Was Dracula a Democrat or a Republican?
During the spring of 1692, a small group of girls in Massachusetts township called Salem convinced their parents and village leaders that they were possessed by the Devil. But as ridiculous as the claim of demonic possession may sound, the madness metastasized as the girls identified women of the village who they claimed practiced witchcraft. Like an airborne virus, witchcraft hysteria spread across what we know today as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Tragically, Bridget Bishop, the first woman to go to trial was hanged by the fall of 1692. The number of accused witchcraft practitioners had grown to more than 100, including men. There were so many accusations, no one knew which witch was which. The greatest danger from monster making is that the greater the monster, like Mary Shelly’s Dr. Frankenstein, the more the creator becomes a victim of his/her creation. Many of those who created the witchcraft hysteria in Salem became humiliated targets of the judicial inquiry they thoughtlessly set in motion.
For more than a decade and a half, the two political parties have demonized each other in rather successful attempts to portray the “other side” as witches and warlocks – to be hated and feared. Perhaps we should be a bit more careful in our monsterizing the other side of the aisle, lest we come to realize that we are empowering Van Helsing voters, whose obsession is to eliminate all monsters. Abraham Van Helsing hated monsters, and he didn’t bother to ask Dracula whether he was a Democrat or a Republican, he just drove a stake into his heart.