In his new book, author Eric Liu lays out a road map for creating change.
- TANVI MISRA
- 11:41 AM ET
This post is part of a CityLab series on power—the political kind, the stuff inside batteries and gas tanks, and the transformative might of mass movements.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, helpless, and increasingly alarmed, you are in good company: In its first chaotic weeks, the Trump administration made several moves that angered and bewildered many Americans, both liberals and conservatives.
Where to start? There’s those immigration orders, which greenlit an expensive border wall that plenty of Republicans are iffy about, and the two travel bans on visitors from majority Muslim countries that courts have put on hold. Or maybe you’re more concerned about the healthcare plan that would leave 24 million more people uninsured by 2026. This week’s dismay focuses on Trump’s preliminary budget proposal, which slashes funding for important infrastructure, rural and urban housing assistance and homelessness programs, poverty alleviation programs, and environmental protection and international diplomacy, among others.
This is happening fast. And the populations most likely to bear the brunt of some of these changes—the poor, the elderly, the immigrants, women and children, and the disabled—might especially feel particularly powerless to resist what can appear to be a numbing torrent of outrage, all of which can be traced to a single, seemingly inexhaustible source. “Donald Trump has monopolized our political conversations, so everything keeps on finding its way back to him,” says writer Eric Liu. ”And that can leave many citizens feeling powerless—especially if you’re a member of a group that is disfavored by him.”