Apr 9, 2021 - Politics & Policy

A once-in-a-lifetime realignment

Illustration of trend lines

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We're about to be hit with a flood of coverage about the close of President Biden's first 100 days, coming up at the end of April. But we should be paying a lot more attention to the 100-year trends that are unfolding in this age of volatility and polarization.

The big picture: Doug Sosnik — senior adviser to the Brunswick Group, and political director for President Bill Clinton — tells me the digital disruption is a hinge moment in American history that's unlike any since the transition from the Agrarian Age to the Industrial Age in the late 1800s.

Sosnik, who translates big-think political analysis into colorful PowerPoint decks that are eagerly awaited by Washington insiders, gave Axios readers a sneak peek at a new presentation that isolates these massive trends:

  1. "At the same time that we are going through this economic transformation, we are approaching a tipping point in the next 20 years to becoming a multiracial society, with whites comprising less than 50% of our population."
  2. "During this period of transition, half of the country thinks that we are changing too fast while the other half believing that we are not changing fast enough."
  3. "[T]he current period of turmoil and chaos that began in the early 2000’s will likely continue throughout this decade."

What's next: One arc of American history was the Big Government era that stretched from FDR in the 1930s to the end of the 1970s, when it petered out and Ronald Reagan roared in with a reset that included tax cuts and deregulation, Axios managing editor Scott Rosenberg points out.

  • Economics blogger Noah Smith calls President Biden "the end of the Age of Reagan."

As we scooped last month, Biden met secretly with a group of historians who bolstered his own idea that he could be the next FDR or LBJ — a reset president who leaves behind a transformed America.

  • Measured by expansion of government reach and spending, he is well on his way.

Read Sosnik's full deck.

This story first appeared in a special Megatrends Edition of Axios AM.

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