Skip to content
CityLab
Perspective

How to Make America Trust Again

Despite growing political polarization at the national level, local institutions are still strong—and local actors have a key role to play.
A town meeting in Virginia in 2017. At the local level, trust in institutions is still strong.
A town meeting in Virginia in 2017. At the local level, trust in institutions is still strong. Steve Helber/AP

In the age of Trump, America has a trust problem.

Confidence in our institutions is at historic lows, and political polarization has skyrocketed. This extraordinarily divisive moment in our history may feel like a direct effect of Donald Trump’s presidency—in the year since his election, Trump has successfully used everything from Civil War monuments to NFL player protests to exploit and widen the divisions between Americans.