Unsettling Ways the US Has Become More Similar to “Harry Potter”

We often wish that our world could be more similar to Harry Potter. However, you have to be careful what you wish for, as the United States is now learning. Here is a list of things I wish didn’t resemble Harry Potter.


1. Teens are rising up against a deadly threat.

Gun control is a serious issue. Just as Harry and his friends seemed to face a megalomaniac with a wand at the end of every school year, we’re forced to face a manic with a gun in our schools about once a month. At this point, school shooters have a higher body count than even Voldemort. It can seem a little hopeless at times, but thankfully, while we may not have Dumbledore’s Army to defend us, the Parkland teens have been picking up the slack. These teens are setting an example, and hopefully, we’ll learn to follow their lead.




2. The government plans to assign deadly creatures to guard our schools.

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the Ministry of Magic decided to have Dementors guard Hogwarts. This decision proved to be a terrible one since it not only distressed students but also nearly killed Harry twice. Dementors seem like the worst possible addition to schools – until you learn about the plans to give teachers guns. Just like Dementors, guns will only serve to put the students in even more danger, and unfortunately, Expecto Patronum won’t stop bullets.




3. There is a second rise of fascist groups.

The Harry Potter books begin with the defeat of the Death Eaters and then proceed to tell how this fascist group managed to rise again despite most of the public believing that they were gone for good. Well, much like the citizens of the wizarding world, we, too, believed that fascism had been defeated. However, events like Charlottesville have shown us otherwise. White supremacists are on the rise, and unlike the Death Eaters, they aren’t conveniently marked. Can’t we just fast-forward to the real-world Battle of Hogwarts?




4. Undesirable minorities are seen as stealing from everyone else.

During Voldemort’s reign of terror, Muggle-borns were rounded up and stripped of their wands after being accused of stealing magic. Voldemort and his ilk hated Muggle-borns, and accusing them of such a theft made it easier to turn the public against them. We see something similar with minority groups in America, when immigrants, particularly Latino ones, are accused of stealing jobs. However, these accusations of theft are as ridiculous as Voldemort’s and their only point is to create new targets for hate.




5. An obnoxious, ignorant woman is in charge of education.

I think we can all agree that Umbridge is one of the most-hated characters in the entire series. She was infuriating, clearly didn’t have the students’ best interests at heart, and smugly believed she was in the right all along. Betsy DeVos, the United States Secretary of Education, bears a startling resemblance to her. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that she, too, collects ceramic cat plates. Of course, with DeVos steadily dragging our schools down, it would be pretty nice if a herd of centaurs showed up right about now.




6. There is an insistence on reality being lies/fake news.

Under Fudge, the Ministry of Magic was quite insistent on denying Voldemort’s return. Within Hogwarts, this mandate was carried out by Umbridge, who ignored perfectly sensible points, such as Cedric Diggory’s death, in order to preach her alternative facts that all was well and everyone was perfectly safe. Anything contradicting her was branded as lies. Well, Trump’s government may not have the media carving their hands open yet, but it certainly has been decrying the fake news to all and sundry. Unfortunately, there’s no convenient Voldemort waiting to appear and force them to face reality.




7. We are headed by a self-aggrandizing idiot.

Fudge was a corrupt idiot who was incapable of actually doing anything useful yet still remained convinced of his own excellence and importance. The comparison to Trump is obvious. This becomes especially true when you remember how Fudge was so eager to claim that the Voldemort problem had been taken care of, despite it still being a clear and present threat.


Mikaela Renshaw

I picked up a Harry Potter book for the first time when I was six years old and promptly fell in love. However, it didn’t take long for my love of literature to go beyond just Harry Potter and I am now working towards my PhD in English. Outside literature, I love Irish-dancing, D and D, going to the beach, attending Comic-Con, and playing with my dog.