Dark and scary times
On the Bright Side
October 27, 2018
Every year around this time I like to write about enjoying dark and scary thoughts. It is Halloween time, after all, and I love the whole month being full of scary movies on TV and in the movie complexes, and scary stories in magazines and books, and dark tales of murder and mayhem and ghosts and goblins everywhere from around the campfire to around the kitchen table. I've always loved the rush of emotions that come with horror stories. October's overloaded tribute to Halloween is right up my alley.
And it seems that every couple of years I also write about thinking it is pretty weird that fall election time comes right after we celebrate Halloween. As if less sun and more darkness, and things that go bump in the night, aren't scary enough for us, we have to be bombarded by the final onslaught of politicians and special interest groups telling us, in a never-ending array of commercials, that the other guy is a liar and how to vote on this-that-or-the-other issue.
Of course this whole year has been darker and scarier than any horror story I've ever read, and this upcoming election, right after we celebrate this year's Halloween, has already been and is continuing to be, one of the most vile election seasons I've ever seen.
And am I scared this month? Yes. Give me a good horror story any day and I can read it or watch it and know that it's a story, and good will usually triumphs in the end. But real life? In these times? This year? Yes, I'm scared to death because I have no idea how this daily horror show centered around our political scene will end (or if it ever will). Horror masters like Hitchcock, King, Lovecraft, Poe, Serling, Stein – none of them can hold a candle to what is going on around us daily.
Nevertheless, we'll soon be going to the polls to put an end to the onslaught of fact-free campaign ads and rallies and meaningless campaign promises. Hopefully too, we might be able, with our votes, to put an end to the horror that is our day to day reality.
I believe in the American process of making choices by voting, but I also know that many Americans will not bother to vote at all. And as disgusting as that is, I also know that many people who want to and are ready to vote are being denied that right. I'm not sure which is scarier or darker – the idea that many people don't care enough to vote or that citizens who want to vote are being blatantly denied that right.
Voting is how we keep America free; it is what people have been fighting and dying for, for centuries. Election day is a day when we are all reminded that the government is there to serve us, and that we are in control of the people we elect and the laws and issues we favor or reject. If any of us don't vote, our American way of life will become dictated by the few who do go to voice an opinion; i.e. not voting is a better way to defeat the American way of life than any terrorist could come up with.
We are in charge, and we can keep it that way by voting. But being busy or not having time isn't the only excuse people use for not voting. Scarier still are the people who don't think their vote will count, so they just don't bother.
We all count, and we are all important to the process. All of us have a right to have a say in who our elected officials are going to be and to let those officials – local, statewide and nationally – know how we feel about things. This year more than any I can remember, is the time we must send a clear message with our votes.
October can be a dark and scary time by design, and you can enjoy it by dressing up in costumes or handing out candy or watching hours of horror flicks. Or you can ignore it altogether. Elections can be dark and scary, or they can be a day of rejoicing in our freedoms and a United States government by and for the people. Just please don't ever consider election day a day to ignore altogether.
I hope you will join me at the polls this November to vote for a brighter and lighter future for all of us, and to try to make real life a little less dark and scary.
Happy Halloween, and Happy American Election Day.