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The 2016 U.S. Presidential Race: Pick A Sign

Another presidential election cycle is nearly upon us (sigh) and let’s face it…this Democrat-Republican thing leaves something to be desired. Today there are just too many shades of grey in our lives (at last count at least 50), while the umbrella terms “liberal” and “conservative” have devolved into ridiculously expressionistic and self-serving mantras, rather than concrete and consistent  descriptions of political outlook or agenda.

As it is highly unlikely that the broad American public is suddenly going to become sophisticated in political practice, perhaps the only solution remaining is to find better blanket generalizations. Employing the signs of the zodiac may be quite attractive in this regard because, if for no other reason, it at least puts 12 crayons in the candidate box. So I say look to the stars!

Despite limitations and qualifications too numerous to mention, what follows is an historical review of the presidencies of the United States (and a cataloging of current presidential hopefuls) according to astrological sun sign.  Here you are virtually guaranteed to find a kind of candidate with whom you resonate. Maybe even a sign other than your own (although, as an American and the best sign Aquarius,  I doubt it.)


ARIES  (March 21 – April 20)

Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809)   Thomas Jefferson (1801-09)     John Tyler (1841-1845)   John Tyler (1841-45)

“If once the people become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Let it be henceforth proclaimed to the world that man’s conscience was created free; that he is no longer accountable to his fellow man for his religious opinions, being responsible therefore only to his God.” – John Tyler

Jefferson: Declaration of Independence; Louisiana Purchase

Tyler: after serving as president, led fight for Southern secession

Defining Characteristic: wilfulness

This is your sort of president if you believe that a deeply held personal/political philosophy must be acted upon whatever the consequences to society as a whole.

2016 Aries Hopefuls: None at present.


TAURUS (April 21 – May 20)

James Monroe (1817-1825)   James Monroe (1817-25)             James Buchanan (1857-1861)   James Buchanan (1857-61)

Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877)   Ulysses S. Grant (1869-77)             Harry S. Truman (1945-53)

“National honor is the national property of the highest value.” – James Monroe

“Abstract propositions should never be discussed by a legislative body.” – James Buchanan

“The distant rear of an army engaged in battle is not the best place from which to judge correctly what is going on in front.” – Ulysses S. Grant

 “We must remember that the test of our religious principles lies not just in what we say, not only in our prayers, not even in living blameless lives – but in what we do for others” – Harry S. Truman

Monroe: The Monroe Doctrine (no further European colonization in Western Hemisphere; no US colonization abroad)

Buchanan: strong political supporter of Dred Scott Decision (blacks have none of the rights of citizenship); endorsed secession of South Carolina

Grant: The Ku Klux Klan Act (criminalized the organization’s activities; destroyed its operations for decades)

Truman: atom bomb drop; The Truman Doctrine (post WW2 containment of Communism)

Defining  characteristic: toughness

This is your sort of president if you desire a stubborn realist willing to accept the fallout of extraordinarily bold action.

2016 Taurus Hopefuls: None at present.


GEMINI (May 21 – June 20)

John F. Kennedy (1961-1963)  John F. Kennedy (1961-63)            George Bush (1989-1993)   George H.W. Bush (1989-93)

“Too often we hold fast to the clichés of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” – John F. Kennedy

“I have opinions of my own – strong opinions – but I don’t always agree with them.” -George H.W. Bush

Kennedy: Cuban missile crisis; Moon landing; Bay of Pigs

Bush: Persian Gulf War; economic slide; trouble with “the vision thing”

Defining characteristic: glibness

This is your sort of president if you appreciate that perception drives process, and that talking a good game is sometimes as good as the game gets. (Perhaps significant that there was no Gemini president until the birth of mass media, particularly television.)

2016 Gemini Hopefuls: Marco Rubio; Eric Cantor; Bobby Jindal; Mike Pence; Newt Gingrich; Donald Trump


CANCER (June 21 – July 22)

John Quincy Adams (1825-1829)   John Quincy Adams (1825-29)             Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929)   Calvin Coolidge (1923-29)

Gerald R. Ford (1974-1977)   Gerald R. Ford (1974-77)                     George W. Bush (2001-2009)   George W. Bush (2001-09)

” The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.” -John Quincy Adams

“We do not need more intellectual power, we need more spiritual power. We do not need more of the things that are seen, we need more of the things that are unseen.” -Calvin Coolidge

“There are no adequate substitutes for father, mother, and children bound together in a loving commitment to nurture and protect. No government, no matter how well-intentioned, can take the place of the family in the scheme of things.” – Gerald Ford

“One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures.” -George W. Bush

Adams: supported American infrastructure projects but stymied by Congress (1st son of a president to be president)

Coolidge: popular tax-cutter during the 1920′s; policies blamed for Great Depression afterwards

Ford: presided over worst economy since Great Depression; pardon of Richard Nixon

Bush: you had to be there…. (2nd son of a president to be president)

Defining characteristic: loyalty

This is your sort of president if you judge your sincerely held foundational beliefs and root connections to be more vital than an inquiring mind or the impartial  investigation/consideration of material evidence. (Please note that The United Sates of America, born on the 4th of July, is itself a Cancer nation.)

2016 Cancer Hopefuls: Elizabeth Warren


LEO (July 23 – August 22)

Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893)    Benjamin Harrison (1989-93)           Herbert Hoover (1929-1933) Herbert Hoover (1929-33)

Bill Clinton (1993-2001)    Bill Clinton (1993-2001)                   http://www.historyplace.com/specials/portraits/presidents/t-obama.jpg   Barack Obama (2009 -present)

“If the educated and influential classes in a community either practice or connive at the systematic violation of laws that seem to them to cross their convenience, what can they expect when the lesson that convenience or a supposed class interest is a sufficient cause for lawlessness has been well learned by the ignorant classes?” -Benjamin Harrison

“The only trouble with capitalism is capitalists; they’re too damned greedy.” -Herbert Hoover

“If one candidate is appealing to your fears, and the other one’s appealing to your hopes, you’d better vote for the person who wants you to think and hope!” -Bill Clinton

“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.” -Barack Obama

Harrison: Sherman Antitrust Act

Hoover: inherited and exacerbated Great Depression; supported Glass-Steagall Act (regulating bank securities activities)

Clinton: 115 consecutive months of economic expansion; sex scandal

Obama: Affordable Care Act; economic stimulus

Defining characteristic: brightness

This is your sort of president if you admire an individual who can consistently and convincingly sell hope to the masses while enduring withering partisan political fire from vested and entrenched opposition.

2016 Leo Hopefuls: None at present.


VIRGO (August 23 – September 22)

William H. Taft (1909-1913)    William H. Taft (1909-13)            Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969)   Lyndon Johnson (1963-69)

“We are all imperfect. We cannot expect perfect government. ” -William H. Taft

“If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read “President Can’t Swim.” -Lyndon Johnson

Taft: civil service reform, trust-busting, became Supreme Court judge

Johnson: the “Great Society”  (civil rights, poverty, education, immigration); drastically escalated Viet Nam war

Defining characteristic: sincerity

This is your sort of president if you can separate the “what” from the “who,” and can accept the occasional errors in judgment along with the practical desire to accomplish something in the real world for the benefit of everyone.

2016 Virgo Hopefuls: Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, (John McCain)


LIBRA (September 23 – October 22)

Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881)    Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-81)            Chester A. Arthur (1881-1885)   Chester A. Arthur (1881-85)

Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961)    Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-61)          Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)   Jimmy Carter (1977-81)

“Personally I do not resort to force–not even the force of law–to advance moral reforms. I prefer education, argument, persuasion, and above all the influence of example.”  -Rutherford B. Hayes

 I trust the time is nigh when, with the universal assent of civilized people, all international differences shall be determined without resort to arms by the benignant processes of civilization.” -Chester A. Arthur

“Extremes to the right and to the left of any political dispute are always wrong.”  -Dwight D. Eisenhower

“We should live our lives as though Christ was coming this afternoon.” -Jimmy Carter

Hayes: dismantling of Civil War Reconstruction regime

Arthur: the Pendleton Act (broke back of corrupt political machines)

Eisenhower: Interstate Highway System, NASA, school desegregation, opposed McCarthy but also int’l Communism

Carter: created Departments of Energy and Education, the Camp David accords (eventually acknowledged with Nobel Prize)

Defining characteristic: equanimity

This is your sort of president if you prefer an elegant advocacy of fairness to an aggressive partisan posture and are willing to admit that most issues do have two sides.

2016 Libra Hopefuls: Dennis Kucinich


SCORPIO (October 23 – November 21)

John Adams (1797-1801)    John Adams (1797-1801)                    James K. Polk (1845-1849)   James K. Polk (1845-49)

Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909)    Theodore Roosevelt (1901-09)            Warren G. Harding (1921-1923)   Warren G. Harding (1921-23)

“There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.” -John Adams

“There is more selfishness and less principle among members of Congress…than I had any conception of, before I became President of the U.S.” -James K. Polk

“A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.”  -Theodore Roosevelt

“I have no trouble with my enemies. I can take care of my enemies in a fight. But my friends, my goddamned friends, they’re the ones who keep me walking the floor at nights! ” -Warren G. Harding

Adams: Alien and Sedition Acts

Polk: Manifest Destiny negotiations/purchases/annexations (Oregon, California, Texas), U.S. Naval Academy

Roosevelt: Panama Canal, Food and Drug Act, the Square Deal (esp. conservation of natural resources)

Harding: 1st federal child welfare program, Veterans Bureau, effective tax policies; Teapot Dome bribery scandal

Defining characteristic: indomitability

This is your sort of president if you like someone who absolutely expects to go toe-to-toe with the opposition (foreign & domestic), as they tend to view everything in life as a do-or-die struggle between conflicting power interests. (Not for the faint of heart.)

2016 Scorpio Hopefuls: Hilary Clinton, Joe Biden, Condoleezza Rice


SAGITTARIUS (November 22 – December 21)

Martin Van Buren (1837-1841)    Martin Van Buren (1837-41)            Franklin Pierce (1853-1857)  Franklin Pierce (1853-57)

“Those who have wrought great changes in the world never succeeded by gaining over chiefs; but always by exciting the multitude. The first is the resource of intrigue and produces only secondary results; the second is the resort of genius and transforms the universe.” -Martin Van Buren

“Frequently the more trifling the subject, the more animated and protracted the discussion.” -Franklin Pierce

Van Buren: Panic of 1837 (economic depression), Jacksonian Democracy, the Cherokee “Trail of Tears”

Pierce: pro-slavery president (Fugitive Slave Act, Kansas-Nebraska Act, support of Cuba annexation)

Defining characteristic: abstraction

This is your sort of president if your passion for an overriding conceptual philosophy outweighs your investment in the day-by-day minutiae-laden slug fest that constitutes real-world politics.

2016 Sagittarius Hopefuls: Andrew Cuomo, Rahm Emanuel, Mark Warner


CAPRICORN (December 22 – January 19)

Millard Fillmore (1850-1853)    Millard Filmore (1850-53)               Andrew Johnson (1865-1869)   Andrew Johnson (1865-69)

Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)    Woodrow Wilson (1913-21)              Richard M. Nixon (1969-1974)   Richard Nixon (1969-74)

“Nothing brings out the lower traits of human nature like office-seeking. Men of good character and impulses are betrayed by it into all sorts of meanness.” -Millard Filmore

“I am sworn to uphold the Constitution as Andy Johnson understands it and interprets it.” -Andrew Johnson

“War isn’t declared in the name of God; it is a human affair entirely.” -Woodrow Wilson

“I played by the rules of politics as I found them.” -Richard Nixon

Filmore: the Compromise of 1850 (slavery legal in some U.S. territories), dispatched Perry to open trade with Japan

Johnson: presided over Reconstruction (giving back much power to Confederate leaders ), Seward’s Folly (purchase of Alaska)

Wilson: WWI, League of Nations, Federal Reserve Act, Clayton Antitrust Act, Federal Trade Commission

Nixon: improved relations with China and Russia, OSHA, Clean Air Act, Viet Nam withdrawal, Watergate scandal

Defining characteristic: empowerment

This is your sort of president if you appreciate a realist who can successfully manage “big picture” national and global interests without letting too much of an ethical code stand in the way.

2016 Capricorn Hopefuls: Rand Paul, Evan Bayh, Martin O’Malley


AQUARIUS (January 20 – February 18)

William H. Harrison (1841)    William Henry Harrison (1841)              Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)   Abraham Lincoln (1861-65)

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945)    Franklin D. Roosevelt (1931-45)            Ronald Reagan (1981-1989)   Ronald Reagan (1981-89)

“Of all the great interests which appertain to our country, that of union–cordial, confiding, fraternal union–is by far the most important, since it is the only true and sure guaranty of all others.” -William Henry Harrison

“When I do good I feel good. When I do bad I feel bad. That’s my religion.” -Abraham Lincoln

“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” -Franklin D. Roosevelt

 “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” -Ronald Reagan

Harrison: 1st president to die in office, one month into term (It’s interesting to note that every Aquarius president either died in office and/or was targeted for assassination.)

Lincoln: successfully presided over Civil War, Emancipation Proclamation, first federal income tax

Roosevelt: successfully presided over WWII, the New Deal (Social Security, FDIC, SEC, etc.)

Reagan: Reagonomics (supply-side economic policies); the Reagan Doctrine (end of detente with USSR, support of anti-communist military/political movements)

Defining characteristic: investedness

This is your sort of president if you value strength of character and a human touch in service to the greater good…or maybe it’s just a matter of colorful eccentrics rising to rare historical occasions.

2016 Aquarius Hopefuls: Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush, Sarah Palin (Both Jeb Bush and Sarah Palin celebrate their birthdays on February 11th, which happens to be the same day as my wife Ann’s birthday. Ann claims not to be especially pleased by this fact, but I’d vote for her.)


PISCES (February 19 – March 20)

George Washington Term of Office (1789-1797)    George Washington (1789-97)             James Madison (1809-1817)   James Madison (1809-17)

Andrew Jackson (1829-1837)    Andrew Jackson (1829-37)                   Grover Cleveland (1885-1889)   Grover Cleveland (1885-89)

“Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.” -George Washington

“The truth is that all men having power ought to be mistrusted.” -James Madison

“It is from within, among yourselves–from cupidity, from corruption, from disappointed ambition and inordinate thirst for power–that factions will be formed and liberty endangered. It is against such designs, whatever disguise the actors may assume, that you have especially to guard yourselves.” -Andrew Jackson

“I am President of all the people, good, bad, or indifferent, and as long as my opinions are known, ought perhaps to keep myself out of their squabbles.” -Grover Cleveland

Washington: Commander in Chief of Continental Army, ushered in Bill of Rights, national bank, tax on whiskey

Madison: Federalist Papers, War of 1812 (considered a draw, British burned Washington D.C. to the ground)

Jackson: father of modern Democratic party, Nullification Crisis (stared down extreme states’ rights), payed off national debt

Cleveland: Interstate Commerce Commission, heavy use of veto power vs. questionable gov’t allocations

Defining characteristic: intuitiveness

This is your sort of president if you value a candidate who while capable of truly extraordinary achievements never overlooks the broad human tendency to act primarily in one’s own self-interest.

2016 Pisces Hopefuls: Rick Perry, Tim Kaine, (Mitt Romney)








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