Editorial: Vote for best costume!

Is it a mere coincidence that Election Day is the first Tuesday after Halloween? For zombies and vampires invoke far less fear than the governmental dysfunction gripping Big Washington nowadays; and last year’s best-selling trick-or-treat masks were Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

This Tuesday (Nov. 5), though Rappahannock County voters won’t be helping to decide who inhabits the haunted house located at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., we will be voting on the next resident of the state’s monster mansion down in Richmond. Instead of trick-or-treaters donning masks that look like Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli, however, the gubernatorial candidates themselves should play dress up.

Some psychologists say that the Halloween costumes we choose are, like dreams, a kind of wish fulfillment. So it is that youngsters might want to be Superman or Wonder Woman, a Navy Seal or Lady Gaga. Masks of fantasies can reveal our real, innermost selves.

And so it is — though campaign flacks will deny it — that Republican gubernatorial nominee Cuccinelli is donning a white coat to play a physician — an ob-gyn to be precise. His Republican running mates Mark Obenshain (attorney general) and E.W. Jackson (lieutenant governor), also in white sterile jackets, are playing medical students in residency. Our Delegate Michael Webert is a male nurse. Instead of goodie bags, they’re all carrying the probes that would be inserted for the mandatory trans-vaginal ultrasounds they support.

McAuliffe doesn’t have to don an authority figure’s white jacket to reveal his true self. For his Halloween costume, he dresses just like he normally does. And that’s the really scary part: He comes across as a used car salesman. Though not as slick, his Democratic ticket — Mark Herring (attorney general) and Ralph Northam (lieutenant governor) — still talk a good game. The Democratic candidate for Rappahannock’s delegate, Colin Harris, plays the car dealership’s smart Ivy Leaguer doing the number-crunching necessary to get you into a vehicle today.

Messing with the traditional two-party system, Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Robert Sarvis plays a mean clown.

With all these competing costumes, no wonder the traditionally conservative Richmond Times-Dispatch refused to endorse anyone for governor — the first time in its rich journalistic history.

Walter Nicklin