Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated on June 28, 1914. THIRTY DAYS later, on July 28, 1914, World War I, the “Great War” began. It would last for more than 4 years, and some 16 million would die.
On January 2, Saudi Arabia executed a noted Shiite cleric, and presumed terrorist, Sheik Nimr al-Nimr. Thirty days hence, February 1st, are the Iowa caucuses.
A century ago, when the dissemination of news was very, very slow by modern standards; it only took one month for the world to go mad.
Today, only a few days after the execution, we are already witnessing the first convulsions that will likely inflame the entire middle east. And the internet, and social media, now make it easy to instantly escalate the crisis. Events move at the speed of light.
Thus, it is more than likely that by the time Iowa rolls around, much of the Middle East will be fully engulfed. Would you really want to bet against it?
And in less than 30 days, some 200,000-250,000 each of Republicans and Democrats will gather all over the Hawkeye state (nearly all still disconsolate by the pasting their Hawkeyes took in the Rose Bowl) to publicly weigh the merits of the various candidates for president.
Democrats will likely pretend that the middle east is somewhere out there beyond the rings of Saturn. No mention will be made of Obama, nor his utterly feckless policies. Instead, they will carefully and considerately debate who best will institute a $15 minimum wage, and who is most passionate about gun control. But secretly, deep inside their warped little minds they will be scared.
Republicans , with one eye on the TV, are likely to look seriously at Trump as a potential war-time commander in chief, and to find him lacking. Trump will lose Iowa, and lose badly…possibly finishing third.
There are two thing to remember about the Iowa caucuses. First, Iowa as a state is not representative demographically of the whole country. It skews white, for both parties.
But even more important; independents CANNOT vote (unless they are wont to stampede en mass out into the cold Iowa night and proclaim a party affiliation). Given that independents are where the presidency will be decided, and given that independents also watch the news, the Iowa results will not accurately assess the state of mind of the Iowa electorate at large that night.
And then we’re off to New Hampshire, few days later, for the first in the nation primary. And the middle east war will still blanket the news. But this time, independents can vote. And they’ll still be watching the news.
Trump will again be examined closely as a potential wartime leader, and be found lacking. As will Carson. NH will effectively end both their candidacies. Sanders will win the Democrat primary. He’s a next-door favorite son, and some Democrats, as weird as it sounds, will actually link Hillary to the MiddleEast mess.
But the big news to come out of NH is that independents will opt to vote overwhelmingly in the GOP primary. Yes, they will split their vote among several candidates, but the big take-away is that they don’t want ANY Democrat back in the White House. They don’t trust any of them to keep the country safe.
This trend will accelerate as we go further into the primary season, and as the war news from the MiddleEast worsens. The Democrats are headed to a major defeat.
It was 35 years ago that Iran’s seizure of the US embassy in Tehran, and holding 52 Americans hostage for more than a year, demonstrated Carter’s utter weakness and ineptitude, and more than anything else led to Reagan’s landslide victory. Yet a few months before Election Day, polls showed Carter still in the lead. The voters took the measure of both men, and found Carter lacking.
A lot is going to happen in the world in the next month, and there is nothing that any of the candidates can do about it. And neither can the US; the result of “leading from behind.”
But these events in the very near future will shape, and ultimately decide, the 2016 Presidential election.
One hundred years ago, the world exploded, in less than 30 days. And without the presence of cable news, the internet , or Twitter.