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Louisville on Wednesday. Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images

Rarely have national security officials, governors, tech CEOs and activists agreed as broadly and fervently as they do about the possibility of historic civil unrest in America.

Why it matters: The ingredients are clear for all to see — epic fights over racism, abortion, elections, the virus and policing, stirred by misinformation and calls to action on social media, at a time of stress over the pandemic.

Look across America this week:

  • Portland, Oregon — already suffering from fires and protests — is bracing for a showdown today between right and left wing activists, with "far-right groups from around the country bringing guns, flags, bulletproof vests," the N.Y. Times reports.
  • President Trump was booed — with chants of "Vote him out!" — as he paid respects to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court steps.
  • With today's 5 p.m. Supreme Court announcement, Trump will put America on the cusp of a hardened conservative majority.
  • For the third night in a row, a revived racial-justice movement took to streets across the country to protest the lack of charges against police in the death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville. CNN showed demonstrations from L.A. to Sacramento to Philadelphia to Boston.

The bottom line: Everyone from Facebook to YouTube to the U.S. military is taking precautions for post-election civil unrest exploding.

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Go deeper

Special report on virus-era voting: Prepare for unprecedented threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With rare, if not unprecedented, agreement, President Trump, Joe Biden, intelligence officials and Big Tech CEOs are all warning of threats to accurate and trusted vote counts before, on and after election day. 

American elections face a triple threat in 2020: 

  • Foreign governmentsespecially Russia, China and Iran — are actively spreading misinformation via social platforms.

Focus group: Former Trump voters say he should never hold office again

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

"Relief" is the top emotion some swing voters who used to support Donald Trump say they felt as they watched President Biden's swearing-in, followed by "hope."

Why it matters: For voters on the bubble between parties, this moment is less about excitement for Biden or liberal politics than exhaustion and disgust with Trump and a craving for national healing. Most said Trump should be prohibited from ever holding office again.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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