Perhaps the most chilling thing about Lewis Powell’s memo is the way he views the public. To Powell, the public is an inherently untrustworthy external force that is to be subdued and contained rather than engaged. When viewed in light of the memo as a whole, Powell’s question “What Can Be Done About the Public?” is actually asking, How we can have power over the public?
This is why our aim must not be to revise the Powell strategy with a progressive flavor but to invert it entirely. Our question must not be: How do we get the right people in place? Instead, our question must be: How can the public be empowered?