Thursday, April 24, 2008

Politics For The Rest Of Us

Why is it that Barack Obama has the ability to inspire the adulation of around half of all Democrats in the USA, while meeting a virtual brick wall when attempting to appeal to the other half - even with media firmly on his side, and his campaign spending vast amounts of money? This week's primary contest in Pennsylvania provided a good example of this phenomenon playing out.

It could equally be asked, of course, "Why can't Hillary Clinton appeal to a larger proportion of the Obama base?" Both candidates' supporters tend to come from specific groups who appear to be very determined about exactly who, and what, they want.

Barack Obama has wide appeal for some of the youngest voters, many of whom are college students. His base also includes a group described as "the highly educated" -those with college degrees of one sort or another. Not unexpectedly a large proportion of the African American population support Obama, they may or may not slot into the previously mentioned categories. There's another, smaller group I notice among Obama supporters, the wanna-be radicals who seem to have been over-impressed by stories of events in 1968.

Unsurprisingly Hillary Clinton appeals to women, especially older women. Also among her faithful are Hispanics, and that group called "blue collar workers" - which covers a lot of ground and includes many of both sexes who have never worn a blue collar in their lives, most are intelligent, hard-working, skilled and experienced - in a nutshell: "the rest of us".

Obama doesn't appear to have a clue how to appeal to "the rest of us". I didn't grow up in the USA, nor spend my working life here, but I can and do relate to this group. Is there a clue in his natal chart to account for this anomaly, this gap in his appeal ?

If there is an answer to be found in astrology, I need to look mainly at Mercury & Gemini (communication), the Moon (the public), and Aquarius - which relates to humanity in general and humane issues. Although Moon represents "the public" as a body, I think of Aquarius as the sign specifically resonating with ordinary, everyday people, "the rest of us". I could be wrong - but that is my own perception. Aquarius's ruler, Uranus, can indicate rebels and eccentrics, but the sign of Aquarius has connection with all of humanity and humane endeavours.

In Obama's chart Mercury in Leo is in harmonious aspect(sextile) to the Moon reflecting his ability to reach out to the public, but Mercury in Leo is also in opposition to Jupiter in Aquarius, as well as Saturn in late Capricorn. The opposition isn't an easy aspect, it can be balanced with care, but it's certainly not indicative of a natural affinity - it's the opposite in fact. Obama's natal Gemini Moon is in harmonious trine with Jupiter in Aquarius, which could have completed an ideal picture, were it not for that pesky opposition of Mercury. Somehow there's a partial disconnect.

Aquarius lies on the cusp of Obama's third house - the house of communication, a good place for Aquarius to be in a politician's chart. Uranus, ruler of Aquarius, is in Leo, quincunx to Saturn in Capricorn, both at 25 degrees. The quincunx is another scratchy aspect between two signs which don't understand each other well, they have nothing in common - in this case Leo, the kingly one and Aquarius the sign of the ordinary people. The two planets involved here also represent opposites, Uranus and Saturn - new and old, status quo and avant garde.

So Obama's chart blends some harmonious communication aspects with a couple of very scratchy ones which seem to stand in the way of what might otherwise be near to perfection, communication-wise. It's significant (to me) that the two scratchy aspects involve Aquarius and its ruler Uranus. There's an uncomfortable lack of empathy for "the rest of us" here, I feel.

Obama's Mercury was also the subject of an earlier blog - that planet seemingly has a lot to answer for!

The other side of the coin is Hillary Clinton's inability to appeal to that part of the electorate for whom Obama can do no wrong.

Clinton's Mercury in Scorpio trines her Moon in Pisces, like Obama her Moon and Mercury are in harmony, but in Water signs as against Fire and Air in his case. This is a softer, more emotional harmony with a feminine feel to it. But Scorpio Mercury squares Saturn in Leo, and more widely Pluto and Mars. Mercury also lies quincunx Uranus in Gemini. Here's the scratchiness in Hillary Clinton's communication aspects, not quite the same as Obama's, but comparable. A Scorpio/Gemini quincunx - passionate focused determination versus a more easy-going, mentally-driven theoretical approach.

I'm not clear exactly where Hillary's strong appeal to "the rest of us" comes from in her natal chart. Aquarius isn't highlighted by a planet or angle, but if 8.02 am is her correct birth time, Aquarius lies in third house of communication (same as Obama's chart). In Hillary's case, using Placidus houses, Aquarius is intercepted. (Intercepted = a whole sign trapped between two other signs within a single house, two different signs on the house cusps). In Hillary's case Aquarius is trapped between Pisces on one cusp and Capricorn on the other. That interception could be said to symbolically represent the limitations of her appeal - a kind of coralling of the Aquarian facets of her personality, allowing easy access and understanding to women (Pisces), and to the older, more traditional, working class Democrats(Saturn), but bringing a feel of blockage to others.

Whatever method one uses to try to explain these splits in appeal and loyalties, they are almost certain to continue. Attempts by the rival campaigns to effect large-scale cross-overs would probably be doomed to failure.

Conclusion: the outcome remains foggy....for "the rest of us", and for all of us.

(Small illustration at top borrowed from a CD cover of an International Tribute to the BeeGees "Ordinary People Living Ordinary Lives.)


Jacqueline Bigar said...

It is an interesting phenomena. I have my theories too. Thank you for presenting yours.

I have been playing with different approaches not used in astrology but that I amtrying to answer some of these questions and more.

Jacqueline Bigar said...

lol.." but that " that typo...I think tells you how conflicting I am about trying these methods.

Wisewebwoman said...

H'm the charts don't tell us much, T. in the cases of these 2.
I'd say the dreamers and the lottery/casino players would go for Obama. The concerned and more enlightened as to the real state of the world would go for Hillary.
Real change in other words.
She had only 1/3 of Obama's funds and look what she did. Amazing....
if we want a fighter in the WH we
sure have one now...
And there is an award at my blog for you to pick up.

Twilight said...

Jaqueline - Oh! I hope you'll write about your findings - that sounds interesting !


WWW - Yes, we think alike on this.
Maybe we are the ones who are wrong, but I don't think so. I've tried and tried, because by all other yardsticks I should be for Obama - but I cannot change my opinion.

Oooooh - thanks! I'll pop over therer soon.

R J Adams said...

Hey! I'm no dreamer, and I don't gamble.

Twilight said...

You must be a wanna-be radical then, RJ. Get that pitch-fork polished up ! ;-)