By Michelle McLoughlin
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – A Styrofoam model of a hot air-blowing Donald Trump and another of a toothy Hillary Clinton riding the Democratic Party’s donkey mascot are among the skeletons and zombies in a Halloween display that has become an attraction and is stopping traffic in a Connecticut town.
With a little more than a month to go before the U.S. elections on Nov. 8, history professor Matt Warshauer of West Hartford is using his annual Halloween extravaganza to make a political statement.
Warshauer built an 8-foot-high (2.4-meter-high) cardboard version of Republican presidential candidate Trump’s proposed U.S.-Mexican border wall, complete with models of armed guards, in front of his house.
“It’s a crazy presidential election where it seems politics are out of control,” said Warshauer, who teaches at Central Connecticut State University. “I am making a statement about both parties, the Republican and the Democratic party, but my primary concern is Donald Trump as a president.”
Warshauer erected the display on Saturday but said on Tuesday that he had been planning it for months.
One of the skeletons holds a sign saying, “We were all immigrants,” while another reads, “We are not criminals,” a reference to Trump’s proposals to curb illegal immigration.
U.S. presidential campaigns have often accented the activities leading up to and on Halloween on Oct. 31, with sales of rubber masks of the candidates or holiday parades featuring election-themed floats. And this year is no exception.
Warshauer, who has built Halloween displays for more than a decade, includes an annual political message, not just for the presidential contests that fall every four years.
Last year, a model of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, thatched huts and a replica of a downed helicopter marked the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. Earlier exhibits included one with a cardboard coliseum and Roman soldiers and another with a Civil War theme.
“I hope people take it in the spirit of Halloween, that I am having a little fun and making a political statement,” Warshauer said of this year’s offering.