In a post this time last year, I shared my love for Halloween. It’s not so much that I love this holiday, but more that my kids’ anticipation and excitement over this day is downright infectious. There is normally a month-long lead up to Halloween which begins as soon as the first decorations go up in the neighbourhood. We live in an area that embraces Halloween with a passion. Some homeowners go all out with their decorations. And, I must confess, it has forced us to up our game every year as well.
My kids love picking out their Halloween costumes. I am not particularly adept in the sewing or craft department, so I normally let them choose a costume online. This year, they dressed up as Harry Potter and the Queen of Hearts. Pretty darn cute, if I do say so myself!
Between the Halloween parties at my kids’ schools and my own observations while trick-or-treating with them last night, I was astonished by the number of young kids dressed up as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. And by “young” I am talking about the under 12 set. I might be wrong, but I don’t have similar recollections from the 2008 or 2012 US elections. Certainly not in Canada!
And this got me to thinking… How is it that we have reached a point when even young children can see how ridiculous this election has become? I am sure it has something to do with the fact that Donald Trump is beyond caricature with his strange hair, orange colouring and outrageous views. I know that every time I have the TV tuned to CNN and my son sees Trump on the screen, he asks how it is possible for someone to be that colour. He also typically utters something like “Trump’s an idiot”. And I chuckle. But frankly, it is downright scary!
I worry what it means to my impressionable eight-year old son to see a racist, narcissist running for the most powerful office in the world. And I am terrified that Trump’s sexist views and deplorable treatment of women could have a negative impact on my daughter’s self-esteem. Donald Trump is no better than a schoolyard bully and I fear that, were he to become President, children would feel emboldened to repeat the horrible things they hear coming out of Trump’s mouth.
With only one week to go, I am honestly terrified by the potential outcome of this election. I recognize that Hillary is not perfect. She comes with some baggage. But, I believe with everything in me that she is the right person for the job. She has proven time and time again that she’s the only candidate with the necessary experience and temperament for the role.
Halloween is a holiday for kids. It is the one day each year when children are granted permission to stay up late, dress up and eat unlimited (!) amounts of treats. Yes, there are certainly scary elements associated with Halloween. I just hope that we will soon see an end to Donald Trump’s scary, destructive and divisive ways – and that we will be able to look back at the Halloween costumes of 2016 with a laugh.