Halloween shark attacks

Maybe it’s fitting that election day always falls a week after Halloween. Tricks and treats are the peas and carrots of the political process, and that’s just the obvious fact.

There’s a lot more to be told about our state by what we’re afraid of more than what we aspire to, so if ever there was a time to plunge the depths of our souls, the season of Colorado’s first snow and the Rockies’ disappointment is as good at time as there could be.

Halloween represents the witching hours before a holy occurrence, like, say an election. See, there used to be a holiday we’ve lost called All Saints Day on Nov. 1 and All Souls Day on Nov. 2, two of the biggest feasts of the year to honor loved ones who have gone before.

The eve of those hallowed occasions, All Hallows' Eve, was the last opportunity for the less holy to romp about.

“They were the enemies of all good, the ministers of Satan,” the Littleton Independent reported on Oct. 29, 1920.  “They could take hideous forms and make themselves visible to man.”  That's how I feel when a petition-circulator knocks on my door on Saturday morning.

Gov. Jared Polis prefers his Halloween glass half full. He said on Facebook Oct. 10 that Colorado has no recorded shark attacks — like every other landlocked state — posting, “Colorado is tied for (the) best state to avoid shark attacks!”

The security company ADT does an annual report on the most searched terms related to fear from each state.

Google trends the past year showed that in Wyoming, a lot of people fear clowns. In Colorado we elect them to Congress.

New Mexicans fear holes, which is odd as most of them are.

In 2017, Colorado’s biggest phobia was xenophobia, the fear of the unknown, namely unknowns from other countries.  New Mexico feared holes back then, too, and it appears the Cowboy State to the north has been hung up on clowns for sometime.

Coloradans’ collective search history the last year reveals our deepest, darkest fear is failure.

I have a hard time buying that Coloradans fear failure. The Colorado Rockies finished 32.5 games back in the National League West. That’s a lot of failure.

Coloradans have never been afraid of failure. Do you think Rufus T. Owens was afraid of failure when he launched the submarine he built in a lake outside Central City  in 1898?

Either way, the sub sank and didn't come up again until it was raised by the people of the town on Jan. 28, 1944.

Central City schools let out for the day and the high school band played "Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean'' as the Mountain Nautilus rose from its freshwater tomb. It resides in the Gilpin County Museum as a monument to Colorado ideas that didn’t pan out.

Fear failure? Colorado chugs it like craft brew.

Our state's loyal Republican voters sneer at failure. In a small handful of years, they’ve lost all the state executive offices, both chambers of the General Assembly, a U.S. Senate seat, a House seat, the White House and both chambers of Congress.

What are Colorado Democrats afraid of? How about Joe Biden’s inflation and our shared national crime problems that are improved by politics? Other than through brute majority force, there's little chance Democrats can make substantive change on crime because there’s no room negotiations in a polarized statehouse if crime, policing and punishment are existential politics on both sides.

Here’s another thing: complacency. The winds of fortune are at Democrats’ back in Colorado, where Trump has proven in two elections he’s very unpopular and there are no signs he was going away. Shoot, before the 2016 election, Colorado’s establishment Republicans were afraid of Trump.

He lambasted the state party after he didn’t receive a single one of Colorado’s 34 elected delegates to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. They all went to Ted Cruz, the only candidate to speak at the convention in Colorado Springs.

Trump alleged the vote was rigged and his delegates were stolen and he fired off an op-ed about Colorado GOP to The Wall Street Journal, because Colorado chose its delegates at the state party convention rather than in a statewide vote of the people. 

“Responsible leaders should be shocked by the idea that party officials can simply cancel elections in America if they don’t like what the voters may decide,” Trump charged.

“The only antidote to decades of ruinous rule by a small handful of elites is a bold infusion of popular will. On every major issue affecting this country, the people are right and the governing elite are wrong. The elites are wrong on taxes, on the size of government, on trade, on immigration, on foreign policy.

“Why should we trust the people who have made every wrong decision to substitute their will for America’s will in this presidential election?”

At the convention, most of the Colorado delegation walked out in protest of Trump’s nomination. You won’t find any Republican walkers this Halloween.

Meanwhile, costume retailers told The Hill that Trump getups are gone, as in no longer sellers.

People maybe are tired of being scared by politics, which is probably why nobody ever gets my Lady Bird Johnson costume.

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