Fundamentalists and the Superstitious for Trump

“God is sending America strong signs telling us to repent. Earthquakes and eclipses and many more things to come. I pray that our country listens,” she wrote.

With all due respect to the diversity of ideas, a mystery was indeed unveiled on Monday: Why are there Americans who will vote for Donald Trump, someone who might even win next November’s presidential election?

The answer is evident because in the 21st century, where people have historically studied and analyzed planetary phenomena as thoroughly as possible, Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene assured us that Monday’s solar eclipse was a divine warning for the United States.

“God is sending America strong signs to tell us to repent. Earthquakes and eclipses and many more things to come. I pray that our country listens,” she wrote.

Of course, Taylor Greene is also distinguished by being a fervent advocate of gun ownership and trade, conspiracy theories such as underage trafficking by Democratic operatives in a Washington pizza parlor, and someone who defends the claim that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump.

It’s true that Monday’s total solar eclipse is rare, with decades between appearances, and that partial or “annular” eclipses are visible much more frequently. But there have always been spectacular events imbued with an aura of mystery and danger especially for those who still believe in witches.

And we can round out this thinking with the earthquake that hit New York City a week ago. It is true that earthquakes are virtually unknown in most of the U.S. territory, except the West Coast, and usually are frightening and nerve-wracking.

But going from that to believing these geological phenomena are supernatural signs or expressions of divine displeasure? Maybe a few hundred years ago, when people believed that gods lived in volcanoes and there was a hell below us. But this is the 21st century, or so the calendar says.

In fact, as many as one-fifth of Americans believe in witchcraft and spells. In 2010, a Gallup poll found that 41% of Americans believed in ESP, 32% believed in ghosts and 25% think astrology is real.

It is true that anyone can believe what they want, but it is still a bad sign for a country that has made some of the most important scientific advances and conducted astronomical and geological research in recent decades.

In fact, a survey by the University of New Hampshire in 2022 reported that, even today, 10% of Americans believe that the earth is flat, with the Pew Center reporting that 34% reject the theory of evolution.

And to further complicate matters, many of these theories and beliefs in the supernatural overlap with the conspiracy theories that are now part of the Republican Party and the movement led by Trump.

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About Stephen Routledge 175 Articles
Stephen is the Head of a Portfolio Management Office (PMO) in a public sector organisation. He has over twenty years experience in project, programme and portfolio management, leading various major organisational change initiatives. He has been invited to share his knowledge, skills and experience at various national events. Stephen has a BA Honours Degree in History & English and a Masters in Human Resource Management (HRM). He has studied a BSc Language Studies Degree (French & Spanish) and is currently completing a Masters in Translation (Spanish to English). He has been translating for more than ten years for various organisations and individuals, with a particular interest in science and technology, poetry and literature, and current affairs.

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