Thinking ahead, as few of the media have so far done, the terrorists in Paris today may well have given the 2016 election in this country to the Republicans.

If immigration is the be-all and end-all of the Republican inner struggle, the appearance across Paris of terrorists killing apparently at will is not only going to send general apprehension across the Atlantic, but also the fear people have for themselves and their families.

We think we can see, in the future, an abatement of foreign travel by Americans – after all, it’s not just Paris, it’s airplanes and resorts and restaurants that can explode at any time anywhere. And insofar as so many of the active terrorist population is trained in the MidEast to return to their lands of residence and/or birth to do heavy death and damage, immigration of nearly any kind is going to be suspect.

This plays directly into the debates that we have been watching weekly on our own television sets. The more moderate candidates – Jeb Bush, John Kasich – are going to be shouted down by followers of Trump, Carson, and Cruz.

This fear of terrorism is nonpartisan. Democrats as well as Republicans have deep feelings about the history of our nation, and its future, not to mention the stories we hear by the millions of parents and grandparents arriving on these shores with nothing but a five dollar bill yet somehow raising a family, one of whom is now before us as a possible president.

That saga is about to end.

If immigration leads to terrorism, all entry-ways are going to be closed. For years.

Fear is contagious, and also nonpartisan.

Mr. Obama is, frankly, irrelevant. No matter how sensibly he cheerleads and tries to tamp down hysteria, people are going to ignore him in favor of horrible pictures on their homes screens of people not so very different from themselves being killed indiscriminately.

If it can happen there, in Paris, one of civilization’s very cradles, how can we stop it if it comes here?

Economically, Egypt and Central Europe and France are going to take huge hits. And next to family, Americans care most about money. Why wouldn’t we expect a climate of isolationism to spread in the land of the free?

We would like desperately to believe that Americans can remember their Constitution. They won’t.

“Paris is burning.”

Many millions will feel the US is next.

It may be.

But to be an American means to welcome people less fortunate, people less educated, people less capable of surviving in conditions we can only imagine.
Paris may well have closed our shores. To hope, to progress, to reason.


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