This year, Tuesday, Nov. 8 will replace Oct. 31 as the scariest night of the year.
Halloween has long been considered the day when frightening things emerge and evil walks the earth.
This year, things are different.
Tuesday, Nov. 8 election night terrifies me.
We have already seen the forces of evil at work, and they are no longer operating under cover of darkness. They have brazenly become much more active, even in the daylight.
I have come to hate the pre-election period in recent years. There has been less respect, more animosity, and the old standards of conduct have been eroding.
Still, in previous years, I have told myself that if I can just make it through election day, things will return to some degree of normal.
I don’t believe that anymore.
I fear that no matter who prevails in the election, especially at the state and national level, there will be no period of reconciliation.
In decades past, even after hard-fought elections, there was some expectation that after the votes were counted, our elected officials would make some effort to work together for the common good.
Victors would reach across the aisle and be willing to work with those from the other party.
More recently however, partisan politics have taken over.
There is little cooperation, and compromise is rare.
Candidates will support their party at all costs, without regard to their constituents.
Worse still, they will actively and openly sabotage any efforts at progress the other party might make.
The result is gridlock and dysfunction.
Even simple questions become partisan battles.
This year, long before the election, we have a prominent major party candidate fanning the flames of fear by making absurd allegations that the entire election system is “rigged.”
Presumably that will only be an issue for him if he is not elected.
Furthermore, that same candidate has refused to commit to accepting the results of the election.
Recent trends cast grave doubts on the possibility that our elected officials will step up after the election and do the job they were elected to do.
It seems more likely that all we can expect is more partisan bickering and more gridlock, while the work of the state and nation grinds to a halt.
And now, before we even get to election day, the election system is being challenged.
Yes, Nov. 8 will be a terrifying night, and I don’t see anything to give me hope that things will look better when the sun comes up Nov. 9 no matter which candidates prevail at the state and national level.