The deadly terrorist attacks on Paris was a heavy blow worldwide. After the dust settled and the initial stages of grief wore off, it was clear that the attacks had changed U.S. politics in four key ways.
- It reinforced people's’ opinions about Syrian refugees Despite the fact that the perpetrators of the Paris attacks were almost all nationals (Belgian-born, but French nationals all the same) it somehow reignited the debate about what to do with the Syrian refugees fleeing their own country’s deadly conflict.
- Terrorism jumped back to the front of all our minds While all U.S. politicians decried the violence and radicalism that ISIL/ISIS/Daesh has perpetuated, many politicians were hesitant to say whether or not attacking them with our military was appropriate or warranted. After starting a never-ending War on Terror that has resulted in the loss of too many U.S. soldiers, politicians weren’t anxious to jump into another war that could cost us even more money and even more lives. But now the problem has grown to such an extent that every U.S. politician is now united on the front of obliterating ISIL. Even political leaders who disagreed with the causes behind the U.S. War on Terror firmly state that ISIL needs to be destroyed.
- It might spark a push for tighter surveillance in the U.S. After passing the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act that legalized wiretapping U.S. phones and surveilling email correspondence for keywords, Americans balked at the perceived breach of our freedom of speech as well as a gross invasion of privacy. Despite the legality of the action, it was publicly viewed as the government overstepping its bounds.
French president François Hollande firmly restated their intent to welcome Syrian refugees into their country and to aide them however possible. Meanwhile, in the country made by immigrants, people are staunchly divided over the refugee crisis.
However anyone in the U.S. felt about the Syrian refugees in the first place, their feelings have now been intensified since the Paris attacks. Those who believe that the Syrians could be terrorists in disguise cry out that it would be “insane” to let ailing strangers into our borders.
But those who believed that we should provide assistance to the refugees reasserted their belief that we should throw open our doors and shelter them from further violence to become a united front against terrorism and race- and xenophobia-driven fear.
Following the Paris attacks, U.S. politics can expect to discuss even stronger measures in homeland surveillance in an effort to prevent future acts of terrorism and violence before they happen. And it may have more support than the first time around.