Opinion: Halloween and politics are a toxic mix

Refrain from mixing your political views with the celebration of this spooky holiday.


Krystin Langer, Columnist

Celebrating Halloween in college is a big change from the innocent trick-or-treating that most of us likely engaged in throughout our childhood. While many still wear celebratory costumes, the ensembles a majority of young adults wear are often R-rated and formed around the cultural trends at the time. Sometimes these costumes are inspired by movies or pop culture, and others are derived from the current political actors.

With the current tense political climate, it should be taken into consideration that maybe this holiday is not the best time to strike up a heated debate with Brad from Pi Kappa while hiding behind the façade of your President Trump mask. The mix of Halloween, young adults, and an exorbitant amount of alcohol is already a nefarious combination, even without the addition of political opinions.

In general, dressing up as any highly controversial politician is tasteless and quite honestly a recipe for disaster. No matter your political affiliation or your fiery passion to support it, there are surely better ways to promote your desired candidate than guzzling booze while dressed as a substandard version of them.

Although some may argue that political correctness is ruining the fun of Halloween (cue eye roll), keep in mind that many people purchased blatantly racist Barack Obama masks when the then-Illinois senator was running for president.

I promise it’s not that the population can’t laugh at themselves — it’s that your costume just isn’t funny. 

If you find yourself getting upset because people are offended by your Halloween costume, find something less offensive to wear. It’s really that simple. My fellow Daily Iowan columnist Peyton Downing wrote about how comedy isn’t dying, it’s just changing. As for Halloween costumes, I promise it’s not that the population can’t laugh at themselves — it’s that your costume just isn’t funny.

In addition to the common political costumes that are popular in stores, such as dressing up as Trump and Obama, it is also wise to avoid similarly controversial costumes. Don’t dress up in such costumes as immigrant detainees, and for the love of God, do not dress up as the Mexican border wall.

A good rule of thumb to follow this Halloween is if you have any doubts about the integrity of your costume, don’t wear it.

For those who want to be extra careful when choosing a costume for the holiday, CNN has an interactive search tool that allows you to check if your impending outfit is appropriate by prompting you to answer several questions.

In general, it takes much less effort to pick your favorite TV show character or movie star and mimic their look than it takes to dress to provoke a reaction from someone affiliated with the opposite political party.

On one hand, it is likely that one of the many other Halloween costume choices will be a more flattering option, and on the other hand you’ll avoid getting a fist to the face at Summit.

This Halloween, let’s celebrate like the young adults that we are and save the political debate for the Sunday morning scaries.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.