November 16, 2015

FORKEN | Terrorism Implications Enter 2016 Race

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The aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris will continue to reverberate throughout the presidential race. On Saturday night, CBS altered the focus of the Democratic debate to include more national security and foreign policy questions, placing front-runner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the defensive for most of the evening. Despite heightened scrutiny and a few missteps by Clinton, the consensus was that the debate would do little to rework the Democratic field. Though traditional political thought suggests an event that seriously threatens national security would cause voters to align with candidates that have more serious foreign policy experience, it seems likely that the Republican field will remain unchanged as well.

Currently, Ben Carson and Donald Trump are the only Republican candidates garnering over 20 percent of the national vote; the first three primary states — Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina — each feature Carson and Trump in either first or second place with Ted Cruz placing third in New Hampshire and South Carolina. With national security and foreign policy back in the spotlight, some might expect establishment candidates like Jeb Bush or the increasingly favored Marco Rubio, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to rise in the polls. However, this would only occur if voters perceived Carson and Trump as incapable of pursuing an appropriate foreign policy strategy.

In a late-October, early-November poll from Reuters, over 80 percent of voters selected either Carson or Trump as the candidate they trusted most to negotiate with foreign leaders. Nearly 75 percent of voters identified Carson or Trump as the candidate they trusted most with handling the nation’s nuclear weapons. While this poll was conducted before the terrorism in Paris and voters could certainly shift course, it’s also arguable that the attacks may reaffirm and solidify the already existing trust of voters. Before this past weekend, data from Pew Research shows only 30 percent of Republicans approved of the United States accepting more refugees in response to the migrant crisis, compared to 69 percent of Democrats. One would anticipate those percentages to decrease in both parties, but especially in the already hesitant Republican base. This suggests that voters — already susceptible to anti-immigrant rhetoric — would congregate to candidates with similar reservations, namely Trump and Cruz.

Rubio is already attempting to backtrack his positions to reflect the fluctuating landscape. In September, Rubio clarified, “We’ve always been a country that’s been willing to accept people who have been displaced and I would be open to that if it can done in a way that allows us to ensure that among them are not infiltrated — people who were, you know, part of a terrorist organization that are using this crisis.”

But this past Sunday found Rubio doubting the ability of the government to accept and filter refugees, declaring, “The problem is not the background checks. The problem is we can’t background check them. And that’s one of the reasons why I said we won’t be able to take more refugees. Because there’s no way to background check someone that’s coming from Syria.”

While Rubio was the third choice in each of the aforementioned foreign policy questions in the Reuters poll, Cruz is already using the renewed focus on national security in attempt to cut into the support of Rubio, telling an Orlando crowd, “If you’re supporting amnesty, you’re supporting the Obama-Clinton weakness and appeasement to radical Islamic terrorism.”

Though undocumented immigrants and “radical Islamic terrorism” have little connection domestically, this line of attack will likely be effective against Rubio who has already faced criticism on the right for his past attempts at constructing and passing comprehensive immigration reform.

The terrorism in France has returned emphasis to national security and foreign policy discussions, oddly with the potential to solidify support for Carson and Trump, while also offering Cruz an opportunity to make inroads into Rubio’s candidacy. With the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season approaching — voters become less engaged and therefore candidates have diminished ability to influence polls — and the Iowa caucuses following, Ben Carson and Donald Trump appeared poised to throw the Republican establishment and nominating process into disarray.

Jake Forken is a senior in the College of Human Ecology. He may be reached at My Forken Opinion appears alternate Fridays this semester. 

  • Dave Francis

    It will create no difference to me of what the mainstream press publishes, to hopefully crush Donald Trumps meaningful race towards the White House. All I know is that my conviction goes to Donald Trump, whereas the others who stand behind the dais at every potential nominee performance either slips intently through the loophole on illegal immigration. When questioned most say almost nothing about the illegal alien incursion, except for Ted Cruz.? As a second choice Senator Cruz gets my vote, as like Trump speaks his mind on any stage, but additionally before of the full House of Representatives. I am very leery of any of the others, who most cannot answer a straight forward question on this human curse, that is swallowing a cornucopia of welfare benefits that should be flowing to our citizens/Lawful residence and more so our Seniors, Veterans and truly honest low income families. It’s a very sly invasion by the non-admission parents who arrive with children, or pass them off as orphans and infiltrate America from every nation in the world. These are not undocumented immigrants/ immigrant or anything else but–foreign nationals or ILLEGAL ALIENS.

    Another thing is King Obama does not have the right under Article I, Section 8, clause 4 of the Constitutions to direct immigration. At that time the Articles called Immigration–naturalization and the only the Congress had the power to write the naturalization laws, not the President of these United States.

    The battle will commence over Birthright Citizenship (14th Amendment) and could be dismissed by the Supreme Court, but it’s worth the state prosecutors to hopefully get the case heard. However nobody could guess on the outcome, as through the laws according to the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights must be interpreted correctly, but this isn’t always the judgment of the courts; it doesn’t necessary mean the judges will follow prior laws. If Donald Trump does become the nominee and his race to the White House is not stealthily rigged from the time of the Iowa caucuses onwards, then as Commander in Chief he can use Presidential privilege, to proceed with the mass deportation which would be a costly affair, especially if there is an alternative? Dismissal within the high judiciary cannot be applied to MANDATORY E-VERIFY as the Rule of Law?

    As of this time there is no mandated E-Verify, as it’s up to the states how they operate it? Corporate and industry didn’t like its apparent objective, so the politicians who approved it were bought by the rich donors by investing in their campaigns? Mandated E-Verify ends with certainty, no access to CHEAP LABOR, and so the few states that observe it as mandated law saw it as a lost cause. This proposal is essential to fortifying immigration enforcement and the Donald Trump wall.

    MANDATORY E-Verification should be set up right now on a huge scale, with the necessary recruitment of an army of ICE agents to audit businesses around the country. Every company or workplace entity should be treated the same with no exceptions, from largest corporate factory to the landscape workers. Trumps wall is a good beginning and stop wholesale movement across the Southern border to end the drug, gun, and illegal alien traffickers with the assistance of the Border Patrol or even the National Guard. This is a time of imminent danger for our nation as it’s not secure and will eventually be attacked by Muslim radicals. It is not “if” it is when ISIS, or any other terrorist organizations comes this way.

    King Obama is gives the impression to be lying low from all the critics, as if he has some secret agenda relating to our domestic and foreign policies. This man just follows through on everything that is negative to our nation. It is beyond me that Congress has not collecting signatures to impeach this man, WHERE IS THE BACKBONE FOR ALL THESE POLITICAL LEADERS TO END THIS PRESIDENTS IMPERIAL REIGN FROM DRIVING AMERICA INTO MORE DEBT, Allowing criminal war combatants from their incarceration in GITMO, Cuba and place them in US penitentiaries. The issues keep confronting him and he walks away from him as if they don’t exist. Probably very dangerous Muslim extremist are already here because of lour already slack borders and no serious exit/entry digital tracking system at any ports?

    Doesn’t seem odd that King Obama didn’t journey to France, when delegates of many foreign countries flew in to offer their condolences?

    Although Americans maybe sympathetic and passionate for the strife of the Syrian people, it makes no sense to add more welfare recipients to the illegal alien invaders already pouring in owing to Obamas executive orders. We already have 1000 of criminal aliens being let loose around us, without any indication of where the Bureau of Prisons dropped them off? As to the refugees It seems to me more plausible to send shipments of food, tent shelter and cold hard cash to the charities over in there country of origin, instead of taking them out of their environment. The CIA and security organizations says they have no possibility of investigating any of these individuals, as personal records are none existent over in that part of the middle east. This is a risky as any man or women could be a fanatical religious crazy as we have no way of knowing who they are? These butchers are human time bombs and don’t care if they live or die for there abhorrent, fixated cause.

  • Mushtaq Dean

    Mushtaq Dean

    Most Americans were complacent that their defensive measures have blocked the recurrence of 9/11 incident but an outburst of terror in France has shaken their complacence and they are rightly worried about their safety at air ports, sea ports, railways stations, sports stadiums, recreation spots and their worship locations.

    Coincidentally, the occurrence has taken place when the American nation is heading towards its presidential election in 2016 having a time to give a thorough consideration to the characteristics of their new president who could withstand such horrible eventualities.

    The person being sought should be having a vast experience of administrating a large organization, should have participated in discussions over global issues, has dealt with international disputes with valor, enjoys a worldwide respect and recognition, considered cultivated ; trustworthy and thoughtful at home and with his people.

    When we set out to gather these qualities in our forthcoming president we find them assembled in Hillary Clinton, and find those endeavoring for the presidential position are naive, blunt and bankrupt.