It seems I’ve been doing a lot of obituaries lately. It’s hard to come up with good things to say about Jesse Helms, although his fans always said of him “You always knew where Jesse stood.” There’s no doubt about that.

Jesse Helms did his utmost to try to halt the progress of civil rights and would have preferred to keep North Carolina as it was back in the 1950s. He liked to say about my home town of Chapel Hill “you can fence in the whole town and call it a zoo.”

Still, Helms was a Libra and could be very charming, and to the end could not understand why black people didn’t like him. He had two signatures for conservatism that stood out: Moon in Taurus, craving stability and same-ness, and Mars in Virgo which would really like for everything to be safe and secure. Yet Neptune made a square to both the Moon and Mercury, obscuring the issues and making it difficult for him to see the world as it really was.

Jupiter sat prominently at the Midheaven (career and public life), according to the Astrotheme chart, and this does make sense considering his easy rise to prominence in the public arena. Jupiter is often involved in publishing and the media, and one of Helms’s first jobs was as conservative commentator for the local radio station, making him Rush Limbaugh’s predecessor. Early in his political career his campaign literature read, “White people, wake up before it is too late. Do you want Negroes working beside you, your wife and your daughters, in your mills and factories?”

That prominent Libran Jupiter made a square to Pluto in Cancer, creating a compulsive (Pluto) sense of righteousness (Jupiter) that was difficult if not impossible to sway with reason. To the end of his life, Helms neverwavered in his convictions.

Fortunately, the square of Uranus and Pluto in the mid-1960s overturned the kinds of ideas espoused by Helms and his contemporaries, and forced them kicking and screaming into the twentieth century.

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