President Trump has, on numerous occasions, referred to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, and other government and journalistic investigations of him, as a “witch hunt.” Even as various former associates of the president have been arrested, convicted, and sentenced, Trump has stuck with the “witch hunt” line.
The “witch hunt” talking point has a long lineage in American history, with different politicians and other prominent people comparing their plight to that faced by the women in the Salem Witch Trials. A famed work of literature, Arthur Miller’s 1953 play The Crucible, drew a specific allegory between the witch trials and the Red Scare of the time.
But now, one unlikely constituency has raised loud objections to Trump’s “witch hunt” talk: actual witches. According to the Daily Beast, one group of witches believes this Trump talking point is “deeply problematic and, frankly, a bit hurtful.” The story goes on to say that Trump’s demonization of witches is in line with the president’s other attacks on marginalized people and groups.
Kitty Randall, a “witchcraft author” who goes by the name “Amber K,” told reporter Will Sommer that Trump’s invocation of “witch hunts” have left a “traumatic emotional imprint” on the witches of today.
“To have him compare his situation to the worst period in our history is just infuriating,” she said.
One group, Vox reported last year, has even taken to casting a spell on the president each month, although Randall told the website that most witches have chosen to not use magic against Trump.
Sommer is not the first reporter to explore this angle. Brian Hickey of Philly Voice, back in April, talked to three members of the Associated Daughters of Early American Witches (ADEAW) about their views on Trump’s witch hunt messaging. And they had a very different reaction.
“In all honesty, I’m not offended,” Michelle Lee told the site. “People are taking things too seriously nowadays.”
— Sam Stein (@samstein) December 17, 2018
“I’m not really offended by the term ‘witch hunt.’ I’m more offended that, when people think of Wicca, they think we’re sacrificing babies,” a man named High Priest Ogonslav Firewind (guardian of the Southern Watchtower), told Philly Voice. “We’re an earth-based religion, not all that different than Christianity. There’s no sacrificing of babies, yet that’s how we’re demonized.”
In one other intersection of witchcraft and politics, Republican Christine O’Donnell ran for the U.S. Senate in Delaware in 2010, when an old TV interview clip surfaced in which she admitted that she had “dabbled into witchcraft.” O’Donnell later made a commercial in which she declared “I’m not a witch. I’m you.” O’Donnell lost the election.