The Minister of Magic gets a briefing on Donald Trump
Harry Potter and the Cursed Transition: Part I
Wilfred Pemberton had been Minister of Magic for six years now. Some days on the job were still dreadfully hard.
After a marathon day of meetings, he was in desperate need of a drink and a nap. “I need a drink and a nap” he proclaimed to his empty, mahogany-paneled office. Lifting a glittering crystal decanter from the desk, he poured himself a generous helping of Dwarvish Firewhisky and put his feet up on the desk. He narrowly avoided a towering stack of official papers that a Voges Self-Writing Quill was diligently working its way through.
He sipped his firewhisky and enjoyed the contented silence, broken only by the cracking of the logs in the enormous fireplace.
Suddenly there was a loud rap at the door.
The Minister sighed. “Come.”
News from the Muggle nations
The enormous paneled door boomed open and a slightly disheveled man in a rumpled looking suit entered.
“Evening Minister” said the man, crossing the room with a brisk stride. “I have something important for your attention.”
It was Lachlan Green, the youngish Under-Secretary of Muggle Affairs. Green had previously spent several years undercover in key Muggle political and economic institutions on both sides of the Atlantic. He was considered to be one of the wizarding world’s leading experts on Muggles, and the author of the definitive text on their television device (Understanding the Muggles’ Haunted Box, Weasley Publishing, 2014).
“Hello, Green” said Pemberton. “Bit late for you to stop by. Another war? One of those Pokemon demons to show me again? If you brought more episodes of Westworld, I can make time.”
Green shook his head. “No, sir. It’s about the Muggles’ new American President.”
Pemberton’s brow furrowed. “Clinton? What’s she up to? Has she moved all her stuff into the White House yet? Let’s send an elf to speed things up. The usual courtesy.”
Green laughed nervously. “Sir, I know you’ve got a lot of other matters on your plate, so you probably didn’t see the owl… Donald Trump won the election.”
The Minister’s mouth fell open. The crackling of logs in the fireplace suddenly seemed a lot louder.
“Ridiculous!” exclaimed the Minister. He swung his legs off the table and thumped his drink down on a coaster. “I read the files on both of them. The Muggles never had a clearer choice! Were they all under a Confundus charm? Green, if this was Grindelwald’s fanatics again-”
Pemberton was almost yelling now. The coaster began scuttling away with his drink, anxious to get away from the flecks of spittle flying across the table.
Green cut the Minister off. “Sir, there are a bunch of reasons why Trump won, and we can get into that if you like. Looks like the only dark wizard who interfered in the election was Vladimir Putin. But I thought you’d like to know some of the things the new President is proposing.”
Pemberton scowled and snatched his drink back from the fleeing coaster. “Ridiculous!”
Green took a deep breath and launched into a recitation of points.
“Trump had said he wants to build a wall across their border with Mexico. He also wants to deport several million immigrants.”
Pemberton scoffed. “Unless Trump has a Deporto spell, I don’t see how he’s going to accomplish the latter. The former could be done, but why bother? Have walls ever worked for the Muggles?”
Green shook his head vigorously. “It appears that President-Elect Trump doesn’t read a lot of history. I understand he spends a lot of his free time on Twitter.”
“What is Twitter?”
“It’s a sort of virtual room where you get messages from strangers. Their celebrities like to post things in it, and then fans re-post them. Sometimes people pick on each other there. The President-Elect seems to be particularly good at this.”
The Minister had a quizzical expression on his face. “Seems like a bizarre use of time. Certainly not worth staying up late for. What else is he proposing when he’s not on Twitter?”
Green consulted his notes. “He wants to normalize relations with the Russians, and proposes letting them have a free hand in Syria.”
The Minister’s eyes narrowed.
“Is he still proposing to defend democracy? NATO? And is he going to do anything about the refugee crisis? I have told the Muggle governments that I will give them one more year to figure out this obscenity. 65 million refugees in the world!”
Green looked weary. “I am afraid not sir. He doesn’t appear to have a coherent foreign policy, and his campaign was largely based on inciting fear of immigrants, refugees and outsiders. I can’t imagine we’re going to see any useful solutions here.”
The Minister sighed heavily and took a deep drink. “Ridiculous. What else?”
“Um…scrapping the healthcare reforms of the current President, and cutting coverage for 22 million people.”
The Minister glowered and picked his wand off the desk. “Ridiculous” he muttered, more to himself this time, as he began to fiddle with the wand.
“He’s also appointed what many people believe is a white supremacist as an advisor. Oh, and he appears to already be using his position to enrich the Trump business empire.”
The Minister was focusing on the wand now. Green finished off.
“And…he also appears to be preparing to pull out of the Muggles’ global climate change accords. He says climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese.”
There was a flash of light. In his rage, the Minister had accidentally turned his whisky glass into a Kneazle.
The half-cat/half-lion creature meowed and disappeared across the room.
The Minister looked furious but determined as he stood and watched his former whisky glass retreat.
“Very well then, Green. It looks like we’ll have to go save the world again.”
This is our world
Green looked at the Minister. “What are you proposing we do, sir?”
The Minister stared into the fire. “We must do everything in our power to stand up for the values and policies that will continue to preserve peace, democracy and openness, in the face of a man who clearly places little stock in any of these things.”
Green shuffled his notes nervously. “Sir, I understand you are upset about the election and I agree Trump is not the optimal leader. But why should we play a part in this struggle? Things will work out. This isn’t our fight anyway. If we just wait 4 years…”
Pemberton turned to look Green intently in the face — and there was not a hint of doubt about his resolve.
“My friend, too many times in history have good men and women been given the chance to confront a great danger. And each time, in spite of all the warning signs given to them, they chose to continue with their lives as normal. Because the great danger did not affect them immediately — and they hoped it would pass quickly, like a summer rainstorm.
Later, they always look back and wonder why they didn’t dare to speak up or act.
All my life, I have wondered what I would do if confronted with a similar situation — haven’t you?
If we believe in any sense of morality, and if we believe that freedom and a good life should belong to more than just the people like us, then we must go to their defense on principle. And if we believe the challenges that face the world can only be solved by all of us working together, then we cannot retreat from the world.
It would be nice if all the problems facing us today were just the stuff of fantasy. But this is the world we live in now. This is not someone else’s problem. If we’re not going to stand up for what is right, just because it is hard, then what is the point of having power or principles at all?”
Across the room, the Kneazle meowed its assent.