The past few weeks have been hellish for Americans. With one assault after another on our Constitution and our rights, it has felt like an endless stream of slaps to the face and punches to the gut.
From the decision by Federal Communications Commission Chair Ajit Pai to end net neutrality to the unconscionable late-night vote Friday by Senate Republicans on a tax reform bill that had amendments scribbled in by hand to Donald Trump’s unprecedented undoing of national monument designationsin Utah to the Supreme Court’s Muslim ban-affirming order on Monday, it feels as though the entire nation is under attack all at once.
No amount of controversy around special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s charges, Trump’s apparent obstruction of justice or the subpoena of his personal finances appears to derail the momentum of the radical Republican agenda.
While we are reeling in our efforts to make sense of what has transpired in the past few days, party members are already on to bigger and better things, such as cutting spending in the upcoming government budget negotiations, as if they realize that if they slow down for even a moment, we might catch our collective breath long enough to revolt.
It has been overwhelming, exhausting and traumatic. But that is because we are receiving each report in gut-wrenching isolation rather than as a single brick in a larger unified wall of injustice. Because there is little mainstream discussion of the broad outlines of the pro-corporate/conservative agenda, we are responding piecemeal to the assaults by our elected representatives. That is our greatest weakness. What we need is a Grand Unified Theory of politics to fuel our resistance.
Particle physicists have been in search of a Grand Unified Theory for years. But politics is easier than particle physics. If it isn’t immediately apparent what the GOP’s end goal was in passing a $1.5 trillion, deficit-causing, tax reform bill, it helps to step back and look at what the party’s overarching goal has been for decades: to undermine the power of government at every turn and make it subservient to corporations. Republicans are in it to break government from the inside out. So it should come as no surprise that the party’s next move is to deeply cut spending as a deadline for a government budget looms.