Thursday, August 4, 2016

Already, a “shotgun divorce?”...the unlikely Cosmic match of Trump & the GOP

As the risk of piling on in the midst of what CNN is calling the “GOP’s Donald Trump freak out,” I thought this would be an apt time to explore astrologically just how compatible the GOP and Donald Trump really were from the get-go.

Many Republicans have been uneasy from the moment Trump took his famous escalator ride and announced his candidacy. They had reservations about his bombast and apparent inability to leave his reality TV persona behind as he mounted the political stage. Trump’s unconventional, politically incorrect behavior made waves from day one, but from day one he also attracted a following seeking an “Outsider”—and the Media ate it up, even allowing the candidate to “call it in” on morning shows.

Maybe other candidates just never pushed for that level of free coverage, but then Trump is never shy about grabbing attention. Why pay if you can get the attention free, by just saying something outrageous and (many times) repulsive?

Despite their reservations, the attention was enticing for a Party eager to take back the presidency. Simply distancing themselves periodically from the candidate’s more raw positions seemed to keep the country’s PC meter from exploding, so the GOP decided to embrace the ride they were on instead of fighting it. They legitimized it with the mainstream trappings of Party procedure and the mechanics of their Primary process. Troubling signs were there, but denial is easy when momentum takes over on that march to the altar.

A last ditch effort to normalize their nominee was added in the person of Indiana Governor Mike Pence as V.P. choice—a Party favorite. To Obama’s fictional “anger translator,” Pence would translate Trump’s positions into “coherent adult.” The implications in both cases are, of course, that an alter-ego needing to run free dwells deep in the heart of each public figure. This week it seems this was wishful thinking with Trump.

Could the Party have foreseen the current meltdown? If they did, they rushed to the altar anyway:  in their mid-July Convention, the GOP bound themselves for better or worse  to Trump, the man who claimed that “he alone” was the solution to all that ails the country and the world, as their lawfully wedded nominee. The GOP was about to become a battered newlywed.

The Honeymoon, in fact, was amazingly short-lived. Quite aptly, conservative talk show host Charlie Sykes (on the PBS Newshour) characterized Trump’s post-Democratic Convention erratic behavior as “a dumpster fire within a nuclear meltdown.” The details are too many to catalog here, but every news outlet is carrying a similar story: the GOP is staggering under pressure from several quarters (including the POTUS) to divorce their candidate, pronto. Think “shotgun wedding,” in reverse.

Were the GOP and Trump ever a good match?
Here’s where astrology can help unravel this gnarly situation and lend some perspective. Many couples—even those who don’t particularly follow astrology under normal conditions—want to know if their “signs” are compatible, and some go to the expense of having a full-blown compatibility reading compiled. So, let’s examine the basic natal compatibility of the Republican Party and Donald J. Trump in the biwheel below:

Biwheel 1: (inner wheel) Radix, U.S. Republican Party, March 20, 1854, 12:00 p.m. LMT (no exact time known), Ripon, Wisconsin; (outer wheel) Natal, Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica, New York.

Interests & Temperament: do the “Party of Lincoln” and Donald Trump share common interests and relate to the world in similar manners? Their charts suggest a certain meeting of the minds, but only to a point, and the chance of being soul-mates is pretty low.

            GOP Venus (Pisces) opposes GOP Mars (Rx, Virgo)-Trump ASC-Mars (Leo); GOP Mercury (Aries) squares Trump Mercury (Cancer); Trump’s ASC-Mars inconjoin GOP Sun (Pisces). Trump is deeply-focused on power and dominance with his fixed Mars rising—his gold-embellished décor, trophy wives and grandiose lifestyle are a constant reminder how important being unchallenged and in-charge is to him. While the GOP would certainly appreciate being along for that ride, their early Pisces-Virgo Venus-Mars are a bit squeamish when it comes to conspicuous consumption.

And, blessed (or cursed, depending upon your view) by a 29th degree Pisces Sun—not quite Aries—the GOP probably envies the unfettered freedom the fire signs seem to enjoy. Many on the Left accuse the GOP of being the party of billionaires, catering to billionaires (which their dearest-held policies prove out), but they don’t want to look that part. Hence, the focus on “family values,” and the tendency to align themselves with religious (Pisces) types. Trump’s “Make America great again” was an accommodation that bridged the divide a bit—unfortunately, now they realize what Trump really meant with that slogan.

As for the clash of Mercury placements in these charts, the Republicans—especially their most conservative players—do not shy away from speaking their minds (Aries Mercury), but their Party Mercury is disposed by a reticent, retrograde Mars in Virgo, so they officially care about “correctness.” Trump is given to a rambling rhetorical style and fluidly changing his positions (Mercury in Cancer), which is responsible for much of this week’s incoherence. As we’ll see below, the Moon disposing Trump’s Cancer planets (Moon, Venus, Saturn) has been under stress, so his current meltdown is not surprising astrologically.

GOP Nodal Axis (Gemini-Sagittarius) trines-sextiles Trump Neptune (Libra). There has always been a fated feel to Trump’s candidacy, and this connection with the GOP’s nodal axis confirms that Trump followed his instincts in deciding to announce himself as a Republican candidate, even though many of his positions clash with the typical GOP agenda. In the end, Trump will probably catalyze a deep change within the Party—ABC News called it an “existential crisis,” which is spot on here. The “soft” aspects involved mask a favorite, “Trojan Horse”-type Neptunian seduction. It looked good at the time.

Mutual success and achievement: do the GOP and Trump facilitate or block each other’s aspirations? At the moment, the answer seems obvious, but let’s see where the disconnect originates.

            Interchart T-square: Trump Venus-Saturn (Cancer) opposes GOP Jupiter (Capricorn); this axis squares Trump Jupiter (Libra); Trump Jupiter semi-squares GOP Mars (Rx, Virgo). Clearly, this “couple” is divided over where the potential for growth (Jupiter) lies. The GOP thrives when wealth and growth concentrate at the top (Capricorn), and while Trump’s Jupiter is in a somewhat weak position in Libra, it might explain why his economic pronouncements have not always echoed traditional GOP values throughout this campaign. Rather, he’s been trying to stretch his platform around a balance (Libra) that keeps his working class constituents comfortable, yet gives tax breaks to the super-rich. 

His working class base responds to his defensive Cancerian rhetoric (the nation has many enemies and must withdraw into a shell), but GOP hardliners (especially the conservative purists in the Tea Party who supported Ted Cruz) have not been amused. Trump has often boasted about the millions of new voters he’s brought into the GOP tent, but are those voters the ones that will further the GOP’s true interests, or subvert their drive (semi-square to Mars) to succeed?

Communication, understanding and teamwork.  Long story short, do the GOP and Trump have what it takes to solve problems and challenges together? This is a particularly complicated facet of their relationship because it highlights the perceptual “filters” through which they view each other, their ability to defer judgment about each other, accommodate each others’ viewpoints, accept criticism, and solve problems together.. This dicey area is represented quite starkly in one tense T-square:

            Interchart T-Square: Trump Neptune (Libra) opposes GOP Mercury (Aries); this axis is squared by Trump Mercury (Cancer); Trump Mercury (Cancer) sextiles GOP Uranus (Taurus). Neptune connections to a partner’s Mercury can be very seductive, but they are potentially confusing, frustrating, and a troubling sign that a codependent relationship is in the making. As one commentator put it, Mike Pence might as well consider himself Trump’s “janitor,” because he spends his time cleaning up after the candidate’s uncontrollable temperament. Cardinal sign Cancer is particularly sensitive to perceived attacks and programmed to lash back verbally (Mercury), accounting for Trump’s famously “thin skin.”

This over-sensitivity makes accepting advice very difficult for Trump, so the GOP finds itself in the position of either accepting Trump at face value, taking responsibility for whatever he does without having any say in the matter, or backing out of the “marriage” the best they can. What the Party can do to stop the rest of the world (or the other Party) from criticizing (“attacking”) him is another story, however, so Trump can call Hillary Clinton a “Devil,” (mild, in his terms) but Hillary supporters like Khizr Khan have “no right to viciously attack” him with copies of the Constitution.

We’ll examine below how Mr. Khan’s eloquent speech may have triggered Trump’s current meltdown and this week’s crisis in Trump’s relationship with the GOP.

Keeping the peace. We’ve already seen that their respective Mars placements (Trump’s in Leo; GOP’s Rx in Virgo) are aligned, but not really. There’s an uneasy stalemate, actually—nobody really wins here, but both sides have a vested interest in being together.

Sagittarian Moons. Both parties in this so-called partnership have Sagittarius Moons—in fact, their Moons may be conjunct (we can’t know for sure because the timing of the GOP chart is uncertain), so it may be that a certain “tribal” affinity between them has served thus far. They both set their sights on aggressive, unfettered growth that celebrates self-interest (Sagittarius), and not surprisingly, the GOP has traditionally attracted a colorful range of “rugged individuals.” They don’t enjoy the backing of the NRA for no reason! 

Unfortunately, Trump’s spin on that mythic American wild man is like something out of Quentin Tarantino’s Hateful 8—one false move and you’re disposable. This, from a “law and order” candidate!

Interchart T-Square: Trump Uranus-Node-Sun (Gemini) opposes Trump Moon-GOP Moon (Sagittarius); this axis squares GOP Neptune (Pisces). Again, we can’t say how tight the opposition here would be because of the GOP timing issue, but since this configuration exploded in the GOP’s face this week (triggered by transits we’ll consider ahead), it’s probably tight enough. I don’t think I’m overstating the issue when I say that whatever peace they can keep between them will hinge upon the GOP adopting the role of suffering, silent partner. 

With transiting Neptune gradually returning to its natal position in the GOP chart (more to come on this), the Party may come out of Trump’s candidacy looking like a “sacrificial lamb.” Saturn may come to the rescue, however—more about the current transits ahead.

Balance of power. It’s ironic that Trump and the GOP found each other during the long-term Uranus-Pluto square we’ve been experiencing from Aries to Capricorn, because their charts also feature a tense fixed Uranus-Pluto square between them, from Taurus (the GOP’s Uranus) to Leo (Trump’s Pluto).  The GOP’s Saturn in Taurus also squares Trump’s Mars-ASC in Leo, so there’s an underlying struggle for dominance that will probably explode at some point, if it hasn’t already. 

The GOP has gotten where it is by dint of pragmatic discipline that plays well with others (Taurus Saturn, disposing Capricorn Jupiter), but Trump wants to shift the Party’s focal point of power and progress to himself as the answer to all the nation’s woes. Who’s doing who a favor is never a happy flashpoint for a relationship, but that’s the sense here.

So what was the attraction?
In retrospect, it’s clear that the GOP was seduced by the carefully staged trappings of Trump’s candidacy and the support he cultivated among angry working class voters. The seduction wears thin over time, however, and this past week saw their first big crisis. Even the late night comics have tired of mocking Trump’s inability to control himself, so we can only imagine how his partners in the GOP feel. 

But what triggered this “horrible, no good,” week-long meltdown? We can’t know for certain, but the timing suggests it was a post-Convention letdown of sorts. The balloons dropped on his big speech, and all the world could talk about was how “dreary” his party was. 

Then, to rub salt in the wound, the Dems had a great, well-received Convention, which even some Republicans envied and admired for its organization and content.

One Convention event stood out, however, as upsetting the apple cart for Trump. This was the amazing speech by Gold Star father Khizr Khan on the Convention’s final night, who, with his wife Ghazala, stood at the Democratic podium and shared their grief over  their son Humayun, lost in action in Iraq, defending his troops. Two lines stood out from this simple eloquent speech: “Mr. Trump…have you even read the Constitution?” Khan said, dramatically pulling out his copy of it and offering it to Trump. 

Shocked, the delegates came alive with that comment, and then even more intensely as Khan finally said to Trump, “You have sacrificed nothing…and no one!” Needless to say, this speech went viral, sucking the oxygen from Trump’s campaign for days and adding to Clinton’s glow of success.

One commentator suggested that if Trump had gone on vacation at that point and let things settle down, he would have come back and been able to focus on bashing Clinton, whom they still believe is solidly defeatable. Unfortunately, Trump couldn’t do the gracious thing with the Khans and simply extend his condolences; he had to lash back because his thin skin always calls the shots, even when there’s no benefit to his campaign to do so.

The trouble is, Trump cannot seem to maintain a healthy distinction between his campaign’s needs and his personal needs; his needy Cancer Mercury seems to simply dominate the rest of his chart. This has been made worse by a lot of stress from transits this past week. Let’s consider some quick flashpoints from the charts for Khizr Khan’s speech, Trump and the GOP.  

Triwheel 1: (inner wheel) Radix, U.S. Republican Party, March 20, 1854, 12:00 p.m. LMT (no exact time known), Ripon, Wisconsin; (middle wheel) Natal, Donald J. Trump, June 14, 1946, 10:54 a.m. DST, Jamaica, New York; (outer wheel) Khizr Khan’s Speech at DNC Convention, July 28, 2016, 8:00 p.m. DST (approximate time), Philadelphia, PA.

Interchart T-square: Speech Mars (Scorpio) squares Speech Mercury-Venus-Trump Mars-ASC (all Leo) and opposes Trump MC-GOP Saturn (Taurus); Speech Uranus (Aries) trines Trump ASC-Mars and squares GOP Jupiter (Capricorn). Clearly, Mr. Khan’s eloquence and message (Mercury in Leo, refined by deadly serious Mars in Scorpio) and Uranus's slow burn in Aries (it would station retrograde the following day) felt like a shocking smack-down to Trump’s pride (Mars-ASC) and sense of personal importance (MC), and felt like “mission critical” to the GOP (Speech Mars to Saturn, Uranus to their Jupiter). Transiting Venus on Trump’s Mars may have triggered his strange choice to focus on Mrs. Ghazala’s lack of a speaking part in the event and the ensuing “feud.” 

A lot of people (especially veterans) are upset that Trump didn’t simply offer the Khans a gracious, comforting response on their loss, and we’ll never know exactly what prevented Trump from doing this. The appearance, however, was that Trump could not get past the fact that the Khans are Muslim. 

Added to that, the bizarre display of Trump receiving a veteran supporter’s “Purple Heart” (usually a noble Leo tribute) was amazingly out of place. No surprise, Trump’s flippant remark that “he always wanted one of these,” was poorly received, and he’s still trying to walk back the damage done.  

Can the GOP survive Trump’s candidacy intact?

Speech Saturn (Sagittarius) quincunxes Trump Mercury (Cancer) and squares GOP Venus/Neptune (midpoint, Pisces)-Speech Neptune; Speech Neptune (Pisces) trines Trump Mercury (Cancer). Neptune often signals breakdowns in discipline—in worst case scenarios with Saturn and Venus, to the level of corrupt financial behavior—but here the implication seems to be more temperamental, psychological and structural. Trump’s Mercury disposes his powerfully erratic Gemini-Sagittarius axis (Sun-Node-Uranus opposite Moon), and his volatile Sagittarius Moon disposes his Mercury—the closed circuit created here explains a lot of his unpredictable, defensive and chaotic pronouncements.

The GOP actually has legitimate reason to be defensive here, with Neptune approaching return to its position in their radix chart.  Pressure to live up to their founding ideals is pretty intense here, and since their Moon (Sagittarius--exact degree unknown) is very likely being challenged by Saturn and Neptune at this time, their party organization could also be under great stress to simply dissolve.

The media has speculated whether Trump could be the end of the Party as we’ve known it, and these aspects suggest that their concern is not as far-fetched as it sounds.  The GOP’s Moon is disposed by Capricorn Jupiter, which will soon be met with transiting Pluto, so the potential for a transformative make-over is very real. 

Republicans themselves have wrestled with their need for more inclusiveness since Obama’s elections, but instead, they accepted an enticing detour offered by Trump that appears to be back-firing.

A “shotgun divorce?”
Reportedly, the only time in history that the GOP repudiated a nominee running for office under their banner was in the 1989 run of former Ku-Klux-Klansman/Neo-Nazi David Duke for Louisiana state legislature. Then-president George H. W. Bush spoke out forcefully against Duke at that time, and he and several other GOP leaders endorsed Duke’s rival. Never one to quit trying, Duke is running for office again (as Senator) this year and endorsing Trump, which raised a small ruckus when it was first announced, but quickly receded into the Internet abyss.

Long story short, the Party has entered into a Faustian bargain with their candidate, and they cannot undo the will of their voters unless Trump himself drops out. They can simply remove the trappings of support: State Electors can quit (as one did today), and prominent Republicans can withdraw their support (it’s happening, incrementally), but party leaders seem determined to hang on for now and try to refocus their candidate on his opponent, Clinton. Accepting guidance is not Trump’s forté, but time will tell.

The signs of trouble—Cosmic and otherwise—have been there for awhile with Trump’s candidacy. Clearly, the "honeymoon" is over. There are a number of astrological bumps in the road before November, so stay tuned!

Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former university English instructor. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. Several of her articles on these topics have been featured in The Mountain Astrologer and other publications over the years. Raye can be contacted by comment here, or at: 

© Raye Robertson 2016. All rights reserved.