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Randi Kreiss

When real-life horrors outdo Halloween


Really, could you make up Donald Trump if he didn’t already exist?
What book publisher in their right mind or movie producer hoping for a hit would create a character as unlikely as the Republicans’ very own Great Pumpkin on steroids?
Imagine this: Hungry screenwriter pitches a story to movie mogul: “See, you have this super-rich guy who decides to run for president against 17 other candidates seeking the GOP nomination. He has some problems, sure, some ADD maybe, some narcissistic personality disorder, some grandiosity. Yeah, I’m pretty sure there’s tape out there of him bragging about grabbing women’s genitals and getting away with it because he’s a star. History? Not his strong suit. Also, yeah, he has no experience at all in government or foreign affairs.
“He did host a reality TV show. And he has experience hosting the Miss Universe pageant, which will help when negotiating with Russia, Syria and Iraq.
“He’s planning to build a wall along the border with Mexico, lower taxes on the rich, create a religious test for immigrants trying to get to America. Also, there are TV clips of him gyrating while mocking a disabled reporter, and, yes, he did insult the Gold Star parents of a Muslim-American soldier killed in Iraq.

“OK, OK, he isn’t perfect, but he is flamboyant, and a fast talker, and he knows how to gin up a crowd, even inciting anger and violence, which will make for a great plot line, maybe even ending in another American Revolution.”
Would any publisher or producer want to invest in this preposterous story? And wait, there’s more. He not only wins the nomination of his party, he wins the 2016 election and becomes the 45th president, a profoundly unprepared, uncouth, blatantly racist xenophobe. Then, get this, he runs for a second term.
Sorry, Halloween 2020, you’ve been hijacked by the facts on the ground. Nothing can be as horrific as real life in the midst of a global pandemic in a country abused by an inept leader.
Between the last election and this year, certain bedrock beliefs, such as the peaceful transition of power, have been challenged. Double double toil and trouble. From which caldron did he pull the idea to destabilize the country by sowing hatred and fear? Halloween, can you really do better than that? Fake Freddy Krueger fingernails and monster teeth just don’t cut it anymore.
This year, thanks to the worrisome spiking of the Covid-19 virus, most children won’t have the fun of going door to door. The trick is on the innocent kids who might have been living in an entirely different environment if a competent and forthright president had taken charge early on to fight the pandemic in a smart and scientific way.
Halloween tricks seem old school. Egging a car? Toilet paper in the trees? You call those tricks? They’re lame when compared with Russia hacking the election, the GOP placing fake ballot boxes around California and the leader of the free world coyly encouraging a wacko fringe group like QAnon. Now those tricks get everyone’s attention.
Facebook, like other social media platforms, is under attack by foreign goblins and gremlins; cyberwarfare is terrifying. The old-time fright masks just don’t have the same ability to reach inside our lives and twist until we scream. Masks have taken on a whole other meaning in the time of Covid and the reign of Donald.
As for ghosts, Halloween, I’m seeing the spirit of dictators, past and present, dancing across America. What have you got? White sheets and green makeup? Meh. Trump is actively summoning the spirit of his brother, Vladimir Putin, to name just one. He invokes his spirit every time he saws away at the pillars of our democracy: the Department of Justice, the FBI, the CIA, the Supreme Court and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Clearly, the Donald trumps Halloween. He has ruined my taste for manufactured terror. I just can’t get interested in candy corn.
We need to invent a special holiday for him. Let’s call it Inauguration Day, celebrate a new president and say goodbye to the sick joke that has been Donald Trump’s presidency.
Maybe next year, fright wigs and skeleton costumes will be amusing again.

Copyright 2020 Randi Kreiss. Randi can be reached at randik3@aol.com.