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    Spooked for Change at 1600 Transylvania Avenue

    By Andrea Shorter–

    Boo! As I write this, Halloween is upon us, and on the good citizen aka political junky calendar, that means we are but a few days before another election day on Tuesday, November 5. On the surface, this off-year election cycle appears rather hum-drum compared to the palpitating pace of the 2018 mid-term election that delivered the blue wave Democratic majority takeover of the House of Representatives, and restoration of the gavel to second time round Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

    The surreal yet very real drama unfolding around the impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump and his (not impeachment related) baffling call and turnabout to pull U.S. troops out of Syria overshadows nearly all other political goings on, including, in part, the Democratic Primary race, which is sucking up much of the air around much less dazzling local, and spots of congressional, elections on Tuesday’s off-year ballot.

    Still, turnout for local races for your local mayor, district attorney, sheriffs, public defender, city treasurer, city attorney, city council, county supervisor, and other seats throughout California’s municipalities remains a focal point for entrenched local political activists and concerned citizens.

    Children attending the annual White House Halloween celebration

    My personal endorsements for SF Mayor London Breed, Interim District Attorney Suzy Loftus, County Supervisor Vallie Brown, and Treasurer Jose Cisneros are widely known—not to mention consistent with my crack analyst and sister San Francisco Bay Times columnist Lou Fischer. As usual, Lou’s analysis is spot on, and if you are an SF voter, I highly recommend that you re-read her size-up of the provincial lay of the land in this paper’s previous issue. Of course, vote early if you can.

    Back to the nightmarish state of affairs known as Daylight vs. Donald Trump and his cast of goons and ghouls. (Read: What happened to you Rudy? You were bad enough, but this? Really?)

    A major part of Halloween fun is dressing up or masquerading in costume for one night, maybe as your favorite comic book or literary hero or in satirical drag of your favorite political foe. You likely are reading this after Halloween, having seen many venting adults donning Trump or Guiliani masks. Sadly, Halloween has often brought out misguided villains in guise to cast violence and terror onto unsuspecting, innocent partygoers and street revelers. For the LGBT community, we know all too well how a great party can be infiltrated and turned tragic by those who intend harm under the cover of darkness.

    Masking as Donald Trump for just a few hours on one evening, likely with cocktails and a few laughs with friends, is frightening enough, and perhaps not nearly as imaginative as one might think. The true horror is a self-proclaimed stable genius whose absurdities and vampirish ways literally suck the life out of everything touched by him.

    I guess it takes a stable genius not only to claim as a candidate for president that his popularity was so strong that he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue in broad daylight and not be held criminally responsible for assault, but also to—as a president under investigation towards impeachment—convince his attorneys to actually present that absurd argument in a court of law. The argument goes that he, as president, could shoot someone on the street, preferably on 5th Avenue in front of Trump Tower, for no apparent reason, and then not be charged, tried, or jailed because of some imaginary self-imposed diplomatic immunity. WTF? So, if that’s the case, does this mean that a sitting president has immunity to shoot people who didn’t vote for him, or lawmakers who don’t agree with his policies?

    Children at the White House Halloween celebration October 28, 2019

    Yeah, that’s where we are. Can you imagine a candidate Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, or Amy Klobacher making the same claim? There would be rioting in the streets.

    Trump is a vampire. He is obviously not the sparkly, glow-y, pretty Edward kind in Twilight. Edward and his kin could survive in daylight. He’s old school, straight up will die in the sunlight vampire. As more and more daylight is cast upon the rot of his self-interested dirty dealings as president through the exorcism aka the impeachment inquiry, the wooden stake is not far behind. Gruesome imagery for sure.

    Far more gruesome is the sprawling bloody mess he continues to make during his delusional trip through 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and the cleanup the next president will have to do to restore some semblance of decency and trust in the presidency with what’s left of tattered global alliances.

    I agree with Mayor Pete: it’s not about going back to normalcy. It’s about going back to a semblance of sanity. This Prince of Darkness must be dragged before the searing glow and glare of daylight. Pray tell before next Halloween, the Democratic nominee will hold the stakes in hand to rid us all of the Nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue.

    Andrea Shorter is a Commissioner and the former President of the historic San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women. She is a longtime advocate for criminal and juvenile justice reform, voter rights and marriage equality. A Co-Founder of the Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition, she was a 2009 David Bohnett LGBT Leadership Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.