[Click above to embiggen: the political costumes out during Halloween 2016 were more like the feeling of 2000 and 2004 (when Republicans won) than in 2008 and 2012 (when there was immense social pressure for Obama to win).]
Halloween in Boystown was strange this election year…because costumes mocking the Democrats’ candidate were allowed and there was no social pressure to overlook Hillary Clinton’s scandals or failings in the way that any criticism of Obama at all was absolutely forbidden in 2008 and 2012. Also, there was no clear hatred of Donald Trump in the way that hatred towards John McCain and Mitt Romney was actively encouraged in the last two elections. No one either felt the need to express hatred towards Trump or they couldn’t muster any, since Trump has been such a known figure to people for many years and was never someone they were taught to hate in the past. The fact that Democrats could not gin up gays to vociferously hate Trump this year means that Hillary Clinton’s campaign didn’t do enough to rev up Democrats in general for this election.
There are a few caveats and things to ponder with all this, though.
1. Obama is black (or at least identifies as black, despite being technically biracial) and no costumes mocking a black person would ever be socially permissible in our politically-correct world. The caveat to that is the fact that blacks can always mock other blacks, but none seemed to do so in 2008 and 2012 when it came to Obama. I think I remember a black couple dressing up lovingly as Barack and Michelle and being in the Boystown Halloween parade in 2012…but it was like they were professional impersonators hired for an event, with nothing they did even remotely mocking or ridiculing the Obamas. It was an act of pure adoration like something you would have seen in a wax museum. Hillary has never been shown that kind of love and never will be. She does not benefit from White Guilt or the terror that white people have of being called racist for disagreeing with or criticizing a black person such as Obama. Because Hillary’s a white woman, she’s fair game for ridicule.
[Click above to embiggen: I saw BLACK PEOPLE dressed up as Trump…and not in a hateful way. Also people dressed their kids up as Trump…in Chicago. Trump is not a hated figure the way that McCain and Romney were turned into hated figures in the past.]
2. The Trump costumes I spotted people walking around in were not hate-fueled and vile in the way that the McCain and Romney costumes were in 2008 and 2012 respectively. What I saw were just people here and there walking around in suits with either bad wigs or rubber Trump masks…and then the red “Make America Great Again” hats. That’s it. In 2012, people dressed up as Romney went around in “Mormon underwear” and carried “Binders Full of Women” or had a stuffed dog that they affixed to a toy car (harking back to Romney’s dog Seamus, that the Left apocryphally claimed Romney abused or even killed by putting atop the family’s station wagon in the 1980s). McCain was called a Nazi who wanted to round up all gays and kill them…and of course gays went after Sarah Palin with a vengeance, mocking her relentlessly wherever they could. The hatred aimed at Republicans in 2008 and 2012 also had a strong feeling that hatred of Christians was part of the mocking, since McCain and Romney were identified as religious-connected people…while Trump is not seen as any standard bearer of Christianity. This is one of the most interesting things about the way the Left approached Trump this Halloween, compared to how other GOP candidates were tackled in the past: Trump was not attacked or maligned as a religious figure, so gays didn’t assault him with any of the things they like doing to religious figures. All people could do if they wanted to be Trump for Halloween was dress up like him…but nothing else was layered on top of that, the way McCain and Romney both were maligned as having some sort of strange religious mission to persecute gays. Nobody even bothered trying to claim that Trump is anti-gay because he’s never been presented as being anti-gay in anything over the last several decades of his celebrity.
[Click above to embiggen: I didn’t see anyone do anything else for Trump aside from wearing a suit and having an orange wig. Usually they also had a red #MAGA hat too. That’s it. Nothing hateful like they would have done for McCain or Romney.]
3. Hillary’s weird behavior during the Democrats’ convention was mocked…and I was shocked by that. This would have NEVER been allowed it someone was mocking Obama out in Boystown. For one thing, I think bouncers would not have allowed someone into a bar if they were dressed up to mock Obama. Bouncers do have the ability to tell you that you can’t come in if they want to make the argument that you are dressed in a way that’s offensive enough to cause a big problem that would cause a fight and potentially harm others. So they have some leeway with the public safety argument and roll the dice that you won’t file a complaint with the City about denial of public accommodation. I could see them doing that if anyone dared to mock Obama in the past (though, I’m not aware of anyone even trying that). Even if someone wanted to get into one of the bars in an anti-Obama costume, I think they would not have been able to walk very far while wearing that: in 2008 and 2012, anyone openly mocking Obama would have been beaten on the street. At the very least, that person would have been a social pariah receiving nasty looks and horrible comments. Then the pushing and the shoving would have started. And the punching. Nothing like that at all exists when it comes to Hillary, though. People seemed to think it was really funny when this one woman mocked Hillary’s bizarre balloon episode the night of her convention speech when she accepted her nomination. Remember that? Remember how bizarre, surreal, and strange her face was…and how she and Tim Kaine both looked like they were on LSD or something as they stared at the balloons and chased balloons on the stage like small children? All of that bizarre behavior was memorable enough for someone to distill into a Halloween costume: where the Halloween-reveler cosplayed as a bunch of balloons with Bill and Hillary’s faces affixed to her shoulders. Hillary’s clearly making the same crazy face she famously made during the balloon drop after her acceptance speech. Everyone seemed to “get” what the costume was supposed to be and they laughed at Hillary. This is not laughing “with” Hillary…this is laughing “at” Hillary. Nothing like that was ever allowed when it came to Barack Obama. The fact that people feel free to mock the Clintons tells me that people also feel it’s okay not to vote for one of them. That means no lockstep voting for the Left in this election like they had in 2008 and 2012. Because there’s no clear hatred being revved up against Trump, I think there is also no social pressure to beat up or harass anyone who might actually throw their vote to him. If you even hinted you were voting for McCain or Romney against Obama you would have risked physical assault in the past…but there’s no such social pressure this time around.
[Click above to embiggen: in that second shot, ignore the drag queen dressed up as “Sandy” from Grease. This is another angle on the woman dressed up as Hillary Clinton’s Crazy Balloon Drop at the Convention.]
4. Hillary’s Private Email Server and her Emails in general were fodder for costumes. Again, compare this with Obama in the past. I can’t think of a single costume I ever saw that was critical of Obama in any way. The Left aggressively carries water for him. Every mistake he makes is covered up. The Left is committed to only painting him in the most favorable light always. Though the Lying Media has aggressively tried to downplay the Hillarygate email server scandal, it’s penetrated pop culture enough that it turned up in Halloween costumes. It took me a minute to figure out what the “Private Email Server” guy was dressed up as…but people seemed to think it was hilarious when they got the joke. Everyone appears to have laughed. No one seems to have told him not to do that or that he shouldn’t make fun of her. It’s the complete opposite of how gays would have responded to anyone similarly mocking Barack Obama.
[Click above to embiggen: Variations on Hillary’s “Private Email Server” and Emails…and also that little guy in the red sweater named Ken Boone who asked a question during the Town Hall Debate and became a meme for a while.]
5. Unflattering drag depictions of Hillary were allowed (when no unflattering portrayal of Obama by anyone, male or female, would have been allowed). I spotted multiple drag queens dressed up like Hillary. All of them pretended to be severely drunk, thus mocking Hillary’s well-known habit of day-drinking. Also, while walking, the drag queens would fall down, stumble, have to be propped up, etc. So the gays were making fun of Hillary’s health problems too and her tendency to collapse in public, like she did during that 9/11 ceremony in New York City. Absolutely none of this would have been allowed when it came to Barack Obama. If people feel okay not only mocking Hillary but also laughing at drag queens who mock her — when no mocking of Obama was ever allowed — then I don’t see how the Lying Media can with a straight face believe that Hillary’s going to get the lockstep voter turnout that Obama relied on to win in 2008 and 2012. And that’s not even factoring into things all the people who refused to vote for McCain or Romney and decided to sit home. I know those #NeverTrumpers say they are staying home or voting for Hillary, but I think those people actually number in the dozens, maybe the hundreds…while there were millions of people who were so sick of the GOP Establishment that they sat home and didn’t vote in 2008 and 2012. There were also lots of white people who culturally didn’t want to vote against a black man. But no one feels socially pressured to stay home or to not vote against Hillary Clinton. To me, that seems to spell doom for her.
Why does any of this matter?
I don’t know if it does matter. It’s just a marked difference from years-past. It feels a lot more like 2000 or 2004, when Gore and Kerry were the Democrats’ candidates. Again, we circle back to race: Gore, Kerry, and Hillary are all white and though Gore and Kerry are allegedly male, the three of them are all treated the same when it comes to mocking and ridicule at Halloween. I don’t think there was ANY pressure to refrain from mocking Hillary because she is a woman. She seems to have taken her lumps out in Boystown during Halloween the same way that Kerry and Gore were mocked back in their days. It was only Obama — the black man — who was completely off-limits for ridicule. No one was allowed socially to mock or criticize the black man who was running for president…lest that person be called a RAYCISS. So everyone was terrified of being seen in the slightest bit as not fully supporting Obama.
In 2016, all of that is gone and things have reverted back to normal and the Democrat candidate is allowed to be mocked again. But the new twist is that Republicans ran a candidate who can’t be easily hated and tarred with the brush that gays always use against candidates like McCain and Romney, whom the Left paints as religious candidates that gays must hate (because the Left tells gays that Christians want to kill gays…but of course pay no attention to what Muslims do to gays all over the world when executing them). Trump was never painted as a religious candidate…and so he could not be maligned with the usual tricks the Left employs.
Democrats seem to rely on hatred to fuel their Get Out the Vote initiatives. If the Left could not muster enough hatred against Trump to encourage gays to really let him have it at Halloween, then I tend to believe the hatred necessary to churn out the vote for Hillary will not meet 2008 or 2012 levels. That’s on top of all the adoration and love for Obama the Left fostered being sorely missing when it comes to Hillary.
If 2016 is an election where there is no obvious hatred for the Republican candidate in the gay community and there is also no deep-abiding love for the Democrats’ candidate, then I don’t understand how all the polling companies and Nate Silver can insist that 2016 is going to play out for Democrats like either 2012 or 2008. It just makes no sense.
© 2016, Kevin DuJan. All rights reserved.
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