Princeton professor tells Americans to prepare for a major october surprise–36gh.,b12-1
A history and public affairs professor at Princeton University says that Americans should “hold on to our seats” in anticipation of a national security crisis during the last month of the 2016 presidential election.Professor Julian Zelizer, writing for CNN, opines that technology and transparency groups like WikiLeaks increase the possibility that we’ll see a major shakeup in the presidential race ahead of the November 8 election.
Zelizer notes that October Surprises are mostly the stuff of political myth — and when they do happen, it’s usually the result of last minute dirt-digging from the press or an unintentional flub by a candidate.This unpredictable election year, however, the professor expects a surprise to happen and for different reasons.
[T]he most important factor is technology, which has created the most unpredictable political playing field that we have ever seen. While the concept of an October Surprise usually revolves around what one of the two campaigns might do or say in the final weeks, now we have an online world where almost any individual or organization has the capacity to disseminate embarrassing or damaging material within seconds and without any editorial barriers. With the click of a button, an anonymous person is capable of immense damage.Adding to this uncertainty is the potential for state actors, such as the Russians, to intervene directly in the election either through the release of damaging hacked information or, even worse, tampering with US voting systems.
The Democratic Party has relentlessly parroted anti-Russia rhetoric after blaming the country for the damaging DNC hack earlier this year which further damaged Clinton’s reputation with voters on the left.There’s still no proof that Russia was in any way responsible for the hack.Still, thanks to suggestions Department of Homeland Security officials that a similar hack on voting systems could occur the Federal government has already expressed interest in finding ways to give Washington more control over the nation’s election system.
The professor also contends that terrorists could affect the electoral environment in coming weeks, citing increasing frequency of attacks like those in New York and New Jersey over the weekend.
Both candidates understand there is a very real possibility they might have to adjust their campaigns if a national-security crisis were to unfold in the coming weeks.Finally, Zelizer contends that the candidates themselves could also be the source of an October Surprise because both are “extremely skilled in the art of political warfare.”Add to this the fact that Clinton and Trump both have historically low favorability ratings, and it becomes even more likely the campaigns will stop at nothing in order to damage the opposition.Still, it may not be what happens ahead of the election Americans should worry about… This entry was posted in Election Informer and tagged Election 2016. Bookmark the permalink.
source-personal liberty, sam rolley, julian zelizer