Where did we get that saying, “the handwriting is on the wall”? It’s from the Bible. The apocalyptic book of Daniel tells about it, back in the fifth century BCE. We read, “King Belshazzar [of Babylon-Chaldea] made a great festival for a thousand of his lords, and he was drinking in the presence of the thousand. Under the influence of the wine, Belshazzar commanded that they bring in the vessels of gold and silver that his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple in Jerusalem” when he destroyed that sacred place and the city and took Jews captive to Babylon. We further read, “They drank the wine and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone” (Daniel 5.1-2, 4 NASB).
“Immediately the fingers of a human hand appeared and began writing on the plaster of the wall of the royal palace, next to the lamp stand. The king was watching the hand as it wrote. Then the king’s face turned pale, and his thoughts terrified him. His limbs gave way, and his knees knocked together. The king cried aloud to bring in the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the diviners; and the king said to the[se] wise men of Babylon, ‘Whoever can read this writing and tell me its interpretation shall be clothed in purple, have a chain of gold around his neck, and rank third in the kingdom.’ Then all the king’s wise men came in, but they could not read the writing or tell the king the interpretation. Then King Belshazzar became greatly terrified and his face turned pale, and his lords were perplexed” (Daniel 5.5-9).
The queen then said to her husband, “There is a man in your kingdom who is endowed with a spirit of the holy gods” who has “understanding to interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve problems” (vv. 11-12). It was the Jew Daniel, and he was brought before the king. Daniel reminded the king about some history of his father (or grandfather) King Nebuchadnezzar, how “he learned that the Most High God has sovereignty over the kingdom of mortals, and sets over it whomever he will. And you, Belshazzar his son, have not humbled your heart, even though you knew all this! You have exalted yourself against the Lord of heaven,” witnessed by their drinking from these sacred “vessels of his temple” (vv. 21-23).
Daniel continued, “So from his [God’s] presence the hand was sent and this writing was inscribed. And this is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, and PARSIN. This is the interpretation of the matter: MENE, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; TEKEL, you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting; PERES, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians. . . . That very night Belshazzar, the Chaldean king, was killed. And Darius the Mede received the kingdom” (Daniel 5.24-28, 30).
With our U.S. presidential election only six days away, and President Donald Trump’s opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, leading in most polls by at least ten percentage points, I think President Trump sees the handwriting on the wall and that he is vaguely indicating as much by things he has been saying in some of his recent political campaign rallies.
For instance, two days ago, in one of his campaign rallies held on an airport tarmac in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, Trump said to the people, referring to some 18-wheeler trucks parked nearby, “But the way, nice trucks. You think I could hop into one of them and drive away? I’d love to just drive the hell out of here. Just get the hell out of this. I had such a good life. My life was great.”
I think Trump meant that he wishes he could just get out of this mess that he has put himself into by becoming president. What mess? If Donald Trump loses this election, he likely will face multiple court cases accusing him of crimes he committed before he was president, during the time he was a real estate developer, for such things as insurance and bank fraud plus tax evasion. Some of this litigation could result in Mr. Trump having to do some time in prison.
This idea–that Donald Trump risked criminal investigation by becoming the U.S. president–is not a new idea for him or, I think, to his first ex-wife–Ivana. When The Donald decided, in 2015, to run for president in the 2016 presidential election, Ivana afterwards stated publicly in a journalistic interview that she advised him not to do it, saying he was rich, had such a “good life,” and should “just go play golf.”
But Donald Trump is a man of high risk. One evidence is that he is the Lawsuit King. It’s been his modus operandi throughout his business career. It is well known that he bullies people by threatening to sue in order to get what he wants, which is usually money, fame, and protecting them both. In a political campaign rally in 2016, Donald Trump said, “Does anyone know more about litigation than Trump? I’m like a Ph.D. in litigation.” A recent and thorough USA Today study of Donald Trump’s business career says he has been involved in over 4,000 lawsuits just in the past thirty years.
Donald Trump also has often claimed to be “the King of Debt” and Master of Deals, the latter indicated by his book The Art of the Deal. Yet he has declared bankruptcy four times. Eventually, he couldn’t hardly get any banks to loan him money or rearrange his debt. Many experts claim Donald Trump wasn’t the good businessman that he claims.
Donald Trump has a bunch of lawsuits going right now, and lawyers cost money. It is well known that he has refused to make his income tax returns public. The New York Times recently revealed that it has legally obtained the last twenty years of Trump’s federal tax returns and other financial information about him, and it shows that he owes over $400 million in debt that must be paid within the next four years. The Times also says the IRS audit that Trump uses as an excuse that he can’t make his tax returns public is about him accepting a $73 million payment from the IRS, all of which may have been wrong. If so, Trump would have to return that money and penalties, with the total amounting to over $100 million. Some experts have been saying for years that Trump’s net worth is not nearly as much as he boasts that it is. Trump’s financial future with these lawsuits and all may paint a bleak picture for him.
That’s why I believe President Donald Trump is getting more and more desperate to win this election. If he won, it would further delay these prosecutorial investigations of him so that he might be able to run out the clock, that is, a statute of limitations in some of them. But him being ten points down in the polls with only six days left in the election, I think Mr. Trump sees the handwriting on the wall, and that is why he is talking about such things as what a good life he used to have before he became president.