Activism

WATCH: Robert Reich Reveals the 4 Dangerous Syndromes of Coping with Trump

Inoculate yourself against apathy, helplessness, and normalization.

Photo Credit: HarvardEthics / Flickr

With Donald Trump as president, some of you may be tempted to succumb to one of the following 4 syndromes. Please don’t.

1. Normalizer Syndrome. You want to believe Trump is just another president—more conservative than most, but one who will make rational decisions. You’re under a grave delusion. Trump and his ultra-conservative cabinet 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 does because you’ve gone numb. You can’t conceive that someone like this is our president so you’ve shut down emotionally. Maybe you’ve even stopped reading the news. Please get back in touch and re-engage with what’s happening.  

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3. Cynical Syndrome. You’ve become so cynical about the whole system—the Democrats who gave up on the working class, the Republicans who suppressed votes around the country, the media that gave Trump free air time, the establishment that rigged the system—that you say the hell with it. Let Trump do his worst. Well, 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 and you desperately want to do something to prevent what’s about to occur. But you don’t know what to do. You feel utterly helpless, powerless and immobilized.

Instead of falling prey to one of these syndromes, I urge you to take action—demonstrate, make a ruckus, join with others, demand your members of congress also resist, commit yourself to changing American politics. 

Fighting Trump will empower you. And with that power you will not only to minimize the damage, but also get this nation and the world back on the course it must be on.

We need you in the peaceful resistance.

 

Robert Reich is the nation's 22nd Secretary of Labor and a professor at the University of California at Berkeley. Reich's documentary, "Saving Capitalism," is streaming on Netflix. His latest book, "The Common Good," is available in bookstores now.