The Progressive Era, as it was called, welled up because millions of Americans saw that wealth and power concentrated at the top was undermining American democracy and stacking the economic deck. Millions of Americans overcame their cynicism and began to mobilize.
The central question is whether we can do so again. To answer that, though, we need to examine what has happened to the Democratic Party over the last four decades — and why it has so far failed to mobilize a new progressivism. That’s to come.