By Dr. Jim Ferguson
I can honestly say I had never watched a Presidential inauguration until January 20, 2017. I guess it was because I was always working. My son-in-law said he first watched an inauguration in grammar school. When I was coming up TVs were a rarity in school.
In those days we learned about daily events through newspapers or the nightly news. We believed Walter Cronkite, but now we know there is fake and politicized news and has been so as long as people have been reporting. Given the reality of things, I believe it would be dangerous to accept one source of facts. There are multiple perspectives on any event, and because there is 24 hour cable news and talk-radio along with newspapers, the internet and the Networks, we are provided multiple perspectives from which we should then make our own opinions.
There weren’t smart phones with news apps when Becky and I stayed up late in 1969 to watch Neil Armstrong step onto the moon. I remember learning of the 9-11 terrorist attack in 2001 as I moved to the next examination room in my office. And I only heard of the Challenger disaster when I came home late that evening and Becky informed me. Today I would have learned of such events with news flashes on my smartphone, which incidentally has more computing capacity than the computers on Apollo 11.
These days the pace of life and change is breathtaking. At times I’ve been critical of the blather and pundits necessary to fill the 24 hour news cycle, but I can periodically disengage from the TV and turn off alerts on my iPhone if I need a rest. Orwell’s novel 1984 shows what can happen when facts and “news” become indoctrination. I do think that people walking or driving around with their face in their smart phones is dangerous and not conducive to human conversation and civility. I’ve seen couples having dinner in a restaurant with their noses buried in their smart phones. At the risk of being crude, surfing the Net “together” is not foreplay.
These days I find myself checking my news apps regularly because so much is happening. Obama largely governed by executive order rather than through legislation. Trump is now in the process of dismantling eight years of executive orders. Revolutionary shifts have already begun in Trump’s first week as President. There have been changes on immigration policy, the wall and border security, sanctuary city issues, a ban on Federal funds to support international abortion, cancelling the TPP, a hiring freeze of some Federal workers, authorization of the Keystone and Dakota pipelines, announcement of election fraud investigation by the DOJ and revisions of Obama-care. Trump has more energy than me. Just following what he’s up to wears me out.
A friend of mine has close connections with sheriffs all over the United States. He tells me that the mood of border security agents and ICE is ecstatic over Trump cancelling Obama’s “Catch and Release” policy. The Stock Market is booming with the DOW braking 20,000. The unions met with Trump and have switched teams, abandoning their traditional support of Democrats. Industry kingpins are bullish and plan to make products in the US rather than abroad as complicated and onerous regulations are lifted. I read last year that American companies have been “sitting” on $8 trillion in capital which is available for investment in a friendlier business climate. A TV business pundit said it best, “The American spirit has been imprisoned for eight years under Obama.” The spirit has been liberated.
Obviously, not everyone is happy with the country’s new direction and leader. In a recent essay I introduced the notion of a fourth branch of government, defined as ensconced workers in the vast Washington bureaucracy who transcend any administration change. “A fifth column is any group of people who undermines a larger group – such as a nation or a besieged city.” The term has its origin in the 1936 Spanish Civil War. A Nationalist (Fascist) general boasted he had “four columns of troops” converging on the Republican (socialist) city of Madrid, as well as a “Quinta columna,” a fifth column of supporters within the city. I suspect our own government is full of Lois Lerners who view Trump’s statements of reducing government and hiring freezes with alarm and resistance.
Last weekend several million women marched in opposition to what they perceive as Trump’s pro-life perspective. Most of these rallies were peaceful and I believe the ladies were sincere. The exceptions were the professional rioters arrested in Washington DC who face up to ten years in prison. I’m certainly not a policy wonk, but I’ve not heard of any Trump policy threatening women’s rights. He did stop Federal money being used to fund international abortions. Perhaps the mere mention that Trump considers himself pro-life is enough to make some women march. However, Piers Morgan, former CNN host and a self-described liberal, said the march in Washington DC, was “not about women’s rights, but about Trump hatred.” After listening to speeches by the foul mouthed Madonna and the “vile, crude, violent, nasty and man-hating” Ashley Judd, Morgan may have a point.
Lastly, the ruling class of Washington, the Democrats and their media accomplices are opposed to Trump and the new order. The status quo has been good for business for the connected and powerful. It’s called crony capitalism and banking. Lobbyists peddle influence and buy politicians, and government workers are assured high paying government jobs while Main Street dies. The fictional capitol Panem of The Hunger Games aptly describes the elitist Washington DC cabal.
Those in power and those who thrive on their coat tails will not take kindly to someone whose goal is to change course and take their power, drain their swamp and change the culture of a broken system.
Trump may not be a student of the Bible, but he should know that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the the authorities, against the powers and against the forces of evil” (Ephesians 6:12).
I hope he understands what he’s up against.