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For more than two years, mainstream U.S. and European political leaders have experienced one, long bout of if-onlys — if only they had done this or that, Brexit and President Trump might not have slipped by.

  • But, gathered at Davos last week, members of the global elite told us that, even if Brexit were overturned in a second referendum and Trump defeated in 2020, they would change almost nothing in the big picture. As they told us in this video, the political and economic order would continue to unravel, and a new, as-yet unknown age continue to gestate and take shape.
"You would have people angry about the losses, and thinking that the elections are illegitimate. You would get potentially very divided politics going forward."
— Christopher Eisgruber, president of Princeton University

By comparison with such past such epochal transformations, this one is happening at lightning speed, we were told. The reason is technology, whose advances are a core reason for this dramatic shift.

  • Digitalization is speeding up everything, making us woozy and, often, unnerved.
  • That sensation underlies much of the angst felt in communities across the advanced economies, along with the political turbulence that flows from it.
  • Think of this: The American shift from an agrarian to an industrial society a century ago was hugely jarring, but occurred over 100 years or more. "The difference today is we're doing it over 10 years, 15 years, 20 years," said Brian Gallagher, CEO of United Way Worldwide.
"The speed at which this change is happening is blowing people's minds. And the leaders — political leaders, business leaders — are having a hard time getting their heads wrapped around it.”
— Gallagher

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Pelosi appoints GOP Rep. Kinzinger to Jan. 6 committee

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Sunday that she has appointed Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) to serve on the House select committee investigating the Jan 6. Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Pelosi's announcement comes after she rejected two of the five Republican appointments offered by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

USCP chief: Officers testifying before Jan. 6 committee "need to be heard"

Thomas Manger, the new chief of the U.S. Capitol Police, Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

New Capitol Police chief Tom Manger said officers testifying before the Jan. 6 select committee this week "need to be heard."

Driving the news: The select committee's first hearing is set to take place on Tuesday and will feature testimony from law enforcement officers who were subject to some of the worst of violence during the insurrection.

Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

America's "Friendscape" crisis

New research shows Americans have fewer friends than in the past, and are less likely to have a best friend.

  • Why it matters: At a time of excruciating mental and societal stress, this is another sign we're breaking apart. And the friendship drought could get worse with more people working remotely or hybrid-ly.