Harry Potter Characters Paired With Presidential Election Candidates
I'll go ahead and say that this article is not meant to be an endorsement of one candidate over another. (Although, I'm certainly not endorsing Trump-demort, and I think it's pretty obvious that I'm liberal.) I think the great thing about the Harry Potter books is that, like many of the candidates, each character exists as a three-dimensional human, each with as many failures as successes. Even Dumbledore, the champion of the fight for the light, is shown to have his flaws. As Sirius says so astutely, "The world isn't split into good people and Death Eaters." So, when comparing these candidates, I tried to consider their character traits in comparison to those of the Harry Potter characters, separate from my personal opinions about their viability for president.
So, what's the point? (Other than the fact that I'm having a ton of fun writing this.) Literature allows us to explore diverse perspectives. It allows us to compartmentalize ourselves and then return; to find meaning in one place, and apply the lesson in another. It's important to apply the lessons we've learned as readers to how we evaluate the political field.
And Harry Potter is all about choice. Harry learns better than anyone that your choices have powerful consequences. In an election as radical and polarized as this, those consequences are truly dangerous. It isn't about the fight you had on Facebook with your crazy uncle, or the pressure from your friends to vote the way they do, or the humor in some of this election's antics. When we go to the voting booth this year, as Dumbledore would tell you, we must make the decision between "what is right and what is easy."
Hillary Clinton: Professor McGonagall
First of all, talk about strong women; these two have each spent years in a field dominated by men. Veterans of their own profession, they've each seen it all. And while people may complain about/to them, they both firmly plunge ahead and take charge. And the raging debate about how Hillary's policies have changed over the years? Well, that fits in perfectly for a Transfiguration professor.
Bernie Sanders: Neville Longbottom
The grassroots campaign of the entire Harry Potter series; Neville, like Sanders, had a humble start and rose to become a champion, heralding the fight for good and raging against the Death Eater establishment. Though both may seem a little doofy sometimes, neither is afraid to stand up for what they believe is right. Plus, just as Harry and Neville are each viable to be The Chosen One, so are Sanders and Clinton. And, just as Voldemort chose Harry over Neville as the threat, the Republicans selected Clinton over Sanders.
Donald Trump: Voldemort
This one is so obvious that JKR said it herself. Just like Voldemort, Trump is so power-hungry that he's igniting racism, sexism, and hatred to rally followers. Both of these dark lords feed off chaos, and both think they're invincible. In the same way that Voldemort places security in his Horcruxes, Trump thinks that his money and fame can protect him from anything. And at this point, who really believes that Trump hasn't split his soul?
Ted Cruz: Lucius Malfoy
Though seemingly not as powerful as Voldemort, Cruz and Malfoy are both seething and dangerous in their own way. These two are both tied into the system, Lucius a key player in the Ministry and on the Hogwarts board of governors, Cruz a long-time Congressman. Even though they're both radicals, somehow they have managed to remain firmly rooted in the workings of society, staying just within the line of what is tolerable behavior. Just as Cruz manically threatens to bomb the Middle East, Lucius is constantly making threats against Muggleborns. And in line with rumors about Cruz's dislikability, even among his Republican peers, nobody really likes being around Lucius, and most Death Eaters are a little afraid of him.
Marco Rubio: Gilderoy Lockhart
I just had to Google Rubio's platform, because he is like the cardboard cut-out for the Republican Party. Like Lockhart, he's got that well-groomed, shiny smile thing going for him, but behind the charm, there's not much going on there. Though he hasn't blatantly stolen ideas like Lockhart does, he is far from being a beacon of originality, staying consistently within the party line for his entire career.
John Kasich: Nearly Headless Nick
Right now, Kasich is hanging on by a thread, much like the head of our favorite Gryffindor ghost. Nick might be a little more radical than Kasich (he is after all, very dramatic, whereas Kasich is probably the least dramatic of the Republican candidates). But both are quite moderate, Nick befriending all the ghosts, regardless of House affiliation, and Kasich's policies some of the most bi-partisan in the field.