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West Hartford Halloween display continues to make a political statement

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WEST HARTFORDHalloween is around the corner and a West Hartford homeowner isn’t wasting any time turning his front lawn into a huge holiday display that sends a political message.

Matt Warshauer started decorating his home for the holiday nearly two decades ago with just a witch in a tree. Around the start of the Iraq war, his displays turned from traditional, to political.

Warshauer is a History professor at Central Connecticut State University and a big fan of Halloween, so he marries together his two passions each year to send a strong political message.

“As a historian one of my goals is always to educate people and try and at least begin conversations,” Warshauer said.

This year’s display, “The Trumpian Ship of State,” is a giant pirate ship named, “Constitution,” run by a smoke breathing President Donald Trump.

“The day after the election last year I thought, the American ship of state has gone horribly off course,” he said. “It's a pirate ship because Trump and most of his cabinet and people surrounding him are pirates who are pillaging this country.”

The ship features fired FBI Director James Comey walking off a plank, assisted by Russian sailors wearing shirts Warshauer actually ordered from the country. Behind the skeleton version of Comey, in the display, is a DACA child waiting to be thrown off the ship.

There’s also a smaller boat leaving the ship with figure of Abraham Lincoln holding a sign, “What’s become of my party?”

“We have a president who cannot govern, who is just unbelievably dangerous to the U.S. and the world,” Warshauer said. “I’m more fearful and disheartened for the future of this country than I've ever been in my life and I’ve been studying political history for a long time.”

The year prior, his family commemorated the 50th anniversary of America's involvement in the Vietnam War.

Warshauer hopes his display sparks conversation.

“People aren’t talking at all, they’re just yelling at each other and they’re Facebooking, and they’re throwing stuff out here and there,” he said. “They’re not really engaging in the idea of facts that matter anymore.”

“If it gets people talking and more people are more educated about the ins and outs of what's going on in our system, I think it's a great thing,” passerby Bobby Holloway said.

Warshauer said the display was the most time consuming he’s done thus far. He had the help of 10 friends and family members to put it up, Saturday.

If you’d like to watch a time-lapse of the decorating process, click here.

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