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Please get Harry Potter out of U.S. politics

May 18, 2017 • Editorial

Can we stop with all of the Harry Potter metaphors in politics?
There are grown adults comparing our convoluted, complicated political environment to the fictional world of Harry Potter and it’s one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen. We’ve already got people shouting from the top of their lungs about how Trump is “literally Hitler,” but now he’s “literally Voldemort” as well.
This happened during last year’s election, but exploded the day after Trump’s victory. Many were frustrated with the results and millennials took to Twitter as an outlet to freak out about the election of “The Dark Lord.”
Some wanted to be the resistance saying things like “Dumbledore’s Army: now recruiting,” or others in a state of mania repetitively typed “Even Hogwarts fell to Voldemort.” This has been going on nonstop.
You have famous directors like Joss Whedon (The Avengers), a grown man, saying that for the Trump-Russia collusion conspiracy, “We don’t need a special prosecutor. We need an Auror.” And if you don’t know what an Auror is, they are like wizard detectives in Harry Potter.
And there’s also Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day acting as if the intricacies of life are only as deep as a Harry Potter book: “I look at my kids as the Harry Potter Generation. There’s a sense of justice about that, in beating Voldemort. It’s a classic tale of good versus evil.”
That’s exactly why it’s a bad metaphor though. It’s too overly simplistic and doesn’t explain why someone is necessarily good or evil.
This only makes things worse if millennials assume that they are right and everyone else is wrong. It only makes it harder to have a dialogue.
As a medium, Harry Potter is inherently flawed as a means to explain politics or philosophy, primarily because it is fantasy.
It being fiction isn’t exactly a problem, but fantasy and magic are the problem. See, a fantasy story can contain great leaps in logic, but those can be easily cleaned up by the magic.
A medium that is much better for political metaphors is sci-fi. Science fiction, or speculative fiction, is much better to explain not due to the lack of magic, but the fact that science fiction is typically based on logic, science and reason.
It requires a lot more effort to come up with an explanation for something based on science, something real and very complicated, versus explaining something based on magic, something not real and very ambiguous.
So if someone wanted to make a clever fiction metaphor to politics, use science fiction. Explaining the science of Star Trek or Ender’s Game to someone is much more complicated –– and for that matter realistic –– than the magic of Harry Potter.
Or better yet, just read adult political fiction or classic literature like George Orwell’s “1984,” Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451,” Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” or William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.”
These books are designed to be serious, political and philosophical and are sometimes required reading in public schools. Many people know about Big Brother, or they know the temperature at which paper burns, they might even know “who is John Galt?” and they could remember the Ides of March. Millennials and others should consider growing up and reading adult books instead of relying on a book they read as a fifth-grader to explain their political ideology.
It looks childish and kind of pathetic.
And if you’ve read Harry Potter, you would know that millennials look even dumber since they are comparing themselves to wizards, considering that the wizards of Harry Potter, good or bad, are rather bigoted. Wizards treat everybody who is not a wizard as a lower class calling them “Muggles” or “No-Majs,” even insulting other wizards of Muggle descent by calling them “Mudbloods.”
It’s not just the other humans they treat poorly –– there are goblins, elves, giants, centaurs and other races that are treated as inferior to wizards. They literally force elves to be their servants, their slaves.
Wizards are also incredibly racist towards giants — at one point it is mentioned that giants are killed to “keep wizards safe” — which is odd, considering that Hagrid, the most kind-hearted character in the series, is half giant.
The main difference between Voldemort and regular wizards is that he kills people; otherwise they are almost the same.
Magic is not a good way to explain politics. Instead of using Harry Potter as a reference, what if people just talk about reality or history to express their political views?
It makes much more sense. Please stop mixing your Harry Potter with my politics, it just ruins them both.
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Nate Jones is a junior at Goddard High School. He can be reached at natejonesnews@gmail.com.

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