What Harry Potter Can Teach Us About the 2016 Election

During the 2016 election, a lot of people compared Donald Trump to Voldemort. It’s an easy comparison; a power hungry, evil man seeks to blame everything wrong in the world on marginalized groups. It makes sense. Even J.K. Rowling weighed in on the comparison tweeting:


After it was announced that Donald J. Trump would become the next President of the United States of America (even typing that makes me want to barf), I did what I always do. I clung to Harry Potter as a comfort and a hope. I even posted this picture no more than 12 hours after the results were announced:

Now that I’ve sat with the results for a few days, I have come to the realization that Donald Trump is not in fact Voldemort. Voldemort is the racist, sexist, homophobic, and ableist underbelly of our great nation. Voldemort is the collection of all of the absolute worst parts of our country.

So what does that make Donald Trump? Hear me out when I say that Donald Trump is in fact Pius Thicknesse. Thicknesse became Minister of Magic after the Ministry fell to Voldemort: killing Scrimgeour and ushering in a Death Eater reign of terror. It should be noted that while he served as Minister, Thicknesse was under the Imperius Curse. For those who don’t know, the Imperius Curse is one of the three Unforgivable Curses in the wizarding world. Casting the Imperius Curse on a person causes the caster to have complete control over the victim: physically and mentally. Only those with exceptional strength and will can resist it. In the book, Harry Potter is one of the only wizards we see resist it. So, I argue that Donald Trump is in fact Pius Thicknesse. He is puppet to all of the hate, racism, sexism etc (Voldemort). He gets the title of President (or Minister of Magic) to serve and perpetuate the ideas of Voldemort.

So, going down the line, what does that make Mike Pence? He is absolutely Dolores Umbridge. He is an evil toad hellbent on maintaining order under the pretense that it’s “for the greater good”. He serves at the right hand of the evil, furthering it’s agenda. Upon first glance, he seems like a reasonable, albeit, stuck up person. But give him a chance and his true sinister agenda will show. And the more you fight against it, the more furiously he clings to it.

So that brings us to Lucius Malfoy, or as we should know him in this post: Paul Ryan. Tiptoeing between outwardly supporting Voldemort and maintaining the facade of a reasonable asshole. Do not be fooled by Lucius Malfoy. He appeared to be chummy with Cornelius Fudge when he was Minister of Magic, but we know that all the while, he was merely canvassing the ministry for Voldemort.

John Kasich, Mitt Romney, and Jeb Bush are the Regulus Blacks of the world. They were in the thick of it for a long time but when push came to shove, they couldn’t do it. They couldn’t endorse or be a part of the evil. So they stepped away and fought as best as they could. You may have your problems with Regulus Black (he wasn’t as kind to Sirius as he could have been, he was a Death Eater) but at the end of the day, you have to respect his courage to recognize he was in a terrible situation and he did what he could to fight against it.

Chris Christie is Peter Pettigrew. Nothing else needs to be said about him.

So, enough about the bad guys. Let’s move onto the good, shall we? Obviously, Bernie Sanders is Dumbledore. Hated by the establishment, he always tried to do what he thought was best. Fighting for people who may not always have a champion. Disagreeing with Fudge on a number of things, but coming together when absolutely necessary. A devoted group of followers willing to support and follow him at every turn. However, Dumbledore was sacrificed. Good does not always triumph. But we can always hold hope and carry the ideals that Bernie/Albus left us with. Those we love never really leave us, do they?

It gets a little stickier comparing Hillary Clinton as McGonagall. Clinton and Sanders did not have the Dumbledore/McGonagall relationship by any means, but I do think Clinton has a number of similarities with McGongall. A tough badass who doesn’t take shit from anyone. A woman who may seem cold and distant to outsiders, but upon further inspection, is warm and kind. A woman who didn’t leave Hogwarts when it fell to the Death Eaters but instead stayed to fight and protect those who were threatened most by the regime. Remember when Trump called Clinton a “nasty woman” and kept interrupting her during the debates? Now remember Amycus Carrow spitting in McGonagall’s face? Gives you the same feeling, doesn’t it?

So now, here we are. At the Battle of Hogwarts. The bad guys have taken over and we need to fight. We need to take back what’s ours and what’s right. The Battle of Hogwarts wasn’t won by just Harry, Ron, and Hermione. It was won by the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore’s Army, Gryffindors, Ravenclaws, Hufflepuffs, and yes, evening some Slytherins, coming together to fight the good fight. Differences in house didn’t matter. There was a greater enemy that needed to be vanquished.

I see the people who voted for Trump as the Slytherin students at the Battle of Hogwarts. Trump just appointed a known white nationalist and anti-Semite as House Strategist. You now have a choice, like those students did. You can join the Death Eaters and further the hate and damage done to our country (Hogwarts). You could simply not participate and only look after your own self interests (the Malfoys). Or, you could recognize the error of your ways and ultimately join the fight for what is right and what is good. Horace Slughorn was a Slytherin professor who first taught Voldemort about Horcruxes. One could argue that he was instrumental in the second rise of Voldemort. However, after all was said and done, Horace realized the error of his actions. He felt such immense guilt over what he did that it tore him apart. Upon this realization, he did all he could to fight back against Voldemort; including leading some Slythering students to fight against Voldemort during the Battle of Hogwarts.

You voted for Trump. You had your reasons. But now, I implore you, realize the consequences of your actions. Realize the part you played in bringing the monster to the forefront. But I beg you, now do everything you can to stop it.

If you voted for McGonagall or Dumbledore and now aren’t sure what to do, I recommend supporting the Harrys, Rons, and Hermiones of the world. There’s no better comparison to Hermione Granger than Elizabeth Warren. Or Kamala Harris. I plan on doing everything I can to get a Hermione Granger in the White House. And I think it goes without saying that Joe Biden is absolutely Ron Weasley.

Remember when Harry and Hermione go back to Godric’s Hallow in The Deathly Hallows and Harry sees all the words of encouragement from strangers carved into the fence by his parents house? Be those strangers for the Harrys, Rons, and Hermiones. Show the world that we’re on the right side. Show the world that Voldemort will never win.

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3 Responses to What Harry Potter Can Teach Us About the 2016 Election

  1. Cathy Wagner says:

    Proud to be your cousin! This is a brilliant multi-facetted analogy composed exceptionally well! Love from Phillip Carlyle (Rees) Wagner, American/Canadian Citizen!

  2. DFLovett says:

    This is might kind of article! I’m also glad that I read Harry Potter this year or I wouldn’t have understood any of this. Good stuff!

  3. I love this post. Harry Potter cheers me up no matter what crazy shit’s going on in my life, and it’s more applicable than I thought to this election.

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