Two years today, with my profound thanks

Your enthusiastic participation has fueled my determination to keep going

Today is the second anniversary of the launch of this newsletter, and I want to thank you.

Two years ago today, I posted my first daily letter on this Substack, not knowing who would be out there to receive it.

Heather Lofthouse egged me on. (A special thanks to her, as well. And to Alessandra Bosco, whose gimlet eye has caught misspellings and grammatical mistakes I’m too embarrassed to admit.)

A few naysayers told me it was impossible to do this every day, seven days a week, and I shouldn’t even try.

It is sometimes difficult.

But you have sustained and inspired me.

Meanwhile, the stakes — for our democracy, for our economy, for the planet — have grown even higher than they were.

I’ve been amazed by how many of you have embraced this letter and by the enthusiasm with which you’ve formed a community around it.  

I’ve been delighted by the thoughtfulness of your comments. You’ve demonstrated the power of deliberation. You’ve helped resurrect the common good.

I’ve been humbled by your enthusiasm for my long Friday essays on the common good, for my UC Berkeley classes on inequality, for Heather’s and my weekly coffee klatches, for my Sunday caption contests, and for all else.

And I’ve been grateful for your willingness to share this letter with others.

A few of you worry that I am “preaching to the converted” and not reaching the people who need to be reached — people whose democratic convictions are wavering and who are attracted to Trump.

I sometimes worry about this, too.

But most of you seem to share my belief that we must know the truth if we are to effectively persuade others.

And that it’s vitally important that we spread the truth — about the threats to the common good, to our democracy, and to our planet.

And, finally, that in these perilous times we need to be reassured we are not alone. In fact, we are in the majority.

All of this fuels my determination to keep going.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it: The year to come will not be easy.

The specter of the 2024 election scares the hell out of me. The upcoming Trump criminal trials will test the nation. The rogue Trump Republican Party is deeply dangerous. The media’s “bothsidesism,” false equivalences, and horse-race reporting distort public understanding.

Not to mention the underlying strains of widening inequality, political corruption, structural racism, and climate change.

Which is why it’s even more urgent that we know the truth, spread the truth, and feel the strength of community.

I will do what I can. I trust you will, too. And I look forward to doing it together.

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Robert Reich