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Reproduced from a Pew Research Political Polarization report; Graphic: Axios Visuals

There are numerous reasons American politics went off the rails, but there are at least six seminal events in the past 24 years that steered us here.

Sound smart: Politics is growing more personal, polarized and pugnacious. This dynamic is particularly acute on the right. This will likely get worse before it gets better as the trends outlined below continue unabated.

  1. Newt Gingrich weaponized warfare politics in a methodical and sustained way.
  2. The creation of Fox News in 1996 televised and monetized this hard-edged combat politics.
  3. Facebook, and later Twitter, socialized rage and argument.
  4. John McCain picking Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008 celebritized rage politics.
  5. Facebook algorithm-ized rage. The more emotion you felt and sought, the more the news-feed machine pumped at you.
  6. Twitter + Trump habitualized and radicalized the moment-by-moment rage and reaction of politicians, voters and the media.

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Updated 26 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 19,193,661 — Total deaths: 716,735 — Total recoveries — 11,611,029Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 4,918,927 — Total deaths: 160,737 — Total recoveries: 1,598,624 — Total tests: 59,652,675Map.
  3. Politics: White House recommends Trump issue executive orders on coronavirus aid.
  4. Education: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning.
  5. Public health: Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus — Massachusetts pauses reopening after uptick in coronavirus cases
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases — Gates Foundation puts $150 million behind coronavirus vaccine production.

Trump: "We are going a different way" on coronavirus aid

President Trump. Photo: Jim Watsonn/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Friday that his administration is "going a different way" with coronavirus aid after negotiations with congressional Democrats stalled again, suggesting he will use an executive order to address stimulus spending.

What he's saying: "Pelosi and Schumer only interested in Bailout Money for poorly run Democrat cities and states. Nothing to do with China Virus! Want one trillion dollars. No interest. We are going a different way!" Trump tweeted.

Trump's swift, sweeping China offensive

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's rhetoric on China has tended to run hotter than his actions — until now.

Why it matters: Even at the height of Trump's trade war, his administration never hit China as hard, as fast, and on as many fronts as it is right now.