My Cards Were Right – I Was Wrong: What does it all mean?

Dear Friends, Clients and Subscribers,

I am actually in China now, and quite busy. I have had some requests, however, to share some thoughts about the recent election results, so I have carved out some time to do so.

I must say, watching the election from here in Dali, a small idyllic city way away in Western China, has made what just happened back in the U.S. seem even more surrealistic.

Obviously, the ‘rigid holding pattern’ my cards had predicted for Hillary Clinton’s feelings the day after the election, and the ‘love’ they predicted for Donald Trump’s feelings, were not amenable to the spin my personal political bias was trying to put on them. I was also uncomfortable being virtually the only Astrologer predicting a Trump win, especially with all of the polls indicating a Clinton victory.

What does it all mean?

Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton

There is so much one can say. We definitely have uncertain times ahead of us. But it seems clear to me the Trump victory is a ‘sign of the times,’ i.e. reflective of the Saturn/Neptune squares of this past year. One can see how people who feel themselves victims (Neptune) feel resentment towards the establishment (Saturn) and are inspired to dissolve (Neptune) that Saturnian status quo structure and put in place their own authoritative strong man (Saturn).

One can see parallels of this around the world: in the British ‘Brexit’ from the authority of the E.U., the rise of various right-wing groups in Europe and specific ‘strong men’ in Eastern Europe and the Philippines.

The dynamic I see involved here is resonant with a travel blog I wrote some years ago from Nepal. Some of you may have read it. The insights that I had shared came from conversations I had had with my Himalayan trekking guide, Yadev. Yadev was a really nice guy and we became good friends during the 10 days of our trek together. At one point I asked him how he felt about the future of Nepal. With a despondent reaction he said “Oh it will go down. There is so much corruption in the government.’ This is, certainly a common refrain in third world nations. But then he surprised me by saying ‘But the people, they expect you to be corrupt. They want you to be corrupt. Even me, if I was a politician, I would be corrupt.’ Now the last part really kind of shocked me because I knew Yadev to be a guy I could trust to be honest, considerate and above board.

The insight that came to me was this: In most tribal societies, untouched by the sentiments of civic duty and social contracts among equal citizens, when they were looking for a tribal leader to help protect them from the other tribes, they were not looking for a civic-minded diplomatic type with a slogan like ‘Stronger Together. ‘ No, they wanted the meanest, bad-ass, self-involved ‘’Alpha’ male. And they were quite willing to overlook some of their personal unpleasantnesses in doing so. It is this archaic ‘tribal spirit’ searching for an alpha male, which was willing to overlook all of the perhaps immoral or unethical components of Donald Trump.

Now as to the sources of this sense of victimhood in the U.S. I’ve listened to a very interesting interview with an Atlantic Magazine journalist, James Fallows, who just spent three years flying his own small plane to small cities around the U.S. In his ‘on the ground’ assessments he really counters many of the reasons being cited for Trump’s popularity. For example, the myth that we are losing manufacturing jobs to Mexico, China and Japan. He said that might have been the case in the early 1990’s. Now, however, most of our (and their) manufacturing jobs are being lost to automation. He saw, however, that most communities have already adapted and moved on with new forms of young start-ups and entrepreneurs. He cited an article to the effect that all Republican congressmen believe the economy is getting worse, except in their own district.

He also made reference to Erie, Pennsylvania, which had a huge Trump rally. Erie is known as one of several ‘gateway’ cities serving as a receptive base for landing and integrating refugee immigrants. With this year’s rhetoric you would think there would likely be a large amount of fear, distrust and resentment towards the Syrian families brought to live there. In interviews with the families and the population at large he actually found none of that.

Seventy percent of the exit polls in this election had people stating that they favored a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

So what explains the discontent? Besides the Neptunian illusion, confusion, and victimhood affecting our Saturnian grasp of reality, I have one last Astrological explanation, and a last sociological, political explanation.

The sociological, political explanation was coined by an author in the phrase ‘The Majoritarian Backlash.’

This author put forth the observation that the previous and present (but dwindling) majority rule of this nation, basically the white race, and in particular, white men, have seen, and can see, the on-going erosion of their privileged position as the dominant force in the political and social culture of the USA, and there is a collective resentment about that decline.

Clearly this is a follow-up to the theme I presented in my last article about the reason for the collective resentment of Hillary Clinton. I would say that it shouldn’t have taken a political genius to see that, after forcing these white males to stretch and try to accommodate a Black President, about the worst thing you could do was to try to shove a female President on them, especially a female as flawed as Hillary Clinton. Hence, the Majoritarian Backlash.

I believe it is this discontent percolating in the collective psyche of this group that made them ready to get fired up about trade, immigration and terrorism when these weren’t really ‘hot button’ issues previously. It’s not too difficult to see the slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ as code for ‘Make America White (and Male dominated) Again.’

This is parallel to the fears in Britain’s own ‘Majoritarian Backlash’ fueling Brexit. And, just as there has been a certain amount of ‘Brexit Remorse’ following the results of their election, I wonder if there isn’t some ‘Trump Remorse’ today, after having pulled the lever in protest, thinking that Hillary would win anyway.

A certain parallel has also been made between what just happened in the U.S. and what happened in post-1916 Weimar Republic Germany. That was a time when cosmopolitan Germans in the metropolitan centers were creating some of the most liberal forms of social democracy. They, however, experienced a backlash in the form of the Nazis, whose early support came largely from provincial, rural areas. Although it has also been pointed out that we must remember that populism is not fascism, at least in the early stages.

Now, I know that Hillary actually won the popular vote and clearly there are flaws in our system. But I don’t begrudge the existence of the Electoral College. If we had only a popular vote the candidates and their campaigning and advertising efforts would be focused entirely on the population centers of New York, California, Illinois and Texas. The rest of the nation would be basically irrelevant.

Now, I will end with an Astrological explanation derived from the U.S. chart. This is in reference to our Mars in the Seventh House, the house of relationships, giving rise to an experience of likely conflict and aggression in relationships and a tendency to ‘rush into battle’ when opposed, being square to our natal Neptune, making that Mars subject to illusion, confusion, delusion, victimhood and martyrdom.

USA Chart
USA Chart

I have written about this extensively in my book, and in subsequent articles over the years. For example, when Pluto was conjuncting the Neptune and squaring Mars we were in the delusionary military engagement of Vietnam. When I saw Pluto moving towards a square to Neptune and an opposition to Mars starting in 2003, I predicted the likely emergence of a similarly Vietnam-like manifestation. That of course was the War in Iraq.

When Pluto was activating this during the 1960’s it became characterized by the phrase ‘Hawks (Mars) and Doves (Neptune). Now, I was certainly a dove at the time and remain largely so today. But, as I said in my book, if I were counseling an individual with this same difficult aspect in their chart, I would say: ‘You need to heal and integrate this tension.’ This perspective has led me to feel that, karmically, the U.S. has to do the same. We obviously can’t just do Mars; send in the military, with no Neptune, i.e. no compassion or sensitivity to the reality of the people we are dealing with. But, by the same token, I am of the belief that we can’t just do Neptune without acknowledging there are occasionally times for an appropriate expression of Mars. The trick is to have it truly integrated and not either/or.

George W. Bush was obviously way too Mars. Obama has really tried to bring in Neptune and dissolve and melt away from those Martial wars started by George W., but, by my own assessment, as much as I appreciate and stand behind many of the efforts of Barack Obama, I do think he was too Neptune. I believe he should have stayed much more engaged with what we had created in Iraq, at least diplomatically, if not militarily having left some stabilizing troops there. Instead of disengaging virtually entirely and giving Prime Minister Maliki full sway at suppressing Sunni Muslims thus creating a more fertile ground for ISIS.

And, perhaps Obama could have done more to support moderate Syrians when there were still some around that could be distinguished from the Islamists.

Hillary actually seems to be, to my taste, a little too much on the Hawkish side of things, but she would have been a continuing effort to work on balance and integration of this. However, an animus-possessed woman in a pantsuit was just not Mars enough for Trump supporters hungry for a real martial alpha male warrior.

I think we saw the same phenomenon in the loss of Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan. My Kabbalah teacher, who always spoke of the balancing integration of the Tree of Life, said that because of this eternal back and forth movement of the pendulum, societies will always have a certain amount of ebb and flow between the conservative and liberal view points.

As to my liberal, progressive comrades, it is obvious that when we have a Republican President we do get much more seriously engaged. When we have a Democratic President we tend to just whine and criticize, or spin self-indulgent cocoons of conspiracy theories such that it doesn’t matter whom you vote for.

This is another factor as to why Hillary lost. Neither Hillary nor Trump received as many votes as Mitt Romney did when he lost the election in 2012. Lots of Democrats didn’t vote.

In an interview before the election with one of our great progressive champions, Noam Chomsky, he said any vote not made for Hillary is a vote for Trump. That this is just arithmetic. You can say you are going to vote your conscience but you can’t cancel the factual reality of arithmetic. And the danger of a Trump Presidency is such that you don’t really have a conscience if you don’t vote for Hillary but are just indulging in your own personal feelings.

As I have said in the past, the Sagittarian Ascendant of the U.S., giving rise to a tendency towards ‘seeing oneself as upright, honest and morally strong, whether true or not,’ is not limited to the Right Wing. We are all, in the U.S., prone to that kind of self-righteous ‘know-it-all ness.’

That Sagittarian self-image was getting hit pretty hard this past year. Next year it appears to be worse. And, as I said in my last article, the inauguration chart is also pretty challenging. More about those things later.

In the meantime, may we pray that there can be as much openings as possible in the consciousness and conscience of Donald Trump, and enough truly inspired strength and vision in those who oppose him, to mitigate as much as possible the potential harm that could happen to our society and the individuals within it, and to our fragile planet.

Steffan Vanel

The Reason for the Collective Resentment of Hillary, & Why Trump will be ‘Feeling the Love’

Dear Friends, Clients and Subscribers,

There is a psychological mechanism which one of my teachers, Astrologer and author Liz Greene, paraphrased as “The Velcro Theory of Human Relationships: If it sticks it’s yours”.

There can be many valid, rational reasons to feel antipathy towards someone. When there is that visceral, irrational, ‘over the top’ hatred for someone, however, it is generally a sign that some unconscious psychological complex is being triggered.

I live in the Eastern or ‘Red’ part of the State of Washington. This Fall I put up a Tarot Reading booth at the ‘Cider Festival’ in a neighboring county. It was clearly Trump Country, with a fire engine in the parade festooned with Republican Party signs, with Trump/Pence the largest, most prominent. I saw no evidence of the Democratic Party at that fair at all.

I could also overhear the people in the booth next to mine expressing their hatred for Hillary Clinton. What struck me the most was that the most intense, one might say ‘over the top’ hatred, came from the women.

Now, the male sexism in the Trump campaign has been pretty clear and obvious, with such slogans being displayed on t-shirts and banners unfurled near Hillary Clinton rallies encouraging others to ‘Trump that Bitch,’ or perhaps more frightening, ‘Burn her at the stake.’

To see this same antipathy for Hillary on the part of women supporting Trump, however, women who have failed to be the least bit disaffected by the sexist comments uttered by him in the ‘Access Hollywood’ video, starts to feel like ‘Velcro.’

Those of you who have experienced my special ‘Tree of Life Kabbalistic Tarot Reading’ know that a primary part of that Reading involves looking at the archetypal energies in your deep unconscious around the Masculine Principle, and around the Feminine Principle. This Reading gives me a unique ability to look objectively at how the individual is experiencing those two principles deep within themselves.

From having done so many of these Readings, and in many different countries, I have come to recognize certain collective patterns. Those of you who have read my book ‘The Astrological Karma of the USA’ may remember that I broached this subject there.

The pattern I am looking at here is in relation to the fact that, for many modern women, especially in the U.S., the Masculine side of their Reading is stronger and more identified with, than the Feminine side. In the U.S., statistically, it is around 18 out of 20 readings.

I often share how, when I lived in Europe, I could tell an American woman walking down the street before she said a word. Just by the way she walked. With an assertive, square-edged, masculine energy. As opposed to a curvy, receptive, mysterious feminine energy, which invites a man to pour himself into it, disappear, and see what he discovers. (I wax poetic)

This happens for at least one of three reasons. If the first two reasons don’t get you, the third one always does. Although double and triple ‘whammies’ are common.

The first reason is when a woman, as a child, is not in a close relationship with her mother, as that is a major way for a woman to learn what a woman is, through the female role-model of the mother. If she rejects that role model it will make it more difficult for her to know innately, instinctively, what a woman is, in which case she may develop the masculine as a source of identity.

The second reason is when a woman, as a child, is not in a close, trusting relationship with her father. This is the other way for a woman to experience her femininity, through the polarity with a man. Normally, the first man whom she trusts enough to experience the vulnerability of being female is with her father. If she doesn’t feel that trust, however, she may again develop the masculine, not only as a source of identity, but even as a source of protection from the father.

Of course there are many women who do express having had a closeness with their fathers, but when questioned more closely, we often see that this was facilitated by becoming ‘tomboys,’ as there was still that discomfort with the male/female polarization.

And this leads us into the third reason, the one which will tend to get you even if the first two didn’t, and that is the fact that the modern world seems to be trying desperately to turn everyone into men. Where masculine goals of work and career and intellect are what is valued, and feminine qualities are seen as secondary or inferior.

The pattern does seem to emerge the strongest in the ‘Anglo’ countries: the U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia, etc. My theory about that is that this is because of the long-term effects of British, Victorian Puritanism, where it was virtually impossible for a woman to enjoy being a woman. A situation where a woman was expected to have babies, but to not really enjoy making them. And where she didn’t have the opportunities to go into masculine goals of work, career and intellect. In my verbal rap I often say she was expected to be a ‘dodo.’

And of course this is something which modern women have been rather ‘pissed off’ about, especially in the last 40 or 50 years. It seems, however, that a common way to free themselves from this unfulfilling feminine role has been for women to take on the roles and identities of men. Of course everyone should have the freedom to unfold the male and female parts of themselves, which we all have in varying degrees. There does seem to be a collective compulsivity in this, however, which hasn’t allowed women to see what they are really missing. And it is hard to see because it is something that we have been missing for hundreds if not thousands of years.

This phenomenon is different, however, country to county. For example in France, maybe the Church tried to tell them that sex was bad, but it seems clear that nobody ever believed it.

Now, I have additional socio-cultural theories about this phenomenon and how it has or hasn’t occurred in different nations, but I don’t want to get too far afield from the subject at hand. So, back to Hillary Clinton.

In my research of Hillary Clinton I have noted that the first attacks on the part of Republicans against her were when Bill Clinton first ran for Governor in Arkansas. His opponent launched a major part of his criticisms not against Bill, but against Hillary, for keeping her maiden name and for not staying home to take care of her child.

Later, this kind of judgment came down upon her in the wake in her rather infamous statement about baking cookies and having teas. Here is the account on Wikipedia:

Clinton was facing questions about whether she could have avoided possible conflicts of interest between her governor husband and work given to the Rose Law Firm, when she remarked, “I’ve done the best I can to lead my life … You know, I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was fulfill my profession, which I entered before my husband was in public life.”

And this is from Time Magazine online in respect of this comment by Hillary:

Many traditionalists—as well as women who might otherwise have supported the Clintons—were outraged. “If I ever entertained the idea of voting for Bill Clinton, the smug bitchiness of his wife’s comment has nipped that notion in the bud,” one New Jersey voter told TIME back then.

Here are another few relevant quotes for this discussion:

McGill University professor of history Gil Troy titled his 2006 biography of her “Hillary Rodham Clinton: Polarizing First Lady”, and wrote that after the 1992 campaign, Clinton “was a polarizing figure, with 42 percent [of the public] saying she came closer to their values and lifestyle than previous first ladies and 41 percent disagreeing.” Troy further wrote that Clinton “has been uniquely controversial and contradictory since she first appeared on the national radar screen in 1992” and that she “has alternately fascinated, bedeviled, bewitched, and appalled Americans.”

University of Pennsylvania communications professor Kathleen Hall Jamieson saw Clinton as an exemplar of the double bind, who though able to live in a “both-and” world of both career and family, nevertheless “became a surrogate on whom we projected our attitudes about attributes once thought incompatible”, leading to her being placed in a variety of no-win situations.

Quinnipiac University media studies professor Lisa Burns found press accounts frequently framing Clinton both as an exemplar of the modern professional working mother and as a political interloper interested in usurping power for herself.

University of Indianapolis English professor Charlotte Templin found political cartoonists using a variety of stereotypes—such as gender reversal, radical feminist as emasculator, and the wife the husband wants to get rid of—to portray Clinton as violating gender norms.

Obviously, Hillary Clinton’s behavior and comments have triggered a resentment which was already moving along in the collective. I have, personally, listened to women express their resentment of NOW, the National Organization of Women, claiming that they look down upon, or feel superior to, women who choose to stay home with their children and not work outside of their home.

This is obviously complex territory with no easy answers. This summer an actress from the East Coast gave a thoroughly engaging performance at our local library entitled: ‘But someone must do the dishes!,’ based upon factual accounts of resistance on the part of women to the movement of Suffragettes who were seeking to attain the right to vote for women.

I have noted myself how Michelle Obama, who has also fulfilled herself previously with a career outside of the home doesn’t seem to trigger this kind of resentment, and in fact receives the most positive marks of all of the figures on the political stage right now. To me she represents a modern intelligent woman who is still able to maintain those more traditional feminine qualities. Michelle Obama speaks from her heart, with Hillary Clinton it seems to be more from her head.

I often share with my clients the following as, what I think, serves as a useful metaphor for the difference and yet equality of male and female power. This was given in a lecture I attended by the noted author and metaphysician, Manly P. Hall.

In this lecture Mr. Hall was referring to what is known as the ‘Iroquois Six Nations Federation’, a collective grouping of tribes and bands in a region of the Northeast in the U.S. I wrote about them in my book as our Constitution derived a lot of its inspiration from their Constitution called the Great Law of Peace or Gayanashagowa.

Mr. Hall said that, before the white man came, this Federation had 500 years of peace, something virtually unheard of in recorded history. 500 years of no bloodshed. The way in which their system worked, however, was such that they had chieftains and sachems from the different tribes and bands of the federation, and these were all positions of governing power which could only be held by men. They were all elected in elections, however, in which only women could vote. The women still had their own circle, but it wasn’t for traveling from here to there and hashing out the boundaries of the hunting grounds etc. They were still honored and revered for their roles and responsibilities as mothers. When they came together it was more for spiritual ceremony. Any man who had stepped ‘out of line’ in the observance of his duty, however, could be taken out of office in 24 hours by a unanimous vote of the women.

Now, I am not suggesting that we should adopt such a system, but I think that it is a useful metaphor for the difference, and yet equality, of male and female power. I sometimes say that women getting men’s power is not what it is really all about. That can just give you Margaret Thatcher.

The French philosopher Voltaire once said: “When women seek equality with men they lose their superiority.”

In my readings, I have seen that there is a large difference between being a strong woman, indicated by having a strong card in the Feminine position, and being what I call: ‘Animus Possessed,’ where there is a weak card in the Feminine position, but a compensating strong one in the Masculine Position.

I think the discomfort with this collective thrust in the American feminist movement is why it has been noted that far fewer younger women are fully enamored by Hillary, when they are expected to being so, as she is the first female Presidential candidate. I feel this is because they are experiencing a bit of a ‘backlash’ against the masculinization of women as a way of getting free of the repressive feminine roles. Many of those women were left cold when Madeleine Albright warned them with the statement: ‘There is a special place in hell for women who don’t support other women.’

There are some pretty intense Astrological ‘exams’ hitting the Astrology Chart of the U.S.A. in these recent years, and it has been clear to me that the U.S. has been having to face some of its dark shadows, such as by having the first African-American President, resulting in such ‘Velcro sticking’ as evidenced by the incredibly vile invective hurled against President Obama on what I call ‘scream radio;’ clearly spawned by underlying racism.

Of course the next-worse thing to force upon these people, after a Black President, is a Female President. There are no accidents, however. Everything happens for some reason. Maybe in the next election we will have to deal with the reality of an openly gay candidate.

The one thing I would say about Hillary Clinton at this time, Astrologically, is in relation to her being a Scorpio. We have uncertainty about her correct birth time, although of the possible birth times being considered, I have spoken about the one that seems the most fitting to me in the audio lecture posted on my website.

Having been born on October 26, however, there is no doubt that she is a Scorpio. This is what Ascended Master Hilarion* has said about someone born with the Sun in Scorpio:

The Scorpio individual is one who, in a previous life, killed himself as an act of atonement for some act which he regarded afterwards as being so horrible and detestable as to unfit him to continue living. As a result of this self-destructive act, certain of the darker kinds of energies were tapped into by the soul, which on the one hand give to the Scorpio a deep grasp of the meaning of regeneration through sacrifice and death, but on the other hand lend certain qualities of power over others, a win-at-any cost attitude, little patience with ideals of fair play and honor, and in his darker moments, a mocking echo of the self-destructive urges that fueled the original act in the previous life. The great task and challenge for the Scorpio is to manifest the regenerative side of his nature, to rise above the lower self on the wings of an eagle. (The higher animal symbol of Scorpio), and to show to others by his own life, the true meaning of the myth of the Phoenix, rising purified from its own ashes. Few Scorpios succeed fully at this task, especially in the past Piscean Age, when few solid guideposts were available to the seeker after spiritual understanding, and chaos and destruction were seen on every hand. But in the new Age of Aquarius, it will be largely the Scorpio side of individuals (whether Sun-sign Scorpios or not) which will be in evidence. As the understanding of man opens up to the energies of the new age, his spirit will literally take wing and soar to unimaginable heights of wisdom, love and creative power.

So, there is a deep guilt being carried by the Scorpio individual before they were even born. This guilt is usually unknown to themselves. Scorpios are really good at hiding their inner feelings, even from themselves. That sense of secret hidden feelings, and a deep sense of guilt within them, makes them very good hooks for someone to project blame upon. Perfect targets for conspiracy theorists.

Esotericists believe that, of the 12 Apostles of Jesus, the one representing Scorpio, was Judas.

Interestingly, the largest number of American Presidents have been born under the signs of Aquarius and Scorpio. Aquarians would be easy to understand as they are someone who has brought groups of people together and encouraged love and brotherhood among them in previous lives. With the Scorpios one could suspect those “certain qualities of power over others, a win-at-any cost attitude, little patience with ideals of fair play and honor,” Although we can also hope that they were able to experience the ability to “rise above the lower self on the wings of an eagle. (The higher animal symbol of Scorpio), and to show to others by his own life, the true meaning of the myth of the Phoenix, rising purified from its own ashes.”

After the election, if we have a President Hillary Clinton, I will write more about her chart and the influences upon it I can see coming in the years ahead. It is to be noted that Scorpios really don’t like other people having any kind of inordinate secret power or control over them, thus Hillary’s having used a private email server to keep her communications secret. I sense this could also be why Hillary doesn’t just come out and tell us the correct birth time on her birth certificate, or has been quoted as giving different times. She must know that we are dying to know, but, Scorpio that she is, she doesn’t want to make it easy for us to have that secret knowledge and power over her.

As far as a future prognostication, there is one thing I can say right now, and that is that the chart for the Inauguration, often used to represent the ‘birth’ of the new Presidency, looks pretty challenging. Of course the current state of the nation makes it hard to imagine otherwise.

One final note. During my recorded lecture I cut cards for how Hillary would be feeling the day after the election, and one for how Trump would be feeling.

For Hillary I got the 4 of Wands: Completion

Wands are fire or will energy. The four of wands shows a balanced, harmonious will energy, but contained within the limits of a circle, in a kind of ‘holding pattern,’ being somewhat rigid.

Whereas the card for Trump was the 2 of Cups: Love, an emotional harmony and balance creating an aura and sense of Love.

Now at least one Trump supporter on Facebook was happy to use that to say I was predicting Trump would win the election. And the cards I cut after those two did at least encourage that consideration. Now, however, I have come to believe that Hillary will win, but will be feeling like she is ‘on hold’ as she will then have to actually deal with the reality of it all. Or, who knows, maybe she will have to be ‘on hold’ wondering if Trump will accept the results of the election or not.

In comparison, Trump will be ‘Feeling the Love.’

Based on my opinion of Donald Trump’s Astrology Chart, especially his Leo Ascendant, I have joined those who believe that Donald Trump, on some level, doesn’t actually want to be President. I sometimes feel he is like one of the Television Wrestlers, scripted to lose, but having to play it real and tough until the end for the audience.

I feel that he knows he couldn’t really deal with the complicated mess of the current responsibilities of the Presidency. He can, however, cash in on the collective passion, anger, hatred, and the American penchant for conspiracy theories, to set himself up as an on-going spokesman for that segment of the population. I believe it to be quite likely that he will use this popular appeal to create some new media franchise.

Commentators have wondered why Trump seems to be continually addressing his ‘base,’ making little or no effort to woo the independent or moderate Republican voters he would need to win the election.

In essence, I think Donald Trump is a savvy businessperson. He knows the appeal of his ‘brand’ and who its primary market is. He knows that if he changes his brand to widen his market share, he may well lose the undying devotion and loyalty of his primary market.

Donald Trump clearly has no love, loyalty or concern for the fate of the established Republican Party, whom he views as ‘shackles’ upon him. Donald Trump has always gone for what he wants: fame and wealth. Well, he is more famous now than his wildest dreams. And, his coming media empire will likely make him incredibly wealthy.

This will leave the Republican Party in a bit of a mess. It feels a bit karmic though. They have allowed themselves to be an umbrella for those largely motivated by anger and hatred for some time. They have also gerrymandered their districts, using computer-driven hi-tech analysis, to create safe havens for those baser passions to thrive and grow.

As far as what will happen. It makes one think of the evocative Chinese adage: “May you live in interesting times.’

We must remember, however, that everyone, everywhere, needs our love and our prayers that they may be released from all suffering.

Steffan Vanel