Donald J. Trump’s “America first!” policies take on a whole new meaning in light of the COVID-19 pandemic: the US is now the global leader in infections and deaths from the virus. With almost a million known to be infected and more than 50,000 deaths, the US now accounts for nearly a third of infections worldwide, and a quarter of the fatalities. We’re lightyears ahead of our leading competitor in COVID-19 incompetence, with four times as many cases as Spain. No one can catch us! The Trump administration can be justly proud of the new records it’s setting. Hey, no such thing as bad publicity, right?
Posts by Alex Miller
The date of posting this article marks six months exactly until the General Election which will decide Donald Trump’s (and the nation’s) fate. Typically I don’t comment this early on a fall election, particularly when the official Democratic candidate has yet to be named (though Joe Biden’s nomination appears to be just a formality, in the age of coronavirus, nothing can be taken for granted), but the popular acclaim for advanced analysis has been deafening of late. So here we go.
In this article, I’ll be focusing on peripheral factors unrelated directly to the candidates; we’ll save that for closer to the event itself. But there are several unalterable factors that independently impact the day. And an alarming number of them point to electoral fraud. So we’ll just be looking at the day itself in isolation, irrespective of the individuals’ winning potential (though we will discuss how the candidates’ PNAs factor into the patterns of the day).
For readers unfamiliar with my saga, I’m an inveterate celebrator of the seasons. Although raised as a fundamentalist Protestant, what my parents truly inculcated in me was a love of nature and the wilds. Those few precious hours between Sunday morning school and church services and Sunday evening prayer meetings were often spent in the backroads and byways of the Poconos, identifying the local flora and fauna, which was where my spirit truly soared.
So pagan practice was something I gravitated to naturally when I threw off the confines of my upbringing. But as a city dweller for 35 years, without regular access to the fields and woods of my boyhood, I’ve had to recreate those spaces indoors, and I decorate extensively season to season, using the Wiccan Wheel of the Year as my model and faux or artificial elements as my tools. These days I have no faith, terming myself a “lapsed Pagan”, but I still enjoy the rituals of my maturity and the traditions of my youth when holidays roll around.
Holy Week 2020 saw two major reversals for political figures on both sides of the pond, one medical, one political, both with COVID-19 connections. On Palm Sunday, 5 April, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was hospitalized in ICU with coronavirus complications and given oxygen. The 55-year-old PM had been diagnosed positive for the virus ten days previously, and his condition had deteriorated to the point where the medical support at No. 10 Downing Street was insufficient to his need, and he was admitted to St. Thomas Hospital, London.
On Wednesday April 8, US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders withdrew from the race; the indefatigable Vermont Senator’s campaign, bloodied but unbowed in Super Tuesday primary contests, had finally succumbed to COVID-19’s isolationist tendencies. Unable to hold mass rallies or campaign effectively given coronavirus social distancing requirements, with most remaining primary elections postponed to the summer due to the virus’ impact, Sanders finally threw in the towel on his presidential aspirations.
Late on April 3, 2020 US President Donald Trump did a little spring cleaning, throwing out some trash he’d been wanting to get rid of for some time. The offending object was Justice Department Inspector General of the Intelligence Community Michael Atkinson, the man whose judicious handling of the Ukraine whistleblower report eventually led to the President’s impeachment. Trump made no bones about his reason for relieving Atkinson of his position, citing the decision to pass the complaint on to Congress as the grounds for removal. With The Donald, everything is either confession or projection.
It’s been a year since my father died, leaving me my boyhood home, and I am finally ready to make the move! I won’t actually be completely cleared out from my old digs and off that lease until June 1, but Friday, April 3 was the day I chose to transfer focus to the new house in Nazareth. Until then, my base had been Philadelphia, with frequent trips north to prep the new space; now I’ll flip that script, staying mainly in Nazareth while I travel back to Philly to continue final packing. We’ve already done two prior major moves, with one remaining. But the key moment in this protracted process is when I move Ashes, my sweet-cranky tortoiseshell cat, who has been with me 13 years. Where she is, is home! And that date was set for April 3.
As ever with the cosmos, all things are perfect in their timing, and I hadn’t really consulted an ephemeris before I chose the date, relying on the heavens to do its thing. And a chart cast for moving day shows my faith was not misplaced, with the momentous event perfectly portrayed in celestial symmetry.