Thursday, July 21, 2016

Is Trump Voldemort?

Tonight Donald Trump will be giving his big speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, accepting his party's presidential nomination. The convention is packed with his supporters, who booed Ted Cruz off the stage last night after the Texas senator refused to endorse Trump. But there's another group out there that is particularly down on The Donald's candidacy - Harry Potter fans.

Raw Story reports a new poll that shows readers of the Harry Potter series dislike Trump in direct proportion to the number of books in the series that they have read. While this could be a spurious correlation, the pollsters speculate that the effect may be based on readers seeing similarities between Trump and the villain of the books, Lord Voldemort.

A national poll of 1,142 American Harry Potter fans who read more and more books were less and less likely to support Trump by a factor of two to three points. So, a reader of all seven books lowered a respondent’s evaluation of Trump by 18 points.

“It may simply be too difficult for Harry Potter readers to ignore the similarities between Trump and the power-hungry Voldemort.” It’s in keeping with Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling, who has written and tweeted about her contempt for Trump, saying he is a “fascist in all but name” and saying he’s actually worse than Voldemort.

Those aligned with Voldemort in the Harry Potter books supported Pure-blood supremacy wizards and opposed any who were born from non-wizards or muggles. While Voldemort did not propose building a wall around an all wizard town to keep out those who were not pure blood, he did support killing them.

It could also be that the biggest Potter fans simply love J. K. Rowling and are following her lead, as her opinion of Trump is well-known. Or it could be that people who have read more of the books are more likely to be avid readers who might be looking for more depth in a candidate than Trump has shown up until now. Or fantasy fiction readers might be more liberal in general. Or there could be any number of other relationships between variables that might only incidentally relate to this particular series.

But if the connection is genuine, those of us who don't support Trump should be sure to remember just how lame a super-villain Voldemort turned out to be. He tried to take over a high school - and failed. Even so, everyone in the Harry Potter universe was really, really scared of him. That means if Trump winds up losing big in November, the comparison will be a lot harder to deny.

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