Trump Announces Solar Eclipse

Greg Gnall
3 min readApr 3, 2024

Oh, my name, it ain’t nothin’, my age, it means less
The country I come from is called the Midwest
I’s taught and brought up there, the laws to abide
And that the land that I live in has God on its side.”

-Bob Dylan

The presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald J. Trump has decreed that there will be a total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. In making the announcement of the event that will cross a wide swath of Mexico, Canada and the U.S., Mr. Trump noted that the last such eclipse occurred in 2017 when he was still president and this one will take place during what is really the final year of his second term given the stolen election in 2020.

The eclipse is expected to draw many of the 44 million people in its direct viewing path and many millions more who will drive hundreds and even thousands of miles to get a glimpse of the 4 1/2 minutes of totality.

It should be no surprise that Mr. Trump is claiming credit for the forthcoming event given the Messianic tone that his campaign to regain the White House has taken, with his large scale assemblies more resembling religious revivals than the traditional pep rallies that marks his usual style.

Nothing in Trump World should surprise anyone at this point, but it still mystifies many that a man who has been twice divorced, three times married and doesn’t go to church has managed to gain a stranglehold on the vast majority of Evangelical Christians in this country. Despite bragging about sexually assaulting women, being found civilly liable for one such attack, and paying off a porn star to cover up an apparently frequent consensual encounter, this group refuses to abandon a man they believe was “sent from God” to save a morally depraved country, choosing his so-called policies over the person.

Despite the incongruities, if there is one development that explains the religious right’s unwavering support of Trump it is the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the 50 year Supreme Court precedent that had affirmed a woman’s right to choose what she could do with her own body. He is credited with this action largely due to his appointment of three conservative justices, tipping the balance on the court. But in a rare showing of political astuteness, he has carefully tightroped the abortion issue by not committing to signing a federal 15 week limit on abortion access, recognizing that it remains the biggest issue where Democrats retain the political advantage and a major reason there was no “red wave” in the 2022 Congressional mid-term election.

But the question remains as to how far Trump’s claims to being God’s designee can continue to resonate with the Evangelicals. His ongoing claim that Covid would simply disappear proved chimerical and his famed redrawing the weather map to support his prediction on a hurricane’s path demonstrated the limits of his Nostrodamian skills.

Trump never misses a chance, however, to make a quick buck. His $60 “God Bless the U.S.A. Bible” has managed to offend almost every point on the political spectrum even though he claims his home “contains many bibles,” but has yet to show any evidence that he has actually read any of them, as his famous “Two Corinthians” gaffe demonstrated. But this latest con may represent more than the next stinker in a long line of useless products including Trump University, Trump steaks, Trump wines, Trump NFT tokens and Trump $400 gold sneakers.

Underlying the belated religious conversion Trump is trying to portray, is a more serious issue of how far he would be willing to go to effect a version of Christian Nationalism that is the goal of many of his supporters on the religious right. And while he may not be able to turn water into Diet Coke or walk on water to retrieve another errant golf shot, he can continue to pretend that he is God’s messenger by imposing draconian immigration policies, seeking retribution against his political enemies and further limiting individual rights that are inconsistent with the right’s ideal vision of the country.

One thing that is certain, however, is that every action he takes will be backed by a passage from the Bible. And you can get yours by calling 1–800-DJT-Saves.

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