From the Editors

The spiritual practice of politics

Be an activist. But approach it with intention, care, and clear limits.

The past month has seen the new presidential administration off to a chaotic and alarming start. It has also witnessed the emergence of a broad-based movement to stand up to a host of White House actions—not just the administration’s policy agenda but its efforts to blur reality, delegitimize criticism and the press, and undermine the health of democratic institutions.

The day after the inauguration, millions marched in protest. When an executive order targeted people traveling to the United States from majority-Muslim countries, thousands headed to the nation’s airports to defend them. Members of Congress are being hounded by constituents demanding that they protect health care coverage and provide meaningful oversight of the executive branch. Back at their offices, representatives are taking an endless stream of constituent calls. Activist groups are being organized to offer strategic support and other resources.

Will this movement have a positive and lasting influence? To do so it will need to maintain discipline and focus on effective forms of activism, not just cathartic ones, and it will need to remain a big tent—with room for staunch leftists, regretful Trump voters, and everyone in between. That’s a familiar tension for activist movements, one writ quite large in this case.