"Since the early 1970s, the nation’s civic health—from membership in civic groups to attendance at public meetings to newspaper reading—has been in steady, severe decline. Economic inequality has fed political inequality in a viciously self-reinforcing loop of disenfranchisement and concentration of clout.
But now millions of people, once cynical bystanders, are participating earnestly. In mass marches and packed congressional town meetings, Americans have taken vocal stands for inclusion. At airports and campuses and street corners they have swarmed in defense of Muslim and undocumented neighbors. Membership in the ACLU and the League of Women Voters has swelled, as have subscriptions to leading newspapers."