For this writer, the year 2020 has been characterized by reporting on one bad news story after another: the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, the insurrection based on a whipped up racial divide, the physical attack on Michelle Malkin, the arrest of Millie Weaver, and lately the serious health crisis facing Dan Bongino.
As I continued my reporting and analysis at American Thinker and in other media, the news about Covid-19 being used as a bludgeon to take down President Trump became increasingly complex as his prospects for re-election appeared uncertain.
In August, after being asked by readers and viewers what I might predict or recommend, I came up with a mantra of sorts and a convenient acronym: P I V. Initially, the three letters stood for “Pray, Influence, and Vote.” As early voting started in some places in September, I flipped it to the more easily remembered “V I P: Vote, Influence, and Pray.” Now, in the homestretch of the 2020 election campaign, I continue to highlight the message behind the acronym and the three words.
Suggesting that people of intelligence and discernment who recognize the importance of Election 2020 – in the view of many observers the most important presidential election since the Civil War – be sure to vote is a no-brainer. But it’s a suggestion that should be reinforced since, amazingly, many people who support the re-election of President Trump may wind up not voting.
In 2018, for example, when the Democrats captured control of the House of Representatives, “Slightly more of Clinton’s than Trump’s  voters turned out to vote” according to an examination of the 2018 electorate published last month by the Pew Research Center. Along with several other factors, that depressed Republican turnout allowed the Democrats to flip 40 House seats to the left – if not the far left. The disastrous results for the country of the Democrats with AOC and her Squad in ascendancy running the House since January 2019 speak for themselves.
The second suggested strategy – influence – should also need little explanation. And yet, in light of reports that conservatives are hesitant because of the cancel culture to openly express their support for President Trump and Republicans, it does bear noting.
Talking to – and hopefully being able to influence – friends, family members, co-workers (in some cases, at least), and even complete strangers on social media can have enormous impacts. Back in the 1970s, the American Cancer Society (ACS) – at the time the largest private charity in the world – lamented the fact that “word of mouth” was an important determinant of behavior among Americans. It had resulted in a large number of people developing an unhealthy (according to the ACS) interest in innovative alternative cancer therapies that the medical establishment considered conspiracy-driven bunk and anathema to their cause.
In these days of Big Tech Tyranny including increasing censorship, the cancel culture, and shadow banning, having the right to vote and being able to influence others remain tools that can still to a major extent be freely utilized.
It was pioneering conservative radio talk show host, the late Bob Grant, who closed every one of his shows for decades on New York City’s biggest radio stations by intoning: “Your influence counts. Use it!”
Finally, there is the role of prayer in the equation. In 1992, when I was appointed to serve on several of the first program advisory panels of the then new Office of Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, my fellow panel members and I became aware that prayer was the most popular form of “alternative” healing. A 2004 study in the peer reviewed Medline-indexed journal Advance Data confirmed this fact.
In 1996, I interviewed Larry Dossey, M.D., a clinician and researcher on the leading edge of medicine who has written extensively about the role of prayer in healing. Dossey:
“When I discovered the study in 1988 showing that if people who were really sick, for instance in the coronary care unit, were prayed for unknown to them, they got better – according to a randomized, controlled, prospective, matched double blind study. I went to the [scientific] literature. If you do this, you may be shocked at what you can find. There are as many as 150 studies showing, statistically speaking, that there is an effect of distant intercessory prayer.
I began to ruminate about the implications of this discovery. My conclusion is that the significance of this effect lies far beyond whether or not when you pray for someone the cancer goes away, or heart disease heals – that’s terrific; but the implications are shocking compared to that. What’s involved, that some aspect of the consciousness can reach out beyond the body, irrespective of space and make this kind of difference? I think we have to say that there are simply things that consciousness can mediate or consciousness can do that the brain or the body are incapable of. This is a way of saying that the mind is more than the brain and the body.
This may sound outrageous to somebody who encounters this statement for the first time. But one can be sobered by looking at the experimental evidence. If you reason all of this through I think you can easily come to a place where you say “there’s some quality of our mind and consciousness that’s simply outside of space and time.” If you go to this line of thinking in conclusion it seems to me that you’ve reinvented the idea of the soul. We’ve said, at least in the West, that the soul is some aspect of who we are that doesn’t die, it has no beginning and no end. And this is basically the quality that I think we see flowing out of these kinds of experiments.”
If we think of the body politic of America in 2020 as sick particularly due to the deleterious influence of the left, prayer for its healing – in the form of a victory for President Trump, which like in 2016 will give us another respite from a complete socialist transformation – might make even more sense.
An important footnote are these two recent examples which might be considered anecdotal evidence. On October 5th, my article about Dan Bongino that requested people pray for him before his scheduled surgery in New York on October 7th went viral after being retweeted by Sean Hannity and tweeted by Mark Levin. As a result, a conservative estimate is that well over a hundred thousand people were praying for Dan Bongino. While he has yet to begin therapy, his recovery from surgery to remove a large tumor in his neck was noteworthy. He never missed a day of tweeting or issuing his podcast and he has been a live guest on Fox News every day since last Friday.
The weekend before Bongino’s surgery, President Trump spent three days in the hospital after testing positive for Covid-19 and experiencing some major symptoms on the first day at the White House. It is safe to say that millions of people of faith were praying hard for President Trump’s quick recovery. A week after being released from the hospital, he is back on the campaign trail looking as strong and fit as ever.
Peter Barry Chowka is a veteran journalist who writes about politics, media, popular culture, and health care for American Thinker and other publications. He also appears in the media, including recently as a contributor to BBC World News. Peter’s website is http://peter.media. His YouTube channel is here. For updates on his work, follow Peter on Twitter at @pchowka.