The Dark Lord Trump-demort
Donald Trump’s recent comments calling for a “complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” spurred a series of tweets comparing the Republican presidential candidate to Lord Voldemort, and J.K. Rowling herself dubbed Trump worse than the Dark Lord.
How horrible. Voldemort was nowhere near as bad. https://t.co/hFO0XmOpPH
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 8, 2015
Considering Voldemort’s track record in the despicable acts category, this is a pretty major accusation. What has Donald Trump done that could possibly make him worse than the most powerful Dark Wizard of all time?
Voldemort’s affinity for hurting others began in the orphanage where he grew up. He used his powers to harm his childhood peers, going so far as to kidnap two of them. When he opened the Chamber of Secrets during his sixth year at Hogwarts, Voldemort specifically targeted Muggle-born students, even killing one. Once he learned about Horcruxes from Professor Slughorn, the violence escalated; Death Eaters killed, tortured, and threatened countless witches and wizards. Each Horcrux Voldemort created required another murder. He orchestrated an inside takeover of the Ministry of Magic and even murdered some of his devoted followers. When Trelawney’s prophecy spoke of a child born with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord, Voldemort decided to waltz into the Potter house and kill their baby.
Donald Trump has been accused of fraud, associations with organized crime, and racial discrimination but has yet to top Voldemort’s most loathsome acts. Trump resembles the Dark Lord less in action but perhaps more in speech and thought.
Voldemort used his position of power and an atmosphere of fear and terror to persecute Muggles and Muggle-borns. He claimed Muggle-borns were actually Muggles who stole magic from witches and wizards. His takeover of the Ministry of Magic resulted in the formation of the Muggle-Born Registration Commission, set up to take away their jobs and wands and even send them to Azkaban.
More than once, Donald Trump has been accused of prejudice against immigrants and various racial and ethnic groups. He faced severe backlash for his comments about Mexican immigrants, and recently, he has called for the surveillance of mosques, the creation of watchlists for Syrian refugees, and a complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.
Donald Trump hasn’t committed any of Voldemort’s atrocities, but in our current worldwide atmosphere of terror, these generalizations and calls for surveillance echo Voldemort’s in an eerie way. Trump’s words, intentionally or not, have inspired violence based on the arbitrary lines that divide us. As Albus Dumbledore once said,
We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. Lord Voldemort’s gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust. Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open” (GoF 723).
I hesitate to say that Trump is worse than Voldemort, but I would encourage him and everyone else to take Dumbledore’s words to heart during these trying times.