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The truly scary holiday on our calendars

Voters cast their ballots at Tthe Wheatley School

Voters cast their ballots at Tthe Wheatley School in Old Westbury on election day Nov. 8, 2016. Credit: Newsday / Steve Pfost

Can you feel the building excitement mixed with dread? Boo! The scariest day of the year is fast approaching. People put on costumes and masks, and we wonder who they really are underneath.

Halloween? No, I’m talking about Election Day!

While Halloween will deliver ghouls, goblins and nasty pranks next week, it doesn’t hold a candle to what could happen six days later. Yes, if you don’t give some twisted treat-or-treaters what they want, they may egg your house or even leave flaming dog poop on your doorstep. But that pales compared with the potential horror show to follow if many choose to stay home on Nov. 6. Republicans will continue to own all three branches of government, and there will be absolutely no check on our president’s worst impulses. Boo!

Trick or treat? What do you fear most? Do Halloween slasher films make you tremble? Or perhaps slashing Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits to pay for tax cuts for the ultrarich?

Treat or trick? Republican candidates nationwide are running ads saying they would work hard to safeguard Americans with pre-existing health issues. But Democrats claim it’s a nasty trick, that many running the ads are the same politicians who voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which protects those with such conditions, offering only vague substitute plans. Boo!

Many of the best-selling Halloween costumes this year reflect the times. Donald Trump hair and masks, purchased by those who both love and hate him. Girl power costumes, “Black Panther” costumes, even Brett Kavanaugh masks. Hmm, who is that meant to scare?

The irony is thick on Halloween: Those in grotesque masks mocking the president also wearing MAGA hats — which only go to benefit Trump’s re-election campaign. Young women wearing “girl power” outfits who never bothered to register to vote.

Both these holidays can indeed be frightening. Boo, I’m a monster! Give me treats or face dire consequences! Boo, I’m a politician! Entrust me with your money, and I’ll make sure it ends up in the right hands: mine and my benefactors!

So absolutely, go out in your cool costume on Halloween and party. But if you don’t vote six days later, don’t whine when the trick is on you. Boo!

Playwright Mike Vogel blogs at newyorkgritty.net.

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