they are beyond reason because their ideology has become their religion.

During this Lenten Season, I plan to focus on a positive spiritual and civic attitude during the forty days of Lent, and hopefully beyond. I will pray for the victims of the coronavirus, for President Trump, the lost and the confused. And though the Boy Scouts have killed their once noble organization, I will continue to use their motto. “I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country” and those I love (even the unlovable).