I say yes.
Scary clowns only started popping up en masse after the Republican convention in August, and now they’ve freaked people out in 36 states. Psychologists say it’s all symptomatic of some sort of mass hysteria. But mass hysteria events have to be provoked by something — or someone.
That provocation has got to be Trump.
It sure wouldn’t be the first time a culture’s psychic fears created incidents that provoke real fears.
Take the witch trials of the 17th century. They are often said to be related to the widespread Protestant-Catholic strife that pervaded Europe.
UFO sightings often correspond to larger political dramas, academics have long pointed out.
Movies, historically, carry themes that reflect a culture’s worst fears. “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” famously played off the country’s fears of mindless communism back in 1956.
“The Walking Dead” taps into our collective fears about our fellow citizens, uncontrollable brutes who won’t respond to reason. The collective fear in this series seems to have moved on from the generalized Catholic guilt of the original George Romero films, who produced all of the “Night of the Living Dead” movies.
“They Live” notoriously tapped into Reagan/Bush era fears of being controlled by an elite who wouldn’t respond to the pain of the everyman because this elite was actually composed of extraterrestrials and their human acolytes.
The list of movies, books, plays and paintings commenting in one way or another on society’s fears is endless. But you don’t have to go even that far to see what’s going on here.
Check out this compilation video of scary clown sightings from the social nets.
In terms of light-hearted clowns, or more lighted-hearted clowns than Pennywise, Trump has been compared side-to-side with fictitious Pres. Dwayne Camacho of the 2006 film “Idiocracy.”
My prediction is that the scary clowns will continue to grow scarier and scarier until Nov. 8, election day.
That’s more than a full week after Halloween, making the situation all the more frightening, if you ask me.
Afraid? You should be. It’s possible we’ll all be stuck with the creepiest of creepy clowns after the election.
Or maybe a huge segment of America just likes things that way.
Cover image and inset image of Donald Trump as a creepy clown: Pennywise the Dancing Clown: Wikimedia Commons, All Rights Reserved.