I was going to ignore today’s Halloween celebrations, especially as it actually comes later than usual this year. If that confuses you, bear with me.
Tonight across North America millions of children will take to the streets begging complete strangers to give them candy, with an ominous threat in their demand of “trick or treat.” The cultural ritual is so ingrained that no-one has to make good on the threat to perform a trick on someone who fails to pony up some candy.
The United States however is struggling with the concept of “trick or treat” this Halloween. The scariest costume an American child can wear at the door tonight is a Donald Trump mask. Or a Hillary Clinton mask. It seems to me that for Americans Halloween 2016 will actually take place on Election Day, November 8. And no matter who wins next Tuesday, it will be more trick than treat for the American people.
With the election now just eight days away, is anyone really ready for it? Or are people desperately hoping the past eleven months have been a long nightmare, one the US will wake from before November 8. Maybe we will wake up tomorrow morning and discover it’s really a contest between Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford. Wouldn’t that be reassuring? Or maybe it’s Dwight Eisenhower taking on Adlai Stevenson.
I suppose that is too much to hope for though. The 2016 campaign has been all too real, and with a week to go I wonder if there are more revelations yet to come about the behaviour of both candidates.
I’ve never been a fan of voting for the lesser of two evils. After all, in such a scenario you are still making a conscious choice to support evil. What makes this election even tougher for those who are okay with making that choice is the difficulty of deciding which candidate is the lesser evil.
So this is Halloween 2016 in America. It’s a scary time, possibly more frightening than any Halloween before it.