Will Election Day Be Scarier Than Halloween?

When eerie hypotheticals of a future administration are used as campaign ammunition, the theories and warnings are derisively dismissed as "fear-mongering."

Excuse me, but don't you think there's a reason that Election Day is so close to Halloween? It's not just so the politically inclined have a chance to don creepy rubber masks of their favorite politicos -- or, as was the macabre case in a West Hollywood lawn display, hang a Sarah Palin mannequin from the gallows while John McCain emerges from the hellfire. It's not a conspiracy that sees us casting votes zombie-style while still in candy corn and Milk Dud sugar shock.

The shrieks of political "fear-mongering" get louder as we approach All Hallows Eve, and thus Election Day. But there's a difference between a Friday the 13th scare and a Shining scare, a difference between absurd fear-mongering that included Freddy Krueger and his razor hands and that which strikes fear because in one's subconscious, it strikes a note of truth. That's why Child's Play and House of Wax are silly, scary popcorn flicks, but The Birds, Fatal Attraction, and A Clockwork Orange are actual spine-tinglers.

So when we consider the scary scenarios of the next potential administration, seeing as how Halloween and Election Day are so inextricably woven by more than just calendar sharing (ballots full of ghoulish choices, for example), it's important to think about what is labeled as "fear-mongering" in this context. What is a silly argument solely meant to strike unwarranted fear in the hearts of voters, and which is a realistic possibility that doesn't need any political special effects to be super-scary?

Here's the frivolous fear-mongering solely intended for maximum political box office: the Democratic contention that women will be driven into back alleys for abortions should the McCain/Palin ticket win. Here's the truth: McCain does believe that Roe v. Wade should be reversed, but the likelihood of that happening is not great. Even if it was reversed, he believes the legality of abortion should be for individual states to decide, and certainly not every state would actually ban abortion.

The Republicans face accusations of pointless fear-mongering of their own.