This will be my last column at the Greenville Times Examiner. It has been a privilege to be able to express myself in this publication for the last four and a half years. I want to thank Colonel Bob Dill for allowing me to be part of his enterprise. I also thank those who have helped in producing the paper over my time here, and those who read my columns…thank you. It was my hope to be always interesting, sometimes humorous, and to demonstrate Col. Dill and my shared devotion to the First Amendment…I trust that goal was achieved.

After meeting with my family over the Labor Day weekend, we believe my next challenge should be to finish writing my book (s). One idea , was that came from talking with my oldest son, was for me to pull together a ‘Greatest Hits,’ a compilation of my columns that got the most hits at the Times Examiner…what do you readers think about that idea?

I also have the first draft of a book already done on Fathers and Sons (“Dancing with Dad”), an effort started decades ago when my Father passed away. Writing about my Father helped me work through my grief. The Father/Son dynamic in life is little discussed and yet is a huge influence on us all. Every son wants to have the respect of his Father, and we sometimes go to great lengths in pursuit of it. My family has urged me to expand on the draft and update it to include my experiences with my sons. That would be a real challenge for me.

My life has been informed most by my family, starting with my parents, who were college graduates in the 1930’s when the country was staggered by the great Depression. Their parents were willing to make huge sacrifices to see their children get an education and so, too, were my parents. Sacrificing for the next generation was a bedrock value of their generation. Indeed, sacrifice has always been an American value…until now.

It is my considered opinion that as a people we are losing or may already have lost the devotion to this country that was a strong element of our country’s character. I do not believe that anyone who subscribes to a belief in socialism can also be devoted to America. Socialism, meaning having government control the means of production and every facet of our lives, has never proved successful…anywhere, anytime. America has always meant freedom, and our Constitution defined how we would only allow a limited government as our organizing principle; subject to the fact that we, “the people,” would be sovereign. Those ideas serve as my guiding conservative outlook.

Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address defined Veterans as those who were, “Willing to give the last full measure of devotion.” That devotion is to this country, it is necessary to preserve our way of life, and it allows us to accept the sacrifices required to renew America generation after generation. Some people have no concept of or consider it a trite phrase to say, “Freedom is not free.” It worries me that so many of my fellow Americans do not understand or flat out reject what we who use such words understand: what is required to keep our freedoms alive. As Ronald Reagan said, “After America, there is no place else to go.”

My interest in writing for the Times Examiner was also driven by a legal phrase: “Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.” That means untruthful in part, untruthful in all. That, frankly, is what plagues the profession of journalism today; the media has become a mere shill for the Democrat National (Socialist) Committee. Progressive/socialist bias rules at places like CNN and the New York Times.

The Times Examiner has been a beacon of light in an increasingly dark world. Our President calls it, “Fake news;” and his willingness to call out the liars and biased reporters and TV talking heads is refreshing and long overdue. Where does one go to find the truth, how can the citizens required to maintain our Democracy develop their opinions and make informed decisions without an honest media?

We must challenge the lies and confront the charlatans who would lead us astray. We must vote, every time; we cannot allow the efforts of Democrats to give the right to vote to illegal aliens. We must stay in the fight to Make America Great Again. God bless America…over and out.

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Mike Scruggs