It’s hardly surprising that Trump costumes are a major Halloween phenomenon this year, but if you’re one of the Trump wanna-scare-bes parading around as him are you prepared for the consequences?
A scary thought that’s circulating: “According to one costume industry index, mask sales have correctly predicted the outcome of every presidential election since 1996. According to another index – which goes back further – they’ve been right since 1980, when Ronald Reagan’s mug outsold Jimmy Carter’s by 20 percent” (100PercentFedUp.com).
And guess who has the lead right now in Halloween sales?
“Trump Halloween Garb Outselling Clinton ‘By a Landslide’,” according to the New York Post as well as many other outlets. Masks, comb-over wigs, orange foundation, and “Make America Great Again” caps—not to mention the “tiny plastic Trump hands, which sell for $5.99”—are selling BIGLY (or “big league,” which apparently is what Trump actually says when we hear what we hear, reports Science of Us) at a major retailer in New York.
Now, I’m not suggesting the purchasing majority actually supports Trump. Reports indicate, in fact, a desire to mock him as the main motivation—whereas the top reason to choose Clinton involves admiration.
And let’s not forget what Halloween is all about. A significant number of people choose as their scare-wear the opposite party‘s running mate. Thus, those most responsible for buying Trump paraphernalia could indeed back Hillary.
By the way, not many adults generally Halloween-dress as a “political-inspired” figure. Only about four percent, according to MyStatesman.com. On the other hand, “The National Retail Federation has this genre pegged as the third most popular choice for adults this year, behind witch and pirate” (USA Today).
Other popular grownup costumes for 2016 include Pokemon Go, characters from Game of Thrones, Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad, and, egads, clowns. Clowns are “up 300% since last year”—and are particularly liked by males. And, as you know, individuals in clown attire have already made the news for randomly scaring folks all around the country.
Which leads me back to Trump-related costumes and some warnings. First, women are very likely to be turned off by men wearing them, as was confirmed by a recent PlentyofFish survey (Huffington Post).
Second, it’s not only women, of course, and it’s not just a case of simply being turned off. Because of rampant Trumpism and its effects, various individuals and groups could wind up being seriously triggered this Halloween. Kevin Roose, Fusion, sums it up quite well:
At the moment, Donald Trump is a uniquely terrifying figure for many Americans, including women, Muslims, and immigrants. To many of these people, Trump, the Republican nominee for president, is not scary in the same way that a ghost or goblin is scary—he’s a real, present danger to their lives and livelihoods. Shoving Trump masks in these people’s faces, even as a joke, registers somewhere between tasteless and cruel.
How will your Mexican-American neighbors feel when they open their front door to a smirking trick-or-treater in a ‘Build the Wall’ shirt? Will the sexual assault survivors at your Halloween party be amused by your bright red ‘Grab ‘Em By The Pussy’ hat?…
He’s a real, flesh-and-blood presidential candidate, running a destructive and divisive campaign that has already sparked violent backlash, triggered harmful flashbacks for survivors of sexual assault, and caused a documented uptick in anxiety and other psychological issues.
Witches, pirates, Pokemon—all much better choices for the sensitive Halloween-er. Don’t you think?