Politicians As Harry Potter Characters: The Definitive List

Are we reverting back to beloved childhood books to deal with a disturbing moment in American history? Or is there something more profound at work?

2020 Presidential Candidates

12. Bernie Sanders = Dumbledore

bernie sanders is dumbledore

Wizened, passionate, beloved, and powerful: those words might describe Bernie Sanders or Albus Dumbledore, both of whom came very close to beating Trump/Voldemort before being unfortunately ousted in 2016 and/or in battle with Severus Snape.

Sanders was arguably the reason why policies like Medicare for All and free college have made it to the fore in the 2020 Democratic campaign; and similarly, Dumbledore paved the way for Harry's success in the series.

13. Elizabeth Warren = Minerva McGonagall

Elizabeth Warren is brilliant, professorial, and extremely tough, just like Minerva McGonagall. At the second Democratic debate, she and Sanders looked just like McGonagall and Dumbledore. Like McGonagall, Warren seems poised to spin a disastrous world into shape with a flick of her wand, a dash of Democratic socialism, and a whole lot of plans.

14. Pete Buttegieg = Remus Lupin

They're both eloquent, composed, and at least a little bit queer. Lupin's name has been linked to queerness among Harry Potter fans since 1998, and he was responsible for some of the best lessons of the Harry Potter series. Buttegieg has made waves for his well-spoken nature and his benevolent aura, as well as for being one of the first openly gay major party candidates. In the end, all that matters is they both have the same kindly smile, slightly scruffy personage, and twinkle in their eye.

15. Marianne Williamson = Professor Trelawney

This comparison also speaks for itself. Both Trelawney and Williamson are witchy, off-kilter figures, outlandish even within magical or far-left circles, and widely written off as frauds. Though they both might be rejects in the wider magical/political establishments, that doesn't mean that they don't possess reservoirs of wisdom that include the ability to divine the future and/or to defeat the dark psychic sources of America's problems with love.

16. Joe Biden = Draco Malfoy

This one might be a reach, but bear with us. These two have mostly gotten by due to their connections, and they've been pushed into certain positions due to preexisting expectations, but really, they just keep showing how truly vulnerable and misguided they are. Biden's performance in the Democratic debates was almost as sad as Draco's bathroom scene in The Half-Blood Prince, and he keeps digging himself into a deeper hole with more and more inept comments.

17. Beto O'Rourke = Gilderoy Lockhart

Like the celebrity author Lockhart, Beto launched his career by riding on his (questionably) good looks and charisma. But almost anybody looks like a star beside Ted Cruz, and O'Rourke has struggled to fight the monsters he so proudly promised to defeat early in the race, just as Lockhart was useless when put to the test against the Basilisk in The Chamber of Secrets.

18. Kamala Harris = Severus Snape

As a former prosecutor with a fairly nasty record of putting people in prison, Kamala Harris seems almost as mean and domineering as Snape always was to his students. However, just like Snape was always putting Draco in his place (and was working for the good side the whole time), Kamala took down Biden in both debates, and ultimately her loyalties are clearly dedicated to the people, as unpleasant as her history of conduct might be.

20. Jay Inslee = Dobby

Jay Inslee and Dobby might be some of the purest characters ever to exist. Inslee just wants to stop climate change for the sake of all of our futures, and Dobby just wanted to be a free house-elf. They both might have funny-looking, toothy smiles, but ultimately they just want the best for us, and we can't help but want the best for them.

Bonus

19. Robert Mueller = Argus Filch

Robert Mueller was supposed to have magic powers, or at least Sherlock Holmes-level investigative skills, but eventually he revealed himself to be a squib, unable to muster any of the sizable evidence that Russia did interfere with the 2016 election into even the paltriest threat to Trump's presidency.

20. Dan Crenshaw = Mad-Eye Moody

No reason other than the eye thing.

21. Greta Thunberg = Hedwig

Though not a politician, the young Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg is responsible for disseminating vital messages all over the world, and she's quickly becoming an important, omnipresent figure. She recently appeared alongside Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the cover of The Guardian, and the two looked almost as natural together as Potter and his signature owl.

22. Barack and Michelle Obama = James and Lily Potter

Who doesn't miss the Obamas at least a little, considering what we have to contend with now? Sometimes looking back on the Obama years—especially if they coincide with your childhood—can feel like looking at nostalgic old photos, wondering how it all went so wrong. The finer details of this comparison obviously do not entirely align, but still, there's also the fact that Obama's policies were far from perfect—and James wasn't perfect either, as Harry eventually found out. In general, there is a strong similarity between the idyllic feelings that these couples evoke, and it's not so hard to imagine the Obamas appearing in the Mirror of Erised.

It's easy to write off the power of fantasy, myths, and stories. On the other hand, stories have been used since the beginning of time to communicate important lessons and to instill morals and faiths into listeners. The Bible was a story, after all, and the Constitution told one, too—about an America that doesn't exist today and perhaps never did.

Despite the glitchiness of comparing Harry Potter to modern politics, or to any sort of sacred or political text, anyone who loved it as a child knows that the series contains a great deal of wisdom, and possibly even some magic, if only in the form of hope and community it provided to so many. We'll all need some of that in the years to come.

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