Target: Paris. More than 130 die in a terrorist attack on a Friday night in November. No one sees it coming. Global panic ensues.
Suddenly the nation debates the future of the Syrian refugee program. Terrorism jumps to the front of voters’ minds. National security becomes the defining issue of the 2016 election. No one sees that coming, either.
Around two weeks after the Paris attack, Turkey shoots down a Russian fighter over Syria. Vladimir Putin calls it a “stab in the back” and sends more forces to the region. Barack Obama pleads for calm. Trending on Twitter: World War III.
The last month has been an object lesson in the unpredictability of politics. We began November with news of an improving economy, with a rise in President Obama’s approval ratings. We end it with America and the world on high alert, with Obama on defense.
We began November with Democrats confident that demographics and low unemployment guarantee Hillary Clinton’s election. We end it with fears of terrorism and infiltration, with Democrats no longer as sure.