Comparing Republicans to Harry Potter characters is a daunting task — it's very tempting to lump them all in with Death Eaters, as unfair as that might be. No, we have to go beyond where the Republican Party as a whole stands on the issues and think about how, from Marco Rubio to Jeb Bush, Republicans might be analogous to Harry Potter characters. So if Hillary Clinton is Albus Dumbledore and Bernie Sanders is Remus Lupin, where does that leave our GOP candidates?
I do have a disclaimer, though: I wouldn't go so far as to compare any of these Republicans with Voldemort, no matter how... questionable some of their stances might be. As much as I would like to take them to task for their treatment of marginalized communities and their relationships with Wall Street, I don't think comparing them — not even Donald Trump, whose racially charged remarks about Mexican immigrants are (thankfully) causing many organizations to cut ties with him — to a loveless dictator whose "army" is comparable to the Ku Klux Klan is the way to go.
No, J.K. Rowling opened up a world of nuance in the Harry Potter universe, and I aim to stay consistent with that level of complexity. Now, without further ado, let's take a look at some magical comparisons.
Harry Potter character: Dolores Umbridge
This one is a no-brainer. Neither Trump nor Umbridge make any effort to hide their bigotry; Trump's racist comments about undocumented immigrants parallel Umbridge's treatment of Muggleborns. They make a public spectacle of their hateful attitudes and are pretty easy to make fun of. Additionally, they both come across as power-hungry figures who use fear-mongering as a tactic to gain influence in society.
Harry Potter character: Lucius Malfoy
This isn't a foolproof comparison, and by no means is Bush exactly like Malfoy, but when it comes down to family ties, there is a lot to be said for this connection. Like Malfoy, Bush comes from an influential background, and he is often defined by his family's actions. However, the fact that it's difficult to separate him from his brother and father's decisions while president does not mean that Bush doesn't have his own agency, or that he doesn't fiercely defend and agree with his family — because both of these things are true. Both Bush and Malfoy have families with political legacies, and they're not reluctant to boast about them or use them to get what they want.
Harry Potter character: Yaxley
Rubio's consistent refusal to recognize that human activity contributes to climate change reminds me of how Yaxley thinks his raining ceiling is somehow more important than the unfair trial of Reginald Cattermole's wife in Deathly Hallows. It's all a question of priorities — and neither of these men have theirs straight. Rubio thinks that "radical Islamist terrorists" should be treated as the worst threat facing America today, which is pretty much how Yaxley talks about Muggleborns — not to say that those groups are comparable, but it demonstrates how both of them refuse to recognize internally perpetuated violence; instead, they seem to enjoy blaming most of society's problems on everyone but themselves and the groups with which they affiliate.
Harry Potter character: Gellert Grindelwald
"For the greater good" seems to be a phrase that applies to both Fiorina's and Grindelwald's methods. Both of them are extremely ambitious, and worked their way to notoriety by making decisions at the expense of other people. Grindelwald sought the Deathly Hallows and wanted to put Muggles in their "rightful place," and while I don't believe that the merger between HP and Compaq that Fiorina oversaw — which reportedly led to approximately 30,000 people being laid off — is on the same level as the subjugation of an entire population, it is interesting to examine how both of their ambitions and attempts to gain influence resulted in their downfall as leaders.
Fiorina may be running for president now, but her business decisions left a permanent stain on her political track record. When we see Grindelwald at the end of the Harry Potter series, we see him in a prison cell, with nothing left to give except a crucial piece of information — no longer the great and powerful wizard that he once was, but still an essential element of the plot. Every coin has two sides — Grindelwald and Dumbledore shared the responsibility for Dumbledore's sister's death, as well as their desire to succeed "for the greater good." Fiorina alone is not responsible for the countless layoffs that occurred as a result of her merger, but she shares in that responsibility, and she won't be able to return to that level of power again.
Harry Potter character: Cornelius Fudge
Let's just say it — Jindal is misguided. Fudge and Jindal both want to satisfy everyone, but that usually means just trying to suck up to people in positions of influence. For Fudge, this means associating with Lucius Malfoy — because Malfoy is as wealthy as he is powerful — and other "former" Death Eaters. For Jindal, this means assimilating into whiteness and distancing himself from his own South Asian background in the political sphere by using racially coded language to talk about immigration, avoiding his birth name, and converting to Christianity. The best of intentions can pave a road toward the denial of structural oppression, which is evident in the way that Fudge insists for the longest time that Voldemort hasn't returned and in the way that Jindal conveniently decides racism isn't a thing.
Harry Potter character: Horace Slughorn
One of the greatest things about the Harry Potter series is that hardly anyone is completely good or completely evil, and most characters are written with an incredible degree of nuance. This is particularly true of Slughorn — a Slytherin through and through, Slughorn still manages to get along with the others Heads of Houses, and has worked with students from all houses because they have the potential to be influential (and not just because they're Purebloods). This is reminiscent of how Graham is willing to be bipartisan by working with Democrats on issues like climate change and immigration reform. His friendship with Joe Biden, which demonstrates a mutual respect on a personal level across party lines, is somewhat similar to how Slughorn interacts with Albus Dumbledore (though it's unlikely that Biden is trying to persuade Graham to divulge his knowledge of Horcruxes, but hey — anything could happen). Both pairs might disagree on a lot of things, but they have some core values in common that enable them to stick together.
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