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Fight the Fear

She’s baaackkk! The Witch has assumed her position on the front porch, as is her annual tradition. She’s been preparing for the trick-or-treaters who will dare to make the trek past the lighted torches and up to the darkened house for a bit of candy. But this Halloween, as much as she hates to admit it, it’s The Witch who’s scared.

Frankly, she’s worried about our country. You see, at several hundred years old (The Witch refuses to share her actual age), she’s seen this movie before and she knows how it ends. She’s seen firsthand what happens when people reject truth and embrace lies. When they blindly follow leaders who are quick to blame others rather than work to fix problems. Leaders who put power ahead of people; who lie and cheat, who refuse to accept when they lose, who do whatever it takes to get what they want and keep what they have.

She was there at the birth of the U.S., and she was excited to see if this new idea—a democracy created by and for its citizens—would take hold. Some of her friends were skeptical. Dracula, for instance, was especially dubious.

“A democracy?” he scoffed during the post-Halloween Gathering of the Ghouls. “And what’s with this Jefferson guy, spouting off about people having fundamental rights? What the hell is liberty, free speech, freedom of religion, due process of law and freedom of assembly, anyway? Sounds like a lot of rubbish to me. Kings know what’s best for their subjects. Peasants are too stupid to figure things out for themselves.”

The Witch took him to task. “Vlad, that’s exactly what I’d expect to hear from someone who ruled as a blood-thirsty monarch,” she told him. “Listen, I’m still pissed off about what happened at Salem. But the justice system they’ve created actually did figure it out, even if it took far too long. So I’m willing to wait and see what happens with this democracy thing. Besides, monarchies are so yesterday.”

So The Witch watched as the U.S. grew. She celebrated its successes and mourned its challenges. As the years passed, she saw that a democracy—where all citizens are created equal and where no person, no matter how powerful or rich, is above the law—is still better than any other system of government. Especially fascism, which puts nation, and often race, above the individual, and where a dictator rules over all, rather than having leaders who serve the people who elected them. The Witch is worried that this is where the U.S. is headed—toward a charismatic leader doing whatever he pleases and saying what people who are hurting want to hear. Toward a party that kowtows to him and looks the other way when he thumbs his nose at the rule of law. A party that uses fear and disinformation to scare people into putting and keeping them in power. Where people—busy, confused, disillusioned and scared—believe what they’re being told, and vote accordingly.

The Witch hopes people do their homework and think for themselves rather than relying on highly paid television personalities who tell them what to think. She hopes the people remember the amazing foundation upon which this country was built and realize just how far it has come in proving to the rest of the world that the aspirational idea of democracy can be achieved. An innovative system of government where people, all people, regardless of their gender or color or the weight of their wallets, have foundational rights. Where their leaders serve the people, and not the other way around. She believes these ideas are worth fighting for. Are worth voting for. And she hopes you do, too.

Yes, The Witch is well aware that U.S. has its share of problems. She’s especially concerned about the rights of women being taken away, recalling once again what those in power did to the women in Salem in the name of religion, when it was really all about power. Even so, she’s seen that when the people of this country, regardless of their political party, actually work together, they can overcome the challenges they face and achieve great things.

The Witch has come to love this country as much as she loves Halloween. She wants this great experiment in democracy to thrive. And she hopes you do, too. Not in some glorified and mythical version of its past. But with a shared vision of a better future for all.

Photo by Gerre “Igor” Jarecki


  1. Brilliant

  2. “Where their leaders serve the people, and not the other way around. “. Thanks 🧙‍♀️

  3. Love it Jill. Democracy if so worth it!

  4. “The Witch” willing to run in the next election? She seems to know how democracy works, even having experienced Salem. Perfectly spoooooky!

    • The Witch believes her ability to cast spells would be comprised and misunderstood if she were to be in a public position of influence. Better she continue to try and work her magic in the dark. But she thanks you for your support.

  5. Ok, Jill, this is brilliant. I want this article publish in a major media outlet. Unfortunately, if the elections turn the majority back to the Republicans, next years Halloween will be even more dire. Thank you for sharing your gift of writing.

    • The Witch thanks you very much, and hopes, like you, for a happy ending to this horror show.

  6. All of the above, and your sign is great- I hope it stops many many many in their tracks, Jill!

    • The Witch concurs. And if it doesn’t stop them in their tracks, she’s considering breaking out her magic wand. Thanks, as always, for reading and commenting Christy!

  7. Let’s hope folks have their thing caps on for Tuesday…

    Nice photo Igor!!

    • Igor says thanks. She’s thinking of going pro–with the photography, that is. She’s already a professional at scaring small children. Everyone is good at something.

  8. Another excellent article Jill! Love your sign and photo too 🙂

    • Thanks Jude! That photo is me without my morning coffee ☺️

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