Listen now | Sincere question: How are you doing these days? I ask because almost everyone I talk with is feeling overwhelmed. Putin’s war in Ukraine and his threats to use nuclear weapons, Trump and his henchmen’s (and henchwomen’s) ongoing threats to democracy, the upcoming midterm elections, the bizarre economy, the climate crisis and the natural disasters it’s spawning.
Thanks Robert for reaching out to your audience...very much appreciated. Not being an American and neither living in the US, I am a bit more distant from it all. However, living in the free West, whatever happens in US affects our lives to and what makes us stressed about American politics is that we have little or no influence over it but do have to deal with the consequences. Before December 2015 American politics generally was not a direct worry for me because America seemed to be able to self correct However when visiting friends in Texas around Xmas 2015 all this changed . Because our hosts wanted to see it, I got to attend a broadcast of one of the GOP presidential primaries...never having heard of him before, it was the first time I heard Trump speaking........ cold chills went through my spine when I heard him speaking. However what was even worse was the enthusiast response to him by of the audience in the room, most of them people I had known for years, worked with all over the world ......and even worse it was fuelled by hatred against Democrats in general, and more particular, a black president. I thought I knew these people but how wrong was I. I remember telling my wife that Trump would be bad for America and us but that he had a good chance to win. Of course we all know the outcome and the how it affected and still does affect the world......In my perception it has gotten even worse since he was voted out and despite Biden' efforts. I find it impossible to grasp what is happening. Is the current reality in the US so bad that people prefer to be deceived by bullies, cheaters and fascists rather than tackle the problems together? I guess November will tell us but if one elects cheaters and bullies into government, don't be surprised if one gets cheated and bullied. In the mean time, I am focussing on where possible getting less dependent of what is happening in America, which is not that easy to be fair......
I'm binge-watching NCIS and thousands of British murder mysteries to maintain a modicum of sanity. I don't watch Network television I don't watch the news. I do read your morning report and I read the Palmer report and the NPR newsletter and the Guardian report every morning. And that is enough news. I read a Poem a Day and I write short rom-coms which are often staged hither and thither. My husband is getting older and more and more disabled so we try to just sit out in our tiny back deck and look up into our beautiful oak tree every day. We send a little money to the six most flippable Senate races. This midterm election is the most important one in our lifetime. We are managing pretty well in these perilous times. Thanks for all you do.
I'm a fan, admirer, and loyal subscriber, but I can't read your messages every day. You say that "they're sometimes alarming or grim, but they’re written from a set of values that I think we share." It's precisely BECAUSE we share those values that they're so depressing. Simon Rosenberg's "New, Bluer Election" cheers me up, but even if we do well in the midterms, I suspect we'll be tied up in challenges and lawsuits for a long time. My fondest wish for 2023 is that Merrick Garland puts Trump in prison for a long time. If that happens, we might actually see some Republicans recover their dignity and leave the cult behind.
Robert: I absolutely love the story of your father -- hearing the music. What an exemplar for staying in the present and living fully while he/we can. Maybe I'll do another post later.....
While shopping the other day, i saw an Asian woman with a small child admiring a new car that was for sale. On impulse, I stopped and said, "Nice car isn't it?" She agreed that it was. Whereupon I followed with, "See those letters on the front, BMW, they mean Break My Wallet." And we both cackled loudly with laughter. It felt good to connect with a complete stranger in that way. Not easy to do now-a-days.
Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC tonight discussed THE LEWIS POWELL MEMO in some depth in conjunction with interviewing Senator Whitehouse about his new book, THE SCHEME, which I plan to read.
Meanwhile, I do appreciate your postings very much.
Over here in the UK, led by an incompetent government in complete disarray, galloping inflation, food shortages, etc, all of which affect the most vulnerable disproportionately, it is more important than ever to hear the music under the noise of the media
Thank you Professor Reich for all you do and all you are. Your presence in this insane world we live in, for me, is the music I dance to gleefully.
I am almost paralyzed with mental exhaustion, thank you for asking. I hope you and most of your readers are doing better than I am. But rather than listening to a Dorsey, I'll settle for some good Hendrix, or Vanilla Fudge. Something to help me forget about 2022 for awhile...
Thank you Robert. I feel we are like minded and could be friends if we met. So thank you Robert for the clarity you bring some mornings and sharing your views of our crazy world. It can be a little unsettling some mornings, but it is the reality our world is in today. I appreciate the clarity you bring to my morning coffee. My wife and I make time for each other daily in our shared life and after 53 years still have a positive out look of our world. Joy is there if we share our life with the people we love. One of our daughters gave birth to twins a week ago which has brought more joy into our family. It's there, joy, one has to only stop and breath a breath of life. That's how I am seeing the world. Thanks for asking.
What a lovely reminder to "stop and hear the music" - THANK YOU Robert Reich!!
Honest answer: overwhelmed and anxious, angry much of the time. From polls on cable news it seems that democracy and reproductive rights have been replaced by worries about the price of gas.
Assuming polls are accurate, I am appalled that people are so shallow and short sighted. If we have no democracy, people will have a great deal more to worry about than gasoline. I feel terrible that I will be leaving my children and my innocent grandbabies in this mess.
Trump has made war on ( in historical order as best I can remember) Mexicans, Muslims, Chinese, blacks, and, recently, Jews.
Women who think for themselves are always in season for Trump attacks, verbal and physical. No members of these groups should ever vote Republican. It is obvious that Republicans will not ever consider their health or welfare.
Trump, the walking crime wave, wants to be President again of maybe 20% of the country and Republicans are backing him up.
If that happens, he will start finding fault with much of that 20% and, eventually, be left with his family, a few sociopaths like Roger Stone, and some of the Secret Service.
A MAGA government will not be able to run a functional society.
If I were to answer this question without thought at first my eyes begin to water. My heart is heavy. I feel burdened. I feel forgotten. I feel I'm rotting away ever so slowly ever nearer to my death each day. My mind is overwhelmed. I hurt for Ukraine. I hurt for America. I hurt for the gassed children in Syria. What did they ever do to anyone to deserve to die from chemicals as we all watch the PBS News Hour? I was eating dinner. My son and I were shocked and dismayed. I feel numb and I don't. I feel raw and angry. Too many people taking advantage of each other. Businesses skinning us alive charging $5 for frozen mac and cheese. Not a huge container. Toilet paper $30. The issues of bigotry and race. Well, the truth is there are many racists of all colors. There is such a thing as reverse racism. The very people calling out others racists ARE racists themselves. They just do it in secret with others like themselves.
I live on social security and my pension and I'm not making it lately. I had to take a couple of credit cards out to pay for groceries, meds, and my pet's visit to the vet. I'm cashed out. I'm a writer on Medium and have made $8. this month. This is not enough to live on.
I'm retired and am on oxygen 24/7 so it's not like I can go out and get a job.
I have lots to say, but no one wants to listen.
Whatever happened to the "Common Good"? Why is all of a sudden the "Common Good" a bad thing?
Why the hell would anyone want fascism? WHY?
Alright, alright, alright. If you want to help and give someone a thoughtful, intelligent, stocking stuffer gift, please consider giving them a gift subscription to Medium. I'm on Medium as a freelance writer. There are many great writers here. Why because we love to write. We love to read. And, if you do, or know someone who does, please, consider a gift subscription. It's $5. monthly or $50. a year. It would help me a great deal. Maybe I'll be able to buy something other than hamburger and maybe afford a new nightgown or two. Here's how: https://lsocha2018.medium.com/subscribe Here's one of my stories: https://medium.com/politically-speaking/f-k-my-bleeding-liberal-heart-3ee74f6f650d
Thanks for asking. I’m… mixed. On one hand, earlier this year I landed my dream job after a rough stretch professionally, and have been working, learning and growing with a congenial team of people. I also just got back from the vacation of a lifetime. On the other, I’m beyond angry that I will never own a home in this market or anywhere else I would want to live, after going to school for two degrees in “professional” fields and working continuously since the age of 15. I’m worried about the state of our nation too, but that’s farther off. I’ve always been good at hearing the music and finding joy in the little things, but the thing with the housing weighs heavily. It’s an existential dread. Boomers tempted to give me advice on housing, kindly save your breath. You have no idea.
I do take courage from Professor Reich’s dead-on assessments of the state of our nation, day after day, and from the fact that I’m not the only one reading him.
How am I ? ... It takes a minute to mentally condense the "doge-ball" scenario each and every one of us must experience daily. I could be a lot better, if I am honest. that's the truth.
Thank you for your words of encouragement Prof. Reich! Difficult times with unprecedented cocktail of drivers. Adding week, populist ineffective leaderships across the globe in almost every country. This is not just a USA problem, it's global, it's quick and it effects everyone. I remember reading about the step-by-step declines similar to what we are experiencing today and it's difficult not to be concerned.
I call to the members of this group, where ever you are in the world, to be empowered, take leadership within their own environment and echo the messages you hear and read in this group, calmly and rationally educate the people around you.
Thank you so much Professor Reich for all of your posts. In these times I am inspired by them. What makes me sad is not so much the rubbish a certain party spews but the number of people who care more about their particular cause such as power over their opponents then then they do about democracy, the right to free and fair elections and our liberties that give us a shot at justice and fairness for all including economic justice. Your posts help us to carry on in spite of this. Thank you.
Excellent writing, thank you. I live in a wonderful community with which you are familiar Like everyone else, I am two steps from being absolutely overwhelmed. Music. art, being connected, nature, NPR and such, gets me through. These are really tough times. It certainly could be worse, though, and if TFG gets in, it will get much worse. We seem to be whistling in the wind.