What Next for Liberalism?

[The local, regional, and state level] is where the legislation and policies that affect most people’s lives originate: property taxation, police procedures, school outcomes, the fates of neighborhoods, the administration of health and social services, the meting out of criminal justice, sane gun control measures, the apportionment of legislatures, and the defense of voting rights. This is where the racism re-enabled by the Trump campaign will rear its head and must be confronted. This is where toleration and rights must be secured. This is where everyday justice is done. ...

Not coincidentally, it is the place where progressive politics began in the United States a little over a century ago. Cities were the seedbeds of democracy, progressives preached in the early years of the twentieth century. States were heralded as laboratories of public policy. Liberal policies in the Progressive Era filtered up, as they still do. But presidential primary elections—costly, noisy, spectator-riveting, and emotionally wrenching—soak up almost unlimited amounts of energy. If liberalism is to survive the kind of challenges that Trump’s voters threw at it, it will have to come back, with energy, imagination, and still greater investment, to its origin points. It will have to think and act locally as well.
— Daniel T. Rodgers