Election 2008: Trick or Treat?

When I started this blog, I decided to call it Astrology Mundo (world) in the hopes of taking a broad view and attracting readers and commenters from all over the world. Obviously, my mandate is limited by the fact that this is an English-language blog.

As we count down to the U.S. election, a lot of allegations about the candidates, Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, are spreading like wildfire through the blogosphere, and I don’t want to get burned. I’m interested in truth and transparency, but I’m not going to be the vehicle to spread rumors. Therefore, I’m not approving comments that appear to be motivated purely by political concerns, despite my desire to be broad-minded.

For the record: I don’t know who will win the Presidential election. Because of the aspect between revolutionary Uranus and restrictive Saturn that is exact on Election Day, there could be an “upset” of some kind.

The potential for a grand deception or a perfect storm also exists, as Mars in Scorpio will be squaring a stellium of Neptune, Chiron, and North Node in Aquarius, as Neptune turns direct.

Ray Merriman, the dean of financial astrology, decided to stop talking about the election in recent weekly columns because of the angry e-mails he was getting from folks who disagree with him. He’s got a forecast up this week, though, that reverses his earlier prediction that McCain will win.

His feeling is that Obama has become more Saturnian (responsible, conservative) and McCain more erratic (Uranus) as we’ve moved closer to the election.

As I mentioned earlier this year, I was fascinated by the premise of the underrated Kevin Costner film Swing Vote. In that movie, the Republicans start acting like Democrats and the Democrats espouse policies normally associated with the GOP, all in an effort to win the vote of one man (Costner).

Since the financial crisis erupted on Sept. 9, the Republicans have pushed through a program of government intervention that appears to take a page from the Democrats’ playbook. Although Congress, at the behest of President George Bush and U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, has spearheaded what I’ve dubbed “welfare for Wall Streeters,” Republican voters continue to rail about possible “socialism” under Democrat Obama. They don’t seem to understand that government control of our financial system is accelerating under a Republican Administration.

As Nancy’s Blog has astutely observed, the culture wars are back in full force as Pluto makes its last pass through Sagittarius before entering Capricorn for good on Nov. 27. So the fur is going to continue to fly.

Rest assured, though, the Saturn/Uranus opposition will be informing politics for the next few years. If McCain and his vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin win the election with their “maverick” persona, the people will react in a Saturnian (conservative) way.

Likewise, if Obama is elected, I predict he will be too conservative for his supporters, who may be disillusioned as Neptune conjuncts the U.S. Moon in Aquarius during the next two years. Indeed, the financial crisis and the amount of money pledged to prop up the fragile banking system may put the kibosh on any plans that Obama had to bolster social welfare. This typically means using government money to improve services for seniors, children, the disabled, and the needy.

A huge problem with both candidates, who are in overdrive trying to woo Main Street with a populist (from populi, Latin for the “voice of the people”) message: The political system in the U.S. and our politicians are beholden to powerful corporations.

Sure, I think it’s great that Joe Biden is from Scranton, my Dad’s gritty hometown. Trouble is, Biden represents Delaware in the Senate and has strong ties to the credit-card companies based in that state that have raped consumers with interest rates of 30%.

As informed voters know, McCain was caught up in the savings-and-loan scandal of the late 1980s and was one of the Keating Five, a group of Senators punished by their colleagues for improper conduct in connection with Charles Keating, the former head of Lincoln Savings and Loan. The New York Times has also exposed McCain’s ties to lobbyists from the Indian casino gambling industry.

While candidates of all political stripes go out of their way to cast themselves as ordinary guys and gals for fear of being labeled part of the “elite,” the reality is they are dutiful servants of our plutocracy.

With Pluto in Capricorn, the bottom line is: We’re all on our own. Our government will not be able to help us — either because it goes bankrupt trying to honor its overly optimistic financial promises or because it’s dismantled by radicals on the right or the left, or by a fringe coalition.

It’s interesting when you read about home-schooling and private school vouchers, both of which take kids out of public schools, to see that supporters range from conservative Christians to lefty tree-huggers.

Sarah Palin’s fellow travelers in the Alaska Independence Party, who are working for the state’s secession from the Union, are the harbingers of this anti-government sentiment on a federal level. What’s going to be amusing is when the folks who have been preaching that it’s time to “get government off our backs” will be begging for handouts. It’s going to get ugly, no matter who is elected.

Still, the optimist in me says we’ll go back to the spirit of Yankee mutual aid celebrated by Alexis de Tocqueville in Democracy in America. A case in point: When I was recently was cat-sitting for a friend in New York City, I discovered a whole lending library of books that the co-op has in the basement. At least people the people in that building will have something to read after the local library shuts down because of government cutbacks.

So build and cultivate your networks (the U.S. Moon in Aquarius), folks. But that’s what’s going to get you through the next four years, no matter who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Addendum: I was Googling trying to find a de Tocqueville quote about volunteerism and mutual aid and I stumbled upon this one, which is quite apt as the Bush Administration starts talking about the need for another government stimulus package with the election less than a month away:

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.

Sarah Palin, SuperMom of Her Country?

Liberals in the U.S. are astounded at how the Sarah Palin Express has roared out of the station. It’s all Sarah all the time, from this blog to Saturday Night Live, where Tina Fey came back on Sept. 13 and impersonated the Republican vice-presidential nominee to great acclaim.

With her triple Aquarius conjunction in Sun/Mars/Saturn on the U.S. Moon, Sarah Palin is emerging as the SuperMom of her country. Why? Because she and her family mirror the concerns of working-class Americans who are clamoring for recognition with Saturn in Virgo.

The Palins are like many American families, struggling to balance work and home life and not always succeeding. We relate to their troubles. The more dirt that the media unearths about the Palins, the more sympathy they generate for the clan. Who among us would want reporters and bloggers putting our lives under the microscope and exposing all of our petty — and not so petty — crimes?

Why do we want someone like us in the White House, or in Palin’s case, a heartbeat away from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.? Because we’re a Cancer country and we want to be mirrored. For those who don’t know the psychological jargon, mirroring is something babies want from their mothers.

It’s something we often do unconsciously, which has a lot do with the Moon, the ruler of Cancer. Do you ever notice that you’re crossing your leg or holding your hand in the same position as the person who’s talking to you? You’re mirroring that person.

Remember how George W. Bush was able to persuade Wal-Mart shoppers and Nascar fans that he was just like them by dropping his g’s and coming up with cute nicknames for everybody, even though he is a member of a political dynasty? With his Cancer Sun, mirroring America came naturally to Dubya.

We want someone who looks and acts like us because we’re still infants in our psychological development as a country, a topic I’ve posted about in the past.

That’s why Americans are famous for traveling to exotic places and then complaining how things aren’t the way they are at home. Unfortunately, thanks to globalization and American imperialism, things are increasingly the same overseas as they are here, but that’s another post.

Let’s put aside the fact that GOP Presidential nominee John McCain, a war hero who survived torture and imprisonment (most of us could not do that), is married to a millionaire who is clearly not one of us. I know his name is first on the ticket, but that’s not who’s got everybody worked up into a frenzy.

Unlike the Bushes, the Palins don’t have to pretend to be one of us. As astrological bloggers such as AstroBarry have pointed out, the Palin story has something for everyone.

First, we have Sarah, the hockey mom and PTA activist who became a small-town mayor and then the governor of Alaska. Like a good Mom, she doled out goodies to the kids — $1,500 checks to Alaska residents, their windfall from the skyrocketing profits that oil companies have made in the resource-rich 49th state.

Sarah’s married to high-school sweetheart Todd, known as the “First Dude.” He’s a commercial fisherman and oil industry worker that the vice-presidential nominee calls “my guy.” Sarah may be known as “Sarah Barracuda” from her years as a high school basketball star, but Todd Palin is a champion snowmobile racer with no shortage of good looks and testosterone. He’s also part Eskimo, so the Palins have the ethnic thing covered.

Sarah’s tough, but Todd wears the insulated pants in the family.

Their son Track Palin, 18, is being hailed as a hero after deploying to Iraq on Sept. 11, but browse the blogs and you’ll find allegations that he vandalized school buses. He was underage when the incident allegedly happened so his name was not revealed in the press, but one of his partners in crime has pointed the finger at him. Now, media sources are disputing these rumors, as commenter Sasha points out below.

Track Palin’s sudden deployment reminds me of the Bruce Springsteen ditty, Born in the USA: “Got in a little hometown jam, so they put a rifle in my hand”

On to the rest of the Palin kids. We all know that 17-year-old Bristol Palin is five months pregnant and her parents are promising she’ll marry the father of the baby, Levi Johnston, whom the press has dubbed Bristol’s “Baby Daddy.”

Rounding out the family are daughters Willow, 14, and Piper, 7, who have been taking turns babysitting their new baby brother Trig, who was born in April with Down syndrome, while Mom hits the campaign trail. Even though she knew in advance that Trig had an extra 21st chromosome (the cause of Down syndrome), abortion was not an option for Palin, who doesn’t believe in it except for when the mother’s life is in danger.
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I think some former Hillary supporters who are pro-choice and pro-gay are secretly planning to vote for McCain because of Sarah. Don’t underestimate her appeal among working moms who feel they don’t get their due. They may not agree with all of Sarah’s actions (many of which appear to be clothed in half-truths), but they want her to win. She’s one of them.

A lot of Wal-Mart Moms liked Hillary, especially at the end of the campaign when she found her groove and settled into the persona that Maureen Dowd of The New York Times dubbed the “Scranton gal.” And those Wal-Mart Moms aren’t going to vote for Obama because they don’t like the way he treated their gal.

Hillary’s desire to be all things to all voters ended up confusing them. If she had started with the Scranton gal script and stuck to it, she would have been better off, as Dowd has pointed out.

As much as Hillary genuinely cares about the welfare of American families and has spent her life working on behalf of children, voters couldn’t identify with her. They didn’t really know who she is, an issue that’s also dogging Barack Obama. We saw Hillary eating corn dogs at the county fair, but we knew she’d never opened a can of Dinty Moore’s beef stew for dinner. Sarah Palin might.

Did Hillary cook for her Bill and Chelsea? I suppose she did, though the media reported that Bill Clinton, pre-heart attack, subsisted on a diet of Big Macs and late-night pizza, the way many of us do.

It was interesting how aristocratic white male Southerners hated Bill’s humble roots. They couldn’t believe that a “Bubba” got elected President. But that persona struck such a chord with the electorate that Bush had to pretend to be a Bubba himself.

Here’s how we can resolve our fascination with the Palin clan: Someone should make a reality TV series about them, akin to American Family, the PBS documentary about the Louds that aired in the early 1970s. Maybe one of the Palins will come out of the closet the way that Lance Loud did on TV. Then the Palins really would have something for everyone. (Sadly, Lance Loud died of AIDS-related complications in 2001.)

If I’m dating myself with this Seventies nostalgia, then the Palins could be the subject of a reality TV show like the one about Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne and their dysfunctional kids.

My mind runs wild about the twists and turns that their lives could take: Track brings an Iraqi bride home to Alaska (in the reality TV show, they have to stay in Alaska), while Willow discovers oil in the backyard in Wassila. It turns out that “Baby Daddy” isn’t the father of Bristol’s child, it’s really his best friend. The possibilities are endless in this real-life soap opera.

Wouldn’t it be great to see how the story turns out for this energetic and attractive bunch without being subjected to their conservative agenda?