By Robert Reich
1. Normalizer Syndrome. You want to believe Trump will be just another president – more conservative and pompous than most, but one who will make rational decisions once in office.
You are under a grave delusion. Trump has a serious personality disorder and will pose a clear and present danger to America and the world.
2. Outrage Numbness Syndrome. You are no longer outraged by what Trump says or what he does – his incessant lies, his cabinet picks, his bullying, his hatefulness – because you’ve gone numb. You can’t conceive that someone like this is becoming President of the United States, so you’ve shut down emotionally. Maybe you’ve even stopped reading the news.
You need to get back in touch with your emotions and reengage with what’s happening.
|Yeah, at the moment this is far-fetched.|
But it could happen
You need to wake up. It can get a lot worse.
4. Helpless Syndrome. You aren’t in denial. You know that nothing about this is normal; you haven’t become numb or stopped reading the news; you haven’t succumbed to cynicism. You desperately want to do something to prevent what’s about to occur.
But you don’t know what to do. You feel utterly powerless and immobilized.
Millions of others feel equally powerless. But taking action – demonstrating, resisting, objecting, demanding, speaking truth, joining with others, making a ruckus, and never ceasing to fight Trump’s pending tyranny – will empower you. And with that power you will not only to minimize the damage that is about to occur, but also get this nation and the world back on the course it must be on.
If you find yourself falling into one or more of these syndromes, that’s understandable. Normalizing, numbing, becoming cynical, and feeling powerless are natural human responses to the gross absurdity and genuine peril posed by Trump.
But I urge you to pull yourself out. We need you in the peaceful resistance army, starting January 20.
ROBERT B. REICH is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written fourteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock", "The Work of Nations," and "Beyond Outrage," and, his most recent, "Saving Capitalism." He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, INEQUALITY FOR ALL.