Editorial: Trick or treat
Maybe it’s no coincidence that Halloween and Election Day come so closely on the heels of one another.
After all, both days involve people coming to your door asking for something, often wearing some kind of disguise to obscure the person they truly are.
And, just as some children dress up as superheroes and others as scary monsters, politicians can present themselves in ways that appeal either to our better natures or our basest fears.
In much the same way a child may dress up as a vampire, zombie or ghost, threatening to exact some ghoulish punishment on us for not handing over the candy, politicians will attempt to scare us with all kinds of threats, both real and imagined—of terrorists lurking around every dark corner; of illegal aliens coming to steal your job; of intrusive government taking away your rights, spying on you, taxing your last dollar and leaving you penniless and saddled with a massive debt for generations to come.
But they reserve their biggest scare tactics for their opponents—the awful things that he or she will do if elected to office. "Candidate X never met a tax he didn’t like." "Candidate Y wants to sell our country to the Chinese." Never mind that those claims are often as patently ridiculous as those of a child dressed as a zombie who says he wants to eat your brains.
Halloween and Election Day are both, at their core, theatrical events. The players act in such a way they think best to get what they want (your candy, your votes).
Just as we peer through a child’s mask to recognize the neighbor boy from down the street before handing him a piece of candy, we need to look beyond the hyperbole and campaign’s veneer to see the real person behind the mask before we decide whether a candidate is worthy of our vote.