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Robert Reich: A survival guide to two more years

Don’t fall into cynicism or despair, Robert Reich says: here are his guidelines


Robert Reich
January 30, 2019 11:30AM (UTC)
This originally appeared on Robert Reich's blog.

It’s doubtful he’ll be leaving anytime soon. Even an impeachment will drag out for a long time. Here are 7 suggestions for what to do to survive in the meantime:

1. Don’t pay attention to what he says. Pay attention to what he does.

Disregard the ridicule, name-calling, threats, personal attacks, spectacle. These are distractions.

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Pay attention to his obstructions of justice, attempts to suppress the Mueller investigation, his attempts to take over Justice Department decisions over whom to prosecute, attempts to cut back freedom of the press, his profiting from his office, his endangering America internationally.

Make a ruckus about the big things, and push House Democrats to focus on them too.

2. Keep track of what his cabinet is doing to gut health, safety, and environmental protections. 

Pay special attention to new rules and regulations, or changes in how regulations are enforced, that hurt people.

Spread the word. Get House Democrats to expose and fight them.

3. Don’t get lost in the procedural skirmishes over House subpoenas, executive privilege, impeachment.

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Support big strategic objectives: getting big money out of politics, infrastructure, cutting drug costs, protecting the Affordable Care Act, and stopping bad laws coming over from the Senate.

4. Watch what your state is doing, and be active there, too. 

Support legislators and governors making progress on climate change, reducing inequality, and public financing of elections.

Fight state legislators and governors cutting back on Medicaid, imposing draconian work requirements for public assistance, seeking an Article V constitutional convention.

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5. Prepare for 2020. 

Help reverse state voter ID laws. Instead of political gerrymandering, push for independent state commissions to set district boundaries.

Have your state join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact to make the Electoral College irrelevant. Make sure people are registered to vote.

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6. Don’t let the upcoming presidential primaries divide us.

There are going to be a lot of candidates for the Democratic nomination. But regardless of what candidate emerges, keep your eyes on the prize of winning back the White House.

7. Finally: Keep up your morale and energy.

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Don’t fall into cynicism or despair. We’ve already put limits on this catastrophe. Have faith: We’ll get America back.


Robert Reich

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 15 books, including the best sellers "Aftershock", "The Work of Nations," and"Beyond Outrage," and, his most recent, "The Common Good." 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." He's also co-creator of the Netflix original documentary "Saving Capitalism."

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