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?
One of the many challenging things about Donald Trump's administration is that Trump himself is so childish, so surreal, and so overwhelming that he is almost incompatible with generally accepted frameworks of reality.
Therefore, having a familiar framework like Harry Potter to help orchestrate one's understanding of modern politics and its main players is surprisingly helpful—if only to give us something to fall back on in these dark times.
Image via Quote Fancy
When many of us read Harry Potter as kids, we never imagined that we'd see an American president in our lifetimes who reminded us so profoundly of Lord Voldemort. Americans would never elect someone who would lean so far into overt evil and hatred, we thought.
Many of us also never imagined that we'd see the day when literal children and young people have provided the strongest defenses against forces of overwhelming evil. Though Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez takes the place of Harry Potter on this list, the real Harry Potters of this world are Greta Thunberg, Parkland's Emma Gonzalez, the young founders of the movement called Sunrise, and every person who has taken a stand when the people in power seemed powerless to resist. Though these people don't have magic spells at their disposal, they've used their voices to engage and motivate a resistance, and we need many more of them—and maybe even another generation of Harry Potter readers—for real change to happen.
The White House
1. Donald Trump = Voldemort
Image via Social News Daily
Donald Trump has been drawing comparisons to Voldemort ever since he rose to power. Voldemort built his reign on hatred of Mudbloods, which can easily be compared to how Trump built his campaign on a return to a "pure" America, based on an exclusion of anyone who's not white and especially anyone non-white who wasn't born in the U.S. The similarities don't end there: They both had wealthy fathers, they both possess incredibly large egos and tons of rabid followers, they're both prone to fits of rage, and they both might be destroyed by a glasses-sporting hero.
Many have written about the problems with comparing Trump to Voldemort—namely that Voldemort is fake and Trump is very real, and he's done severe harm to people across America. J. K. Rowling herself said that Trump is way worse than Voldemort. Still, remembering that Voldemort was a hollow man who was obsessed with his own image and literally split himself into pieces to continue his bloody rule might give us a window into who Trump is on the inside, as well as the kind of action that might be able to stop him.
2. Ivanka = Bellatrix Lestrange
They're both smart, conniving, powerful, and joined at the hip to their leader and/or father, so Ivanka is easily comparable to Bellatrix Lestrange. Bellatrix is one of the most powerful witches in the series, and Ivanka's political power and cultural sway cannot be understated and should not be underestimated.
3. Melania = Nagini
Melania's eerie, silent, heavily surveilled, and profoundly mysterious presence draws undeniable comparisons to Voldemort's resident serpent.
4. Eric Trump and Don Jr. = Crabbe and Goyle
Large adult sons.
Comparing these slack-jawed goons merits little extrapolation. They're nearly indistinguishable in terms of who they are as individuals, and they follow their leader around, frequently bungle interviews with the press and/or possess little to no magical talent, and thrive mostly on their connections.
5. Betsy DeVos = Delores Umbridge
Image via caffeinatedrage.com
People have been making this comparison since Betsy DeVos was appointed as Secretary of Education. Despite her few qualifications, DeVos was arbitrarily appointed, just like Umbridge was made Headmistress of Hogwarts while Dumbledore was away on one of his doomed quests. And of course, both have done extreme damage to the children they were appointed to educate and the school systems they were appointed to help.
6. Kellyanne Conway = Rita Skeeter
Remember Rita Skeeter, the incredibly annoying journalist who published fabricated stories in The Daily Prophet and ultimately wrote a book full of "alternative facts" about Dumbledore? She's obviously the fictional version of Kellyanne Conway, Trump's former campaign manager and current counselor who invented such events as the "Bowling Green Massacre." It also seems feasible that Kellyanne Conway might've done some time as an unregistered Animagus beetle.
7. Mike Pence = Lucius Malfoy
They're both evil second-in-commands with blindingly white hair, slimy, eerie demeanors, and enough hatred to support conversion therapy and/or to enslave and torture innocent house elves. Enough said.
8. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez = Harry Potter
Out of all the politicians who have stepped up to face off against Trump, only one has managed to mesmerize the nation with her power, energy, and signature circular glasses: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She's been labeled "the only politician with the star power to challenge President Donald Trump," after all. And her version of the Green New Deal is one of the only plans that has presented a strong enough challenge the true Voldemort: climate change (and the late capitalist system that fuels it).
Like Potter, Ocasio-Cortez has been accused of being motivated by a hunger for the spotlight. In the end, though, she seems uniquely poised to save us all from the (quite literal) end of the world.
9. Ilhan Omar = Hermione Granger
Hermione was constantly cursed at and attacked for being a Mudblood. Similarly, Ilhan Omar has been at the center of Trump and his followers' hateful rhetoric because she is an immigrant. It is definitely problematic and inaccurate to compare Rowling's Mudbloods to immigrants—but in a loose sense, both of these groups have been demonized and labeled as impure outsiders and threats to the established and original ruling class by extremist purebloods and/or conservatives, and it's hard not to see the parallels.
10. Rashida Tlaib = Ginny Weasley
If there was an honorary member of the trio, it would probably be Ginny (if not Neville). Since Ginny may be the most fearsome fighter around, she's a natural choice for Tlaib, a powerhouse in her own right.
11. Ayanna Pressley = Ron Weasley
Pressley is definitely part of the Squad, just like Ron was always part of Harry Potter's seminal trio. However, in the seventh book, Ron abandoned Harry and Hermione—just like Pressley recently went rogue among the Squad due to her comments about Israel, and some publications have argued that Pressley has always operated from "within the political establishment," whereas the other Squad members come from outside it and are more overtly radical. Similarly, Ron is a pureblood and grew up in a magical family, while Hermione and Harry both came from far outside Hogwarts and the world of magic. Though she's a key member of the Squad, if anyone would dip out halfway through a quest for Horcruxes/a bid to impeach Trump (if only to come back at a key moment to save everyone), it'd probably be Pressley.
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Bandcamp is waiving revenue shares today, and you should support POC artists.
Today is another Bandcamp Friday, meaning until midnight tonight, the platform will be waiving revenue shares and letting artists take 100 percent of profits.
Now more than ever, as Black Lives Matter protests occur around the world, it's extremely important to lift marginalized voices. The music industry has repeatedly erased Black voices throughout history, despite the fact that most mainstream genres were invented by Black people.
Now that Dumbledore and Grindelwald's "incredibly intense" romance is canon, what will JK Rowling make up next?
Every Potterhead has a favorite scene from their favorite book/movie series – the first time Harry Potter catches the Golden Snitch, the part where Dobby holds a sock, the torrid sexual affair between Dumbledore and Grindelwald.
Or wait, did that last one not happen in the books? Or the movies? Or even the Fantastic Beasts spin-off featuring Grindelwald? Was there seriously no mention of either of those characters' sexualities anywhere across the entire Harry Potter canon?
Once again, JK Rowling has offered unprompted insight into Dumbledore's sexuality, this time through comments on the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Blu-ray feature where Rowling assured everyone that "their relationship was incredibly intense. It was passionate, and it was a love relationship."
On the one hand, LGBTQ representation is excellent. On the other hand, if LGBTQ representation was actually important to JK Rowling, why were Dumbledore and Grindelwald's relationship/sexualities not mentioned in the spin-off, let alone the books or movies? JK Rowling limiting these character insights to tweets and Blu-ray commentary makes it seem like she wants a point for "representation" and "diversity" within her work without actually writing anything to make those characters representative. In other words, it's cowardly.
Fans are responding in turn, pointing out that this is in no way, shape, or form actual representation.
But others are just wondering what other sexual preferences JK Rowling might retroactively reveal about her beloved characters.
For instance, could Dumbledore's Patronus be changed to something more representative of his apparent newfound sexuality?
Yeah, sure why not. But what's Hagrid into?
Somehow that actually makes a lot of sense. How about Sirius?
Oh, no wonder he turns into a dog. More representation is still needed though.
JK Rowling needs to get on canonizing all of this ASAP.
Okay, we knew that one already. Personally, though, I just want to know more about Dobby's sex life.
Love it. Can't wait for JK Rowling to make all these official.
Until then, maybe she should start working on a new spin-off novel about the Dumbledore/Grindelwald relationship to, you know, utilize that content in a way that actually matters.
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