Last night after his children went trick or treating, Donald Trump, Jr. tweeted:
I’m going to take half of Chloe’s candy tonight & give it to some kid who sat at home. It’s never to early to teach her about socialism. pic.twitter.com/3ie9C0jv2G
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) October 31, 2017
The problem with this statement as many Twitter users pointed out to the first son, is that Halloween is socialism at its finest.
Technically trick-or-treating is a socialist tradition. You go around to people’s homes, ask for free candy. BTW, love the idiotic responses
— Flash (@iveseenhotter) November 1, 2017
Well considering socialism is exactly how his kid got the candy in the first place, I’m not sure you understand how dumb this is.
— Sara (@EmeraldMews) November 1, 2017
You mean the candy that she got for free out of the goodness of strangers’ hearts? 😂😂😂
— The GLARE ™ (@TheGlare_TM) October 31, 2017
In fact, Halloween is the love child of two traditions from ancient Europe based on the distribution and exchange of money and food to the greater community. Basically, Halloween is all about socialism.
The first tradition is Samhain, a Gaelic celebration that observed the end of the harvest season by providing offerings of food and drink for the dead. The festivities included neighbors dressing up in costume and going door to door to recite verses in exchange for gifts of nuts, apples, or homemade food.
The second tradition is All Souls’ Day a Christian observance in which soulers consisting of children and the poor went door-to-door begging and singing for soul cakes. Soul cakes were made of allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and other sweet spices and topped with the mark of the cross. This early holiday was based on the Christian ideals of assisting the poor and needy.
These two traditions morphed and came to the U.S. with immigrants from Europe. In early America, as the popularity of the Halloween tradition spread it mixed with Native American culture. These first celebrations involved communal sharing and were public events held to celebrate the harvest where neighbors came together to share stories of the dead, tell each other’s fortunes as well as sing and dance.
The Halloween tradition continued in the United States with trick or treater’s gifted small tokens from neighbors such as nuts or coins well into the 1950s. It was not until the 1970s that candy companies became involved in Halloween, and treats moved away from givers sharing common household goods to pre-packaged candy. Still, the socialist nature of Halloween remains, and this year Americans gifted more than 600 million pounds of candy as a way to connect and share with their communities.
Perhaps, the best thing about the Halloween holiday is that it does not matter if you show up to a house as a ghost wearing an old bed sheet or in a five hundred dollar Game of Thrones costume; you both get the same amount of candy. As Americans, capitalism is our accepted economy and although not without flaws, it is the best solution at this time. However, socialism often gets a bad rap without looking at the positive programs such as Medicare, Social Security and yes, Halloween.
There are many reasons to love Halloween, but one of the strongest is that the holiday provides the opportunity to share. Most neighborhoods in the country are open to both privileged and underprivileged trick or treaters alike. In fact, one of the best aspects of Halloween is the incredible and free displays created by homeowners that are very often in the most established and wealthiest parts of town where regardless of class or wealth residents are invited to gather and appreciate the decorations.
The next time Donald Trump, Jr. takes a swipe at sharing, maybe he should consider the origins of Halloween and the sweet side of giving.