The Nation's Pulse

Why Liberals Love Halloween

Not that sugar candy makes them any sweeter.

By 10.28.11

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Halloween is a big party. It is the third biggest political party in America. This annual holiday is a nonpartisan event, but politics shows up like everyone else --  cloaked and masked. Not everyone parties with politics, but liberals are most inclined and best equipped. They have the best reasons to love Oct. 31. Here they are:

1. Halloween compels diversity. Everyone feels pressure to create a unique costume. Consequently, everyone becomes artsy. Halloween mandates that you pretend to be something you are not, much as red-state liberals do during political elections.

Downside: The creative diversity gets competitive (read: unfair and mean). People often pick their costumes in order to win prizes and contests such as "Wildest Costume" or "Best John Edwards Lookalike." Such contests discriminate against those who cannot afford $400 haircuts, paternity tests, and public humiliation (assuming they do not know Maury Povich).

2. It is an opportunity to express your inner child. Liberals have a thing for psychobabble, and psychobabble and psychopaths go well together. Halloween is for kids, who are not yet fully able to distinguish between reality and make-believe. Any adult who loves Halloween is someone with an inner child that needs expressing. Such people have aged but not completely matured. Halloween lets them prove it.

Downside: If you express your inner child too much, your own children may start to view you as their equal and not as an authority figure. This could make it harder for you to teach them how to recycle and how to respect every culture other than their own.

3. It alleviates hunger. Halloween is the only day of the year when millions of Americans go out of their way to feed complete strangers. They buy food for the explicit purpose of giving it to people they may or may not know and who may or may not need it. If every day were Halloween, famine would disappear (as would memories of Live Aid).

Downside: The downside to the "mi casa, su candy" pledge is the second element. Candy contributes to childhood obesity, which Michelle Obama says is really, really bad.

4. Ask, and ye shall receive. On Halloween, all you have to do to get free goodies is knock on a door. In other words, all you have to do to get other people's stuff is ask for it, and these people will happily give it to you out of social obligation. Halloween is welfare without the paperwork.

Downside: Most Halloween goodies come wrapped in paper or plastic, which environmentally unconscious people will turn into litter.

5. It has no patriotic or Christian undertones. Its lack of nationalistic and Judeo-Christian themes brings people together. Halloween is a perfect day for internationalists (citizens of the world) and devil worshipers (citizens of the netherworld) to unite. This must be why so many people want to hear "We Are the World" at Slayer concerts.

Downside: It is not easy to be a Satanic humanist who slaughters humans. At least that has been my experience.

6. It promotes walking over driving. Trick-or-treating is a neighborhood activity. By walking --  not driving --  from house to house, trick-or-treaters reduce carbon emissions and help save the environment.

Downside: Walking is not possible for the wheelchair-bound and other physically disadvantaged groups. For them, ramps and/or candy delivery services are preferable. Check with your local Meals on Wheels.

7. Gay activists love it. For various reasons, Halloween is big in this community. The day offers an occasion for sexual nonconformists to act not as "someone else" but as caricatures of themselves, openly and without apprehension. If you want to dress in drag, you can do so without fear of harmful social repercussions.

Downside: Drag queens are a form of hierarchy.

8. It allows for witch-hunting. In a pre-Halloween television ad last October, then-Republican Senate candidate (and self-confessed former "dabbler" in witchcraft) Christine O'Donnell declared, "I'm not a witch" --  a line so effective in establishing innocence that thousands of lives could have been spared during the Inquisition had anyone thought of it at the time.

Downside: None.

9. It's an excuse for feminists to flout their femininity. Even the bra-burning Gloria Steinem can show a little skin on Halloween, the one night of the year when all women can dress as strippers without damaging their ideological credibility. Indeed, on no other day is it so easy to reconcile women's rights and fishnet tights. You can stand for the former and strut in the latter.

Downside (for men): Feminists don't make for the best eye candy.

That's why liberals love Halloween. Though it may be just a one-night stand, the two are made for each other. The pretense of disguise lets liberals be themselves. Luckily the affair happens but once a year.

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About the Author

Windsor Mann is a writer living in Washington, D.C., and the editor of The Quotable Hitchens: From Alcohol to Zionism.