Happy New Year of the Rat!
As I have often done, I am beginning this end-of-the-year/New Year’s posting by referring to the Japanese (and Chinese) zodiac. Following the ancient 12-year cycle, 2020 is the year of the nezumi in Japan.
In English, the East Asian New Year is usually called the Year of the Rat, but the same Japanese word is used for rat and mouse, so New Year’s greetings, etc., are often portrayed by images that look more like cute little mice than repulsive rats. For example, look at this picture of a Japanese New Year’s card:
Despite the prevalent negative feelings about rats in this country, June and I have a somewhat different sentiment, for two of our children were born in the year of the Rat. In Japan that is not considered a bad thing at all; people who are nezumi-doshi (born in the year of the Rat) are said to be “charming, honest, ambitious, and have a tremendous capacity for pursuing a course to its end” (from “The Twelve Signs of the Japanese Zodiac”).
U.S. Politics in 2020
In my 2018 end-of-the-year blog posting, I wrote that there seemed to be “a strong possibility” that the President would be impeached” in 2019. Well, I called that one right.
I also wrote that the President probably would not be removed from office by the Republican-majority Senate. That decision is now part of the political agenda for the beginning of 2020, but the likelihood of the Senate not convicting the President is probably stronger now than it was a year ago.
The biggest political question for the U.S. in 2020, of course, revolves around the November 3 election. Who the Democratic Party will choose to go up against DJT is anybody’s guess at this point. And even though there is a strong appeal to Democrats and Independents to “vote Blue no matter who,” the populist support for DJT is amazingly strong and resilient.
Daniel Franklin, the editor of “The World in 2020” issue of The Economist writes that there will be “a febrile [= “having or showing a great deal of nervous excitement or energy”] election in November.” He adds. “It will be ugly.” That prediction will almost certainly prove to be true.
Editor Franklin goes on to say that the artificial intelligence he consulted “reckons Mr Trump will lose.” (Can we trust that prediction, or is there “fake AI”?)
The U.S. Economy in 2020
Last year The Economist repeatedly mentioned the possibility of a financial recession in 2019. That, fortunately, did not come to pass. In fact, since Christmas the U.S. stock market has hit all-time highs.
However, for 2020 the editor-in-chief of The Economist not only predicted “febrile politics” but also a “faltering economy.” He writes, “Unfortunately for Mr Trump, a noticeable cooling of the American economy will challenge his claim to have made America great again.”
Will that prediction be more accurate than the similar one was for 2019? Who knows? Certainly, no one has 20/20 vision of what will happen in 2020.
Personally . . .
Although it will not mean a major shift of emphasis, I decided on Christmas Day to start spending more time, especially at the beginning of each day, thinking about “eternal” / “spiritual” matters rather than temporal/political concerns—not that those two spheres are unrelated.
Throughout the coming year, I hope to keep firmly in mind the following words recorded in 2 Corinthians 4:18.
We don’t focus on the things that can be seen but on the things that can’t be seen. The things that can be seen don’t last, but the things that can’t be seen are eternal (CEB).
It remains to be seen how much this will affect the blog articles I will be writing and sending to you, my dear Thinking Friends, throughout 2020.
Happy New Year to each of you!