Friday, 27 March 2020

Thought Picnic: Is Pharaoh Trump about to meet a COVID-19 Moses?


A Pharaoh in America
When I read that the approval rating of President Donald Trump had reached an all-time high because of his handling of the Coronavirus pandemic, I marvelled at the collective amnesia of the people polled that were convinced of his command of the issue. [The Sydney Morning Herald]
As I gave it thought, another historical event came to my mind, at least I think some stories in the bible are historical and much as they can be revelatory, but this is not the place to debate it.
In the book of Exodus, the Israelites had been in Egypt for over four centuries and in the reign of Pharaoh Ramses II were deployed as slaves in the service of Egypt. Until Moses, the revolutionary was raised to seek their liberation with the demonstration of supernatural powers that are documented as plagues.
The delusion of approval ratings
There were 10 plagues inflicted on Egypt with increasing devastation until the Pharaoh relented. With each plague, the chronicler says God hardened the heart of the Pharaoh that he grew more defiant of Moses and his demands. I have always been puzzled about the part of the hardening of the Pharaoh’s heart. Then it dawned on me, for each plague, the Pharaoh would probably have addressed his subjects, given them resolve, confidence and hope that those plagues would pass. [The Plagues of Egypt – Wikipedia]
I think Egyptians would have heard their god-king and been satisfied with how he was handling the nuisance of Moses. The Pharaoh seeing the reaction of his people which in modern times could be termed approval ratings. Knowing his people were behind him with no fear of insurrection or a palace coup, he would have been convinced he could face whatever Moses had to show and triumph in the end. His approval ratings would have been at an all-time high.
When the price is too high
However, the last plague which took the firstborn of all Egyptians could not be overcome with the force of personality, charisma, or inspired leadership. That plague had touched the core of Egypt that it probably would have inspired a spontaneous revolt. The Pharaoh had to let the Israelites go and when he chased them to the Red Sea seeking revenge out of anger and loss, his whole army was lost in the deep.
Now, I do not expect Americans to lose their firstborn as their Pharaoh personified in Donald Trump defies scientific advice and damns the consequences of a marauding and unrelenting Coronavirus that has infected 94,108 and killed 1,434 at the tally of the 27th of March 2020, but statistics are derived from individuals who have families, friends and wider connections of influence. [COVID19LIVE.Info]
When it touches you directly
I can only wonder if the survivors of the victims have the full knowledge of how Donald Trump ignored, denied and prevaricated as the impending plague was gathering the force of a tsunami in January that it has now seized upon the whole country would be giving him accolades and applause for his stewardship of this crisis.
By extension, if any of those giving Donald Trump high approval ratings are touched by the Coronavirus either personally or loved ones, would the impending disaster and experience cause a review of their original position that they would change their mind about him? I guess the question is what price is too high to pay for loyalty, confidence, and support of the President of the United States of America before it moves the needle of approval ratings in another direction?
Yet, I hope no one has to face the all-consuming grief of losing the firstborn of Egypt to know the truth, the facts and the handling of the Coronavirus pandemic, not only in America, but the world over.

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