The great existential psychologist Rollo May called it “intentionality.” It’s the broad arc of purpose the complex creatures we call humans are trying to achieve. “Intentionality” is relevant in fields that may seem far flung from psychology. Like drama. A trained actor determines his character’s “intention” in any given moment by deciphering the clues left by that character’s full arc during the course of the story. That broader scope, the bigger picture, the full arc itself, is the character’s “intentionality.”
It’s useful to apply “intentionality” to understanding human political behavior, too. The modern GOP’s “intentionality” is simple: To pay off their big donors with massive tax cuts. The greedy donors will then continue to funnel their bought & paid for politicians the big bucks so they can be re-elected. The elected often get a “bonus” of a cushy job waiting when he or she (usually he) decides to “cash out.”
GOP House second-in-command Eric Cantor was probably (as Trump would say) SAD! for half a day when he lost a primary for his seat. That was BAD! ― until Cantor realized he could now tap into the goodwill he had built up by voting the way his corporate overlords wanted him to, and land a cushy Wall Street gig at eight times his House salary! Although he was essentially trading power for money (and I can’t tell you which was more important to Cantor’s personal “intentionality”), I suspect by the end of the exchange he was reasonably HAPPY!
The “intentionality” of the current so-called president of the United States is pretty transparent. He wants to “WIN.” It’s been amply documented that he has no apparent historical ideology or set of values other than “WINNING.” He seems to have decided that if he could dupe enough voters into believing that everything in America was BAD! and that Barack Obama’s “intentionality” was SAD! he could WIN! and accrue a whole lot of power, which is what makes him HAPPY!
Or at least happier than he was before. Maybe for various psycho-physical reasons he’s getting less of a kick now from molesting women and pretending they let him do it because he’s a “celebrity.” Maybe as he gets older he gets closer to un-repressing the recollection of Fred Trump separating him from his sled “Rosebud.” I don’t know. I just know that he likes rabid, angry, bitter, bigoted mobs cheering for him, and he likes to “WIN.”
He and his GOP had some trouble “WINNING” on health care, though, because the powerful “counter-intentionality” of quite a few cancer patients was to maintain their insurance coverage so they could stay alive.
Those brave Americans, like my young friends Laura Packard & Joe Merlino, and the activists of ADAPT who kept getting arrested in their wheelchairs in capitol buildings all over the country, didn’t care about the tax cut that big donors like the Mercers & Kochs wanted. They didn’t care that the DeVos/Princes & Adelsons needed those cuts to people’s health care to pay for the massive tax cuts that were the objective of their symbiotic song & dance with the GOP. They didn’t even care how badly the so-called POTUS wanted to WIN!
So, with the help of Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, John McCain and every Democrat in the Senate, human decency won instead.
But now we’re in the central fight, the main event. The one that’s not just about the preamble tax cut to the great big tax cut, but the fight over that actual great big tax cut!!! What Shakespeare in “The Tempest” called “the great Globe itself!!!” And if they don’t get this one, Shakespeare continued, “All that it inherit shall dissolve.” Paul Ryan’s dreams at the college keggers will “vanish into air, into thin air.” Mitch McConnell’s life’s work duping Kentuckians that coal was coming back so he could get these tax cuts, will “fade … like this insubstantial pageant, and leave not a rack behind.”
Remember: Everything in GOP world is just about this tax cut! You can take that to the bank! And the brokerage! Make no mistake, the essence of this tax cut will be only for the top 1 percent, the donors. The GOP can’t even bring themselves to throw Trump’s rabid voters, whom Ryan & McConnell think of as mangy curs, a decent bone to gnaw on. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was flat-out funny when he said, “Estate Tax repeal disproportionately helps rich people.” I’d say helping people with estates over $11 million helps rich people “solely,” not “disproportionately.”
I’d also like to add that there should be ZERO discussion of the #TrumpTaxScam until Trump releases his tax returns so we know precisely how he would personally benefit from his own stinking, devious plan to “Make America Great Again.”
So the “intentionality” of today’s GOP is perfectly clear.
Just as clear is the path of those whose “intentionality” is to build a better, fairer, more inclusive, more diverse America, with rising wages, better and more cost-effective health care, improved retirement security and greater opportunity for all.
That path is to #RESIST the #TrumpTaxScam because, as Democratic Leader Pelosi says, this is Armageddon. It’s all the GOP really wants!
Then, in 2018, REPEAL & REPLACE REPUBLICANS! They’ve earned it.
Dream of a better future and fight to make it real with all you’ve got. Shakespeare gets the final word: “We are such stuff as dreams are made on, And our little life is rounded with a sleep.” Our “intentionality” should be to make our brief time here count!