These are harsh political and social times. The state of the left, allegedly the champions of the people, is so torn apart by in-fighting and blaming following the 2016 election that it doesn’t seem like they’ll be able to pull themselves together for the mid-term at this stage, with some blaming racism, third-party voters and Russia while others blame the Democratic establishment. This fractured and volatile atmosphere has allowed the far right to control the country despite being in the bottom levels of a downward spiral that began when Nixon came to power, and now they are harnessing the bitterness of a large portion of the American population from years of economic depression and pointing them towards minorities. The presence of white male teenagers and college students so desperate for attention that they use Nazi language and imagery doesn’t help matters much either, and overall it’s arguably the messiest and most conflicted political climate in recent memory.
However, it’s also the messiest economic climate in recent memory, which is why I have to write this article. Here is what the 2016 election would be like if it took place in J.K. Rowling’s beloved Wizarding World!
Old-school Potterites will remember Professor McGonagall from the opening scene of the very first film, where she left a baby Harry Potter on the doorstep of his despicably fat balloon relatives. (At least, I think that was her, I haven’t seen the movie in eight years.) Anyway, the tough-as-nails McGonagall spared no quarter for tardy students and delinquents, but as the forces of evil moved against the world of magic, it was clear that she was ultimately a force for good. Just like McGonagall, Hillary Clinton was a force for the people, and by people we mean affluent college students who get all their political opinions from snarky tweets with no capital letters. If you were a persecuted minority then you MIGHT get an invitation to one of her parties so she could parade you around like a prize dog, and if you were poor then, well, sorry. Okay, uh, I’m still getting the hang of this. The next one is a no-brainer, I promise.
Like Lord Voldemort, Donald Trump is undeniably the villain of this election. One is definitely bald while the other is probably bald under their toupee, one wants to make the world a utopia where only rich people exist while the other wanted to, um, destroy the world? I think? They’re both definitely in control of an underground giant snake, though. However, they do have some differences. For example, in order to defeat Lord Voldemort you had to destroy the horcruxes that made up his soul before killing him, and in order to defeat Donald Trump you have to tweet a picture of him that he might not like. Ba-dum-tish! See, I can do this!
Okay, let’s be real here: We all know that Tyrion Lannister is the person best suited to run Hogwarts, but because of the popular image spun by his opponents, it doesn’t look like he’ll be sitting on the Sorting Throne anytime soon. Similarly, everyone knows that out of all the candidates of this election, Bernie was the one with the best chance of winning and who would’ve done the best job, but come on: There’s no way this racist country would elect a Jewish president. Maybe in a future where an African-American man can sit on the Presidential Throne will the Jewish race and the little race be considered for the position, but for now, Bernie and Tyrion will have to bide their time in the shadows.
One of the best memes of last year was the comparison of Marco Rubio to the infamous Zodiac Killer. Perhaps the most terrifying of Voldemort’s Death Eaters, the mysterious figure has yet to be caught by police, only fueling public speculation that after fleeing the authorities, he changed his name, took an anti-aging elixir and became a candidate in the Republican primary so he could continue his killing spree. For a brief moment, he was the establishment-backed candidate, and to the Zodiac-Rubio theorists (or Zodios, as they called themselves) it seemed like his dark magic would rise to the highest status in the world. But after the sudden and unexpected success of Donald Trump, it seems like Rubio’s time in the political spotlight is over. Does this mean the Zodiac’s evil satanic rituals and string of mass shootings have been permanently thwarted as well? Only time will tell whether the two are connected…
In a year filled with indignation towards the establishment, few people represented the establishment more than Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The chair of the DNC was frequently bombarded with accusations of collusion with the Clinton campaign, and these accusations were all but confirmed with the WikiLeaks release of the Podesta emails. Meanwhile, in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the Death Eaters were the primary threat against the safety of the world, but it was the efforts of John Goodman constantly undermining Harry Potter and his friends’ attempts to warn the authorities of Voldemort’s return that led to the Death Eaters becoming as powerful as they eventually became. If Schultz had followed the actions of her fictional counterpart and sacrificed herself to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton character the election would’ve had quite a different result, but alas, fairy tales can’t be real.
Seriously, look at side-by-side pictures of both of them. They look exactly the same! I can’t be the only one who sees this, right? How many more entries are there left in this list? Four?! Uh, okay, um…oh, I know! Tim Kaine is Michael Sco—wait, no, that’s the guy from Parks and Recreation. Um…uh…
…you know what? Here’s a fucking comparison for you. I busted my ass the second the clock struck midnight on the day before my 16th birthday so I could save the money to go to university. Things like the friendship of another person, the soft embrace of a woman, were not known to me during my formative years because I was too busy in the back of the local Burger King taking out the trash or giving handjobs, all so I could one day go to journalism school. When it finally happened, when that acceptance letter finally came, all it meant was four years of double the work, but I did it. You wanna know why? Because I thought I could make a difference in this country. Because I saw all the injustices going on around me, and I thought to myself “I can change this.” Now here I am, writing bullshit lists for an editor half my age with zero editorial experience so I can get $100 to buy dinner from Chipotle. Fuck you, Darren. I hope you burn in Hell.
It doesn’t begin there, either. Maybe if he were around to support me and my mother, maybe if he had actually manned up and decided to work like a REAL man does, then I wouldn’t be here. Maybe if my mother hadn’t decided to fuck some erstwhile sailor before he fled to Dubai, I wouldn’t be here. Maybe everything would be better if I hadn’t been born.
Every day I wake up, it’s a struggle to get out of bed. I stare at the clock, hoping, praying to a God I know doesn’t exist, that it would just stop, and I would be able to stay in that moment, free from my obligations to my body or the inevitable march of time. But the fact is, I can’t. I’m stuck here. We’re all stuck here, in a world where the center of the global economy is a broken shitstain of a country, and it’s not going to get any better. But maybe that’s my fault. Maybe that’s everyone’s fault. Maybe it’s our parents’ fault for giving birth to us, our grandparents’ fault for giving birth to them, God’s fault for creating us. Whoever’s fault it is, I want to stare them right in the face and ask: Why did they make death so terrifying, when life is even worse?
A coward and opportunist, Peter Pettigrew attached himself to whoever happened to be the most powerful wizard at the time. Whether Mike Pence genuinely believes Trump’s nonsense or is simply using him for political gain is up for debate, but the image of Pence as someone’s pet rat was too good for us to ignore.
Adam Nizam is a freelance writer who covers film, music, games and anime. He has written for Exclaim! and other places that he can’t tell you about yet. You can check out more of his writing here. If you follow him on Twitter, you will immediately regret it.