10th Sep, 2008

The Culture Wars Ignite

As is often the case, there are manifestations of acute pathology in Wingnutia. The recent lassitude and hopelessness of the base due to the McCain candidacy has been followed by what seems to be a manic episode, filled with crazed, agitated thinking and delusions of grandeur. The precipitating event was the red-meat-larded convention speech by Sarah Palin, as stimulating as a jolt of methamphetamine from the hinterlands of Alaska. This acute symptomotology comes in the context of pockets of long-term collective pathology on the Right: the tendency to identify with and claim victimhood resulting in a justification for vicious attacks; the projection of unowned, inner aggression in the hypersensitivity to slights and the false perception of insults; and the very brittle, black and white thinking.

For the past 8 years, we have seen what happens when this kind of pathology trickles down from the pinnacle of government and seeps into the nation’s public policy. The very rigid “with us or against us” thinking, the purging of the Justice Department of those who are not essentially robots for the cause, the punishing of those who dissent, the refusal to talk to adversaries, are all examples of this brittle and unhealthy attitude in the halls of power, each with its own devastating ramifications, magnified exponentially by their presence on the national and world stage.

Another indication of significant dysfunction in the mental health world is the inability to perceive and respect boundaries, a term for the appropriate acknowledgment and acceptance of the differences and rights of others. In the life of the individual, poor boundaries can lead to intrusive and controlling behavior, abusive relationships, and even crime. The Bush administration has shown us what a lack of respect for boundaries by a government can bring in its utter disregard for the restrictions of the law. Indeed, George Bush has consistently chafed at any limitation or regulation and has found ways to circumvent numerous laws with the use of signing statements, executive privilege, or just ignoring all precedent. He has pulled out of treaties, deregulated industry, practiced torture and extraordinary rendition, and blatantly ignored the boundaries between church and state and between policy and politics. As is patently obvious, the Christian Right is also prone to the ignoring of healthy boundaries in its intrusive push for everyone to abide by the Right’s social values, especially regarding abortion and gay rights. This intrusive compulsion to control others combines with rigid thinking, the “us versus them” mentality, and the tendency for vicious and dishonest attacks against all who disagree, engendering an entire movement with considerable political power that runs counter to many of the basic principles upon which the US was founded.

Indeed, the term “Culture Wars” must be seen as far more than the battle over “choice” and gay rights, although these are certainly important. Intelligent people can disagree over when fetal life is viable or how to act in their intimate moments. The problem begins when one side feels its way of thinking is the only way and wishes to impose its beliefs on everyone, with a willingness to attack and destroy those who oppose it or disagree in any way. With the reigniting of the Culture Wars by the presence of Sarah Palin in the race and the presence of Karl Rove behind the scenes, this entire constellation of dysfunction is once again threatening to strangle our politics, and, should McCain actually win, shroud our nation’s policies. The continuation of George Bush’s reign by John McCain and Sarah Palin would further not just the extension of the failed policies of the last eight years, but also the rigid and unhealthy attitudes of the current administration – the unwillingness to talk to adversaries, the inflexible definition of right versus wrong or good versus evil, the intolerance of dissent, as well as the self-righteousness over cultural issues – much of which resonates with a certain element of the McCain/Palin ticket’s most ardent supporters on the Right. If the nation chooses to pursue this path on election day, we will continue to erode the very foundations upon which this country was built, and eventually it will be too late to reaffirm them.

Astrological update:

As predicted, a mini-firestorm is developing around Sarah Palin, with the media focusing on the endless lies about her past performance as mayor and governor and the revelation that she paid herself with state funds to stay at home (Per Diem-gate). In addition, Friday is scheduled to bring subpoenas to those who have refused to give voluntary testimony in Troopergate. This intensification of crisis and agitation around Hurricane Sarah (2/11/64, 4:40 PM, Sandpoint, Idaho) is a manifestation of tertiary Moon conjunct tertiary Uranus conjunct natal Pluto, transited by Saturn, from September 9 through 12.

In the meantime, the adoration Palin inspires will be very strong through September 27, with progressed Moon opposite Venus, and will diminish slightly thereafter as this aspect wanes, but not completely, due to the continuation of progressed Venus square the Sun, exact around the election. Scandals will continue to swirl around her right up to the election (progressed Moon semisquare Neptune) and beyond, right through December (transiting Neptune conjunct the Sun) with continuous questions over the ethics of her past behavior and the honesty of her statements.

It seems likely that either McCain’s Ascendant or Midheaven are being impacted by Jupiter at present (13Capricorn), suggesting a slightly earlier birth time, given his recent upsurge in energy and success, thanks to Palin. As Jupiter moves forward in the next days, this is likely to diminish somewhat. The Saturn square to his natal Jupiter and opposite progressed Saturn from September 21 through September 30, followed by transiting Saturn conjunct his Neptune from September 30 to October 8, are likely to take some of the wind from his sails, bringing his overinflated rhetoric and expectations down several pegs. The endless swirl of controversy about his running mate and over his own lies will begin to take their toll.

The first debate is on September 26 and seems likely to benefit Obama more than McCain.  Jupiter will be semisquare Obama’s Midheaven suggesting optimism, expansiveness, and success, whereas Saturn will be square McCain’s natal Jupiter and opposite McCain’s progressed Saturn, while Uranus will conjunct his natal Saturn, suggesting he will be stiff, somber, and uncomfortable.

And lastly, transiting Saturn continues its square to the US Ascendant (12Sagittarius58), exact on Friday, September 12. Thus far during this stressful transit, we have seen Hurricane Gustaf hit the Gulf Coast and Hurricane Hannah run up the East Coast. The final days of this configuration will bring Hurricane Ike to the already waterlogged Gulf Coast. This period has also brought the highest unemployment rate in 5 years, the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by the government, and an increase in home foreclosures.

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