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President-elect Biden will spend 2021 trying to return America to what he considers a more normal time, while President Trump tries to lock down control of the GOP — all at a time when misinformation and alternate narratives get even worse.

  • Here are five of the biggest storylines that will shape America next year, according to Axios experts — from politics to business, technology and media.

Biden is going to be "a man on a small, lonely island trying to unite the country," attempting to restore civility and return to normal in an America where that's no longer possible, Axios' Margaret Talev reports.

  • "I think the only thing he really controls is himself, and that's [why] he'll try to use the bully pulpit."

President Trump's expected announcement that he'll run for president again in 2024 allows him "to freeze the Republican Party in place," Axios' Jonathan Swan reports. The timing isn't imminent, but when it happens, "he will try to control the Republican National Committee ... and he's going to try to squash the prospective 2024 Republican field."

  • And to those Republicans who want to run in 2024 themselves and hope Trump will walk off into the sunset: "He ain't doing that."

The rise of alternate universes is on track to get even worse, per Axios' Sara Fischer. "The information economy definitely favors speed and scale, as well as hyperbole. It does not favor facts and measured reporting."

  • "I think there have been a lot of people who have weaponized that reality, including the president. If you want to get a message across, it's actually easier to do it and drive more engagement around it by being sort of hyperbolic and being untruthful than it is being truthful."

If any real moves to crack down on the power of Big Tech happen, they're more likely to come from the regulatory agencies — like the Justice Department or the Federal Trade Commission — than from Congress, Axios' Ina Fried reports.

  • Yes, but: "The tech companies generally move faster than the regulatory agencies even when the regulatory agencies are actively investigating. That's not a good prognosis for change."

The Federal Reserve "has created this environment where there's no such thing as risk," but that can't go on forever and Wall Street knows it, per Axios' Dion Rabouin.

  • "It's the make-believe economy ... The nuts and bolts of buyers and sellers, of the market, of creating products and selling things, that's not going well at all. But the Fed has just said, if the stock market goes down, we will be here with our fake funny money."

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photos: Elijah Nouvelage, Alex Wong/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 7: Trump turns on Pence. Trump believes the vice president can solve all his problems by simply refusing to certify the Electoral College results. It's a simple test of loyalty: Trump or the U.S. Constitution.

"The end is coming, Donald."

The male voice in the TV ad boomed through the White House residence during "Fox & Friends" commercial breaks. Over and over and over. "The end is coming, Donald. ... On Jan. 6, Mike Pence will put the nail in your political coffin."

59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Read: Pete Buttigieg's opening statement ahead of confirmation hearing

Pete Buttigieg, President Biden's nominee to be secretary of transportation, in December. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/AFP via Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg, President Biden's nominee to lead the Transportation Department, will tell senators he plans to prioritize the health and safety of public transportation systems during the pandemic — and look to infrastructure projects to rebuild the economy — according to a copy of his prepared remarks obtained by Axios.

Driving the news: Buttigieg will testify at 10 a.m. ET before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. He is expected to face a relatively smooth confirmation process, though GOP lawmakers may press him on "green" elements of Biden's transportation proposals.

Off the Rails

Episode 8: The siege

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 8: The siege. An inside account of the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 that ultimately failed to block the certification of the Electoral College. And, finally, Trump's concession.

On Jan. 6, White House deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger entered the West Wing in the mid-afternoon, shortly after his colleagues' phones had lit up with an emergency curfew alert from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.