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President Trump delivers the 2018 State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein/Bloomberg via Getty Images

After more than two years of exploring why American politics is so broken, Jon Ward of Yahoo News today posts his conclusion: weakened political parties, driven by the deeper issue of a loss of understanding even of what institutions are and why they exist.

The bottom line: "Populism is popular these days, and many Americans ... want to make the political system more fair. ... But ... anti-party reforms have gone too far and are now having a multitude of negative impacts."

  • "People blame dysfunction on the establishment and call for more reform. The reform further weakens the ability of parties and party leaders and increases dysfunction and chaos."
  • "Democrats are resisting empowering their own party officials as they head into the 2018 midterms and toward a 2020 showdown with President Trump." They are going to reduce their number of superdelegates in the primary.
  • Why it matters: "Anti-establishment thinking has been one of the most constant and dominant trends of the last half-century. ... Yet ... institutions can protect us from the abuse of power."
  • Worthy of your time.

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

Technical glitch in Facebook's ad tools creates political firestorm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: SOPA Images / Contributor

Facebook said late Thursday that a mix of "technical problems" and confusion among advertisers around its new political ad ban rules caused issues affecting ad campaigns of both parties.

Why it matters: A report out Thursday morning suggested the ad tools were causing campaign ads, even those that adhered to Facebook's new rules, to be paused. Very quickly, political campaigners began asserting the tech giant was enforcing policies in a way that was biased against their campaigns.

8 hours ago - Health

States beg for Warp Speed billions

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing center yesterday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Photo: David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP

Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles' heel: States need billions to distribute vaccines — and many say they don't have the cash.

Why it matters: The first emergency use authorization could come as soon as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and handling, and for reserving spaces for vaccination sites.