This year, Good Friday and Passover fall on the same day, or night, really, because Passover starts at sundown on Good Friday. So it’s going to be a busy weekend for America’s favourite interfaith household. Yes, the one at the White House. Give credit where it’s due. The Trumps are an all-American household: a blended, interfaith family, just living the Judaeo-Christian ethic.
Donald Trump was raised Presbyterian. Melania, who is rumored to have been secretly baptized when Slovenia was under communism, is the first Catholic first lady since Jackie Kennedy. Don, Jr. and Eric have stayed Presbyterian, but will young Barron follow Melania? Meanwhile, Don Jr.’s soon-to-be ex-wife Vanessa Haydon Trump is Jewish on her father’s side, Eric’s wife Lara Yunaska Trump was thought to be Jewish until the White House press office explained that she just had a funny foreign name, and Ivanka Trump converted to Judaism when she married Jared Kushner.
To some people, the patriarch of the House of Trump is a modern pharaoh, an autocratic egotist building monuments to himself, a dynastic speculator in the construction business. To others, he is the Moses who, in the words of the prophecy of his late brother, Bannon the High Priest, would lead his people out of the clutches of the administrative state. Bannon, of course, was cast out unto the stony parts for dancing around the Virtual Calf with the Sons of Breitbart, and was last seen in the Wilderness of Le Pen.
To many more people, Trump is either a symptom or a cure for the decay of an economy driven less by pyramid-building than by pyramid schemes. The same goes for his wanderings in the Desert of Policy. The message on the tablets was generic prescriptions for all, but there may be years of wandering before he sights the Promised Land of a healthcare bill. If, that is, he can find his way at all.
As Ivanka and Jared Trump’s children will have heard at the Passover seder on Friday night, Pharaoh took his time. He resisted nine of the ten plagues, and only folded after the death of the first-born. He also tried to renegotiate the deal, by sending the cavalry out after the departing Hebrews.
Trump has survived his plagues this year: the pestilence of the media, the firing of the secretaries, the swelling of the dossier, the probing of the Mueller, the storm of the Daniels. After all this, it’s hard to imagine anything unseating him from the White House.
Moses also took his time. Forty years, to be precise. The prospect of a full four years of Donald Trump is exhausting. A year or so into his presidency, and you understand those Hebrews who, tired of walking in circles and eating manna, pined for ‘the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt’—free at point of use, that is, because they had already paid for it with their labor—as well as ‘the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic’, and all the other things grown on family farms in the Nile Delta and sold at the Memphis branch of Whole Foods.
The question is, what will happen in the mid-terms? The auguries are not good, but Trump is nothing if not a man of faith, most of it in himself. As Saturday turns to Sunday, you can be sure that Donald Trump has a very personal belief in the Resurrection.