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Analysis: It's not just Trump. This whole century has been politically stormy
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Analysis: It's not just Trump. This whole century has been politically stormy

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President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that Joe Biden "won" the election, though he stated about an hour later that he" Despite admitting that Joe Biden "won" the election, President Donald Trump said he would not be conceding the race as he repeated baseless allegations that the election was "rigged. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

Joe Biden may have ended the hurricane-force presidency of Donald J. Trump, but his victory extends a broader trend away from relative stability to a time of remarkable political upheaval.

From 1960 to 1978, there were three elections in which control of the White House, the Senate or the House of Representatives switched parties. From 1980 to 1998, there were four.

Since 2000, there have been nine elections in which power shifted, with Biden's election being the latest.

The last 20 years have seen two of the most consequential events in modern history: the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the COVID-19 pandemic. Both changed our lives. Think of winding your way through airport security in your stocking feet, those Zoom meetings that (hardly) substitute for face-to-face contact, or the plexiglass barriers at the supermarket checkout stand.

The calamities bracketing the first two decades of the century surely had a political impact; it's quite possible Trump might have won a second term were it not for his ham-fisted handling of the pandemic.

But neither event accounts for this period of unusual volatility. Instead, there are several factors, including money, partisanship, political overreach and what might be called the Amazon mentality.

(c)2020 Los Angeles Times

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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