Presidential Mistakes

Picking the best and at times the worst of presidents is an endless contest.  In most lists, the best presidents of the United States are Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President, and  Franklin Roosevelt, the thirty second President — both Aquarians.  Both are considered the top two Presidents, in no particular order.  But both made an extremely bad decision,  which no one credits them with, that were among the worst presidential decisions every, and the results of which we still live with.

During his first term, Lincoln’s Vice President was Hannibal Hamlin.  Hamlin was a radical Republican who fully supported the abolishment of slavery.  He was replaced in the second election by a Democrat from the border state of Tennessee and they ran on, instead of the Republican Party ticket, a new party formed for that election only called the National Union Party; the idea was to show that the Democrats and Republicans were united and that the Civil War was a bipartisan effort.  Unfortunately, Lincoln was assassinated shortly after the election of 1864, which the National Union Party won.  Lincoln’s chosen vice president was Andrew Johnson, a Democratic Senator who still  supported  the Union, even though Tennessee had joined the Confederate States.   It was for that reason that Lincoln decided to have him on the ticket of the new  union party that was set up just for the election of 1864. By early 1865 the South had lost the Civil War, and Lincoln had been assassinated, so Johnson was the new President.  Johnson had given a bad impression when he had shown up for his inaugural as vice president drunk, but as Lincoln had explained, that was only because he was so nervous. Johnson was never a friend to black people, either when they were slaves or after the War ended.

The period between the end of the war and 1876 was called Reconstruction; the South was suppose to re-enter the Union and the freed blacks who had formerly been slaves were to have been brought into full-fledged citizens of the United States. To say that Reconstruction was unsuccessful would be an understatement, and we are still living with the consequences of that period.  The so-called Black Codes were soon passed in the South, which restricted the freedom of the newly freed  slaves.  While there were more Blacks elected to the Congress during Reconstruction than ever since, few long lasting changes  were made and after the end of Reconstruction the South tried to revert as closely as possible  to the antebellum ways  of treating their black citizens.  Andrew Johnson did not help Reconstruction, and he so angered the Radical Republicans in Congress that they passed a law so that Johnson would break it and they would have an excuse to impeach him, and they  did.  Johnson goes down in history as the first President to  be impeached; he was not convicted, but after that his frosty relations with Congress did not improve.

Reconstruction ended in 1876, even thought it had not been finished.   What happened was the election of 1876.   That was a interesting year in the United States.  It was the centennial of the founding of the country, and there was much celebration on the Fourth of July, a special birthday.  Just a few days before that party a civil war veteran named George Armstrong Custer had been killed fighting Indians and the news had just reached the East.  The current President, Ulysses Grant, who had accepted the South’s surrender in the Civil War, was very unpopular.   The election that November was disputed, and in fact was more controversial than the recent election of 2000 and Bush v Gore. It was seemingly won by the Democrat Samuel Tilden and the Republican Rutheford Hayes lost.  But in several states both the Republicans and Democrats turned in electoral college votes, which disagreed.  Eventually a committee was formed consisting of members of the Senate, House, and Supreme Court.  The committee was suppose to choose between the disputed electoral votes.  As a result, the Republican was chosen, but the Democrats, who were the party in the South of white people, also got something that they wanted:  a removal of troops in the South and thus an end to Reconstruction.  The whites in the South could go back to interfering with the newly freed slaves with no interference from the Army.   The new President was referred to a Ruthefraud Hayes after that election.


Assassination of Lincoln

The first thing we look at in this assassination chart is the position of Mars, that indicates gunshots.  Since we have a time, the position of the Moon is valid, and it is opposite the US Mars.  Transiting Mars is on the cusp of the eight house (the long dark blue line extending out from that planet indicates this) which in traditional astrology is the house of death.  Mars is within the core of the US chart — Sun, Venus, Jupiter — and approaching an exact conjunction with the Sun.  Mercury is sesquiquadrate the Midheaven, and the news of this event was communicated rapidly, besides taking place within a theater.  Saturn, depression, is aspecting the Moon, Pluto, and the Ascendant of the US chart.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt had an unprecedented four terms.  In fact, the twenty second amendment to the US Constitution was passed to prevent this from happening again.  In his third term, Roosevelt had as Vice President Henry Wallace, who had been Secretary of Agriculture during the first two terms and an important supporter of the New Deal.  Wallace was an American original.  He was a farmer from Iowa whose political beliefs were out of step with the Washington  Establishment.  He was also someone who had esoteric beliefs that were out of place in Washington.  In fact, it was his idea to put the eye on the pyramid on the back of a dollar bill.  This corresponds directly to something in the astrological birth chart of the United States, as we will discuss at some other time.  Not only was he FDR’s Vice President in his third term,  he was also Roosevelt’s choice for the fourth term.  But by that time Roosevelt was noticeably sick, and the Democratic Party officials knew he wouldn’t last for four more years, so they knew that whoever was vice president would become President, and they wanted someone in that position that they could control, and they did not want that person to be someone with the maverick ideas of a Henry Wallace.  They convinced FDR to nominate Harry Truman, who had supported New Deal policies and was also from the  Midwest, but was not an independent thinker and could be trusted to take orders.  Some people called him a hack, and his start in politics was the result of action by a local political organization called the Pendergast machine.  But the convention, which was heavily in favor of Wallace, would have selected him anyway, except the power in the convention hall failed conveniently and the selection was put off to the next day.

While Wallace really supported FDR’s policies, especially in regards to the Soviet Union, and he had been in the Roosevelt cabinet  since the first  election, Truman did not support the Roosevelt foreign policy and was strongly influenced by such people as his Secretary of State, James Byrnes.  As a result, Truman was in charge of ordering the atomic bombs dropped on Japan, and he  took a tough policy towards the Soviet Union after the war ended and ignored the agreements made at Yalta.  He helped bring the policy of anti-communism to America, which led to McCarthyism, and helped bring the Cold War  with his Truman Doctrine.  Conservatives and liberals did not like Wallace at all, and this belief still exists.  I  recently saw an article in the New Yorker from last year defaming Henry Wallace.  But if Wallace had served as President after the war, the Cold War would have had much less chance of happening, and the future of the world   would have been considerably different. Truman brought in the National Security State, which has only gotten stronger after 9/11. As discussed previously the beginnings of the NSS changed America’s path and position in the world.

Even though the Cold War is over, the Cold  War tendencies to mistrust the Russians are still in full force in America, and has led to a second Cold War and the accompanying  danger of nuclear war.


Death of Roosevelt

In   this chart we have a conjunction of four planets in Aries  — Sun, Moon, Mercury, and Venus — and a new Moon had happened  eight hours earlier.  This quadruple conjunction is aspecting much of the chart: Moon, Pluto, Ascendant, Uranus, Mercury, and Mars.  Saturn  is approaching the core planets of the United States: the government will be depressed, and there were many changes to the government in the next three months it took Saturn to cross the Sun.  In fact, Saturn was exactly on the Sun of the US on July 4, 1945.

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