I read somewhere that what makes vampires such terrifying archetypes is how they compound loss and betrayal. They murder someone you care for and then, a few nights hence, your loved one rises again. It’s a lie, though–the person you cared for is dead. The monster that remains just wears their face like a mask until it can kill you, or make you into something like it.

It’s a fitting analogy for our own age. Sure there’s still a resemblance, elections being the most obvious, but is the country you’re living in now still the place you grew up loving? Would the place you loved have so many people in it that vote themselves your paycheck? Would it spy on you constantly? Maybe what you loved got killed at some point, and you didn’t quite notice. Whether it was 2008, the Patriot Act’s passage, the New Deal or sometime else, the date of death doesn’t matter. We’ve got more immediate problems.

Like the vampire, the thing pretending to be what you loved will try to turn convert you where it can. "Here, sign-up for some gubmint sugar, be a dependent slug." "Hey, believe what we say–you don’t want people thinking you’re a bigot." And so on. Where it can’t, it’ll try to destroy you as evidenced by the disgusting Lois Lerner.

In some vampire movies–thinking of 80’s flicks like "Near Dark", "The Lost Boys" and "Fright Night"–vampirism can be reversed. This is how many a conservative views America. "Sure she’s been turned into this loathsome thing that’s trying to kill us, but we can totally change her back!!" By contrast, in the Stephen King masterpiece "Salem’s Lot" you can’t change the girl back. The only choices are running for your life, or sticking a stake in her heart and ending the lie.

It’s easy to see which scenario makes for the more realistic horror story. Easy to see, too, which more closely matches where we are in real life.

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