Robert Reich: The Four Stages of Trump Grief

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A Hillary Clinton supporter at the Democrats' election night rally in New York, November 9. Robert Reich writes that normalizing, numbing, becoming cynical and feeling powerless are natural human responses to the gross absurdity and genuine peril posed by Donald Trump. Adrees Latif/reuters

This article first appeared on RobertReich.org.

As the era of Donald Trump approaches, some of you are succumbing to the follow four syndromes:

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 re-engage with what's happening.

Related: Robert Reich: Trump's Treacherous Ties to Russia

3. Cynical Syndrome

You've become so cynical about the whole system—the Democrats who gave up on the working class and thereby opened the way for Trump, the Republicans who suppressed votes around the country, the media that gave Trump all the free time he wanted, the establishment that rigged the system—that you say, the hell with it. Let Trump do his worst. How much worse can it get?

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 Reich is the chancellor's professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and a senior fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as secretary of labor in the Clinton administration, and Time magazine named him one of the 10 most effective Cabinet secretaries of the 20th century. He has written 14 books, including the best-sellers Aftershock, The Work of Nations and Beyond Outrage and, most recently, 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 .

Read more from Newsweek.com:

- Robert Reich: Where Is Trump's Sense of Decency?

- Robert Reich: Who Gave Us Trump?

- Robert Reich: Trump's Populist Economics Won't Work

Robert Reich: The Four Stages of Trump Grief | Opinion
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