With Liberty, Justice, and Trick-or-Treats for All

I will be so glad when this election is over. I remember the previous election was pretty intense, but both of W’s runs for the White House were nothing compared to this crossroads we are fast approaching…and I’m ready for this one to be over.

Everything I hate about politics has been put on display this go-round. Discussions between candidates, supporters, and mutual friends that resemble Monty Python’s Argument Sketch; political talking heads who have all the answers (which is why they themselves don’t run for office); and the name-calling and mudslinging from concerned political citizens that seem to crawl out from under rocks the month before the election.

What I really hate, though, are idiots who think they are making a powerful statement, and wind up hurting people in the process.

Boo! Supporting Obama? No treats for you

Yes, registered voter Shirley Nagel decided to make her statement about how scary she found Obama by denying Halloween treats to children of Obama/Biden supporters.

As a geek, I really disappointed by this.

Halloween is the coolest geek holiday. Why do I consider it a geek holiday? Because you get to play with motion sensors, fake blood, black lights, homemade brains, and sound effects to make your house the spookiest, scariest, wackiest house on the block. As George said, “It’s just like Christmas…only with ghosts, goblins, spiders, and haunted houses.” To add to the geek factor of working with D.I.Y. I.L.M., you are encouraged to cosplay. The same people that snicker and sneer at cosplayers during con weekends are the same people who go to elaborate lengths to pull of either clever conceptual costumes or replications of their favorite television or motion picture icon. This is the geekiest of geeky holidays where everybody can be a kid again.

Halloween is not — repeat, NOT — about politics. Halloween (and I’m talking Halloween in pop culture, not the literal holiday. Props to my Wiccan followers out there…) is about indulging in your goofier side, and no one casts judgment. They get into the spirit of the holiday. I friggin’ love Halloween. Turning trick-or-treating into a political platform is just thirty-one flavors of wrong, on all levels of Metamor City.

On a smaller scale, I had to deal with this kind of idiocy on Halloween. Sonic Boom and I went to a house that had a “McCain-Palin” Jack-o-lantern. (They even got the star’s dimensions right. A lot of love and care went into carving that pumpkin.) I almost said, “Now that’s the scariest pumpkin I’ve seen all night!” but I didn’t. Why? This was Sonic Boom’s night, dressed in her unicorn with basket in hand. Halloween was (and is) for her, and not for me to get snarky about how extreme some people are concerning their presidential choices.

As a geek, yes, I’m very disappointed. It is as a parent where I’m really pissed at this nitwit, Nagel.

Provided you are not stumped by the questions and rhetoric of “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader”, Nagel, I’d just like to say to you as a parent: How dare you shun kids based on their parent’s voting choices! Halloween isn’t about you and your political affiliations It’s about the kids. The. KIDS!

I can only pray this idiot Nagel didn’t procreate. If she’s this way to the general public, what kind of ideals is she raising progeny by? Do you think a night at the Nagels would sound like this:

“Remember, my children, we live in a country where we are blessed with the freedom, but if people don’t think like you do, vote like you do, dress like you do, and pee like you do, then they’re freaks and you shouldn’t associate with them. Or their kids.”

Yeah, it might go something like that.

But wait, Tee, doesn’t she have the right to not give out her candy? (Thanks, @WilliamPall!) Of course. After all, Freedom of Choice is something we are blessed with in the United States. Sadly, much like another blessing — the First Amendment —  that freedom is easily prison-raped. Think about this scenario as a parent: Other kids are getting candy from this house. Your kid goes up and says “Trick or Treat!” The lady suddenly asks you “How are you voting this election?” You answer, and then she says to your kid “No treats for you. I now choose to keep my candy based on your parents’ political affiliations. Happy Halloween.” The child, lacking awareness or understanding of what just happened, looks up at you, tears welling up in the eyes, and asks “Other kids are going up there and getting treats. Why not me, dad?”

Turns out some kids did actually do this with their folks, and here is the final nail in Nagel’s coffin — her callous response to the press:

When asked about children who were turned away empty-handed and crying, she said: “Oh well. Everybody has a choice.” (from MSNBC.com)

Bitch, I sincerely hope there is a luxury suite in Hell reserved for you. Why? Because you turned a fun night for kids into a real-life horror show. You took out your frustrations and fears of a presidential race out on children who aren’t old enough to vote. And if you missed it earlier in this post — it’s not about you, it’s about the kids.

And if you stop to really think about it — what is the statement Shirley Nagel really made? She’s denying trick-or-treaters candy due to the kid’s parents political beliefs. Denied opportunity based on beliefs? Not very red, white, and blue, if you ask me. Sounds more akin to taking a constitution on The Constitution.

So please, registered voters in the United States — vote! Make the time tomorrow and vote. Instead of making statements around the water cooler, on Twitter, and during Halloween, go to where your voice will really sound its loudest: at the polls.


  1. It might have been her *right* to deny candy, but it was terribly meanspirited. Also could this count as ‘buying votes’?


  2. Bravo, Tee. Denying something to someone only because their parents have certain beliefs is inherently shortsighted. Let’s see how this works: I deny you candy because your parents are Democrats. Does that translate to German? I deny you your life/freedom because your parents were Jewish. How about a trip through history? I deny you your life because you are not, and will not, convert to Christianity. Same logic train, isn’t it?

    Again, bravo, Tee. I appreciate your time and effort. Thanks.


  3. As a child of parents that sounded like your hypothetical Nagel speech, I can only hope that you are wrong. Too many people in these Free States act like they can impose their values, mores, and choices on the rest of the world and thereby make Freedom in their own image.

    It took me years to break out of the Nagel-esque mold my own parents formed me into and develop the sight that allowed me to see how little Freedom that view actually left.

    Halloween is a holiday for candy and the upkeep of the family dentist, not a soapbox for mean people who need a social circle of people that don’t look like them. But striking fear in the hearts of small children is in keeping with the situation. Maybe we can cut her slack on that point and realize that us getting all lathered up over a situation like this and vilifying the woman for a personal choice makes us just about as closed minded and hateful as she is.

    And we don’t want that, now do we?


  4. I agree with you. Yes I pointed out on Twitter about it being her option to not give out treats, but if I personally would’ve done something likes this, it’d’ve been to deny candy to the kids of non-voters. But I still can’t see myself going that far. As you put it Tee. Halloween is for the Children.


  5. Halloween brings out the worst in some. The scariest part of this whole story is that this lady isn’t alone. Nor does she aid the cause of true Conservatism. Halloween is about the costumes, the candy, the spook houses. Politics shouldn’t be on display on that night for the same reason that teachers shouldn’t wear buttons in class. While in school, teachers are there for the kids; to influence the way the children think by instilling various concepts of our educational system. They make memories that last a life time just like Halloween does in the same token.

    Awesome points, Tee.


  6. This Nagel woman saddens me.

    How many years without affection did she suffer through to come to place where she finds joy and satisfaction denying children in an attempt to be right?

    Is this the result of personal connection to other human beings and fundamentalist religion?
    Having a voice but being heard?

    Years of domination and control from those entrusted with her emotional development?
    It seems so.

    When the only way that you can feel confident in your choices is to degrade the powerless tells more of her than anything else.

    I hope she finds a place where she finds love and acceptance.

    Or at the least a good shagging…


  7. Isn’t the whole door-to-door thing predicated on getting a treat or playing a trick? What say we all go soap her windows and toilet paper her trees?


  8. As much as I am loathe to do this, I am posting this mostly anonymously. I say mostly, because I didn’t hide my true email address from Tee. He knows who this is. I am hiding my name because I have a podcast, as much as it shouldn’t matter, what I am going to reveal about my voting this year would matter to some people, and I don’t want that to hurt the work my co-hosts have done.

    As someone with every intention tomorrow of going into the balloting box tomorrow and voting for the McCain-Palin ticket, this news article disgusted me.

    It’s enough that we have to walk around the political signs or knock on doors with them on just to trick-or-treat, but this act of wanton assholery is unforgivable and pathetic.

    This kind of treatment of children gives the political system and the election process an even worse name than it has by its very nature.

    The biggest question I had when I read the article for the first time was… “How did she know?”

    Seriously? Does she know everyone in her neighborhood, and monitor who has which signs? Does she have access to some sort of polling information? Does she ask?

    The more sinister and cynical part of my thinking was that she might live in a neighborhood similar to mine. A decent, middle-class neighborhood with safe streets that are well-lit, with little to no crime to speak of that happens to be close enough to the interstate so that people 15 miles down the road who live in a, for lack of a better word, ghetto bring their kids to our neighborhood to let their kids trick-or-treat some place safe. And I don’t blame them, and make sure that I have plenty enough candy not only for the kids in our neighborhood, but also the Halloween visitors.

    If she lived in a neighborhood like ours she might just automatically assume that just because a child would have been African-American that 1) they didn’t belong in her neighborhood, and 2) their parents were going to vote for Barrack Obama. In my neighborhood, neither of those assumptions would be valid. Period.

    I call out to the media, don’t just sensationalize this story. Tell us.

    How did she know?


  9. evidently, she had a sign out in the front of her house and if the child came to the door, she asked…


  10. I would love for this to be some kind of urban legend, ‘The Woman so blinded by fear she could only give candy to the children of the right.’ Unfortunately, the real world is often more ridiculous than anything we might make up. It’s often far more disappointing, too, but thankfully in more isolated ways.


  11. Wow, that’s just wrong on so many levels. Nagel’s behavior, not you Tee. Halloween is about the kids, the costume, the photos, and most of all the memories. The memories some of those kids will take away will be thoughts of how they were rejected because there is something “wrong” about the way their parents think. Now that is a scary Halloween story.

    I’m writing this on the day after the elections here in the US. I’m wondering, with some satisfaction, how she is feeling today. Many threatened and a few actually did move to Canada when Bush won. I wonder if there is any country that would take Ms. Nagel.


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