Harry Potter, Voldemort, the Nazis, and Donald Trump’s Republican “Blood Purity” Authoritarianism — Yes, They Are All Connected
J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series spans seven books totaling over 4,000 pages. It is a fantastical story full of magic and adventure and of the triumph of good over evil, love and friendship over fear and hate. If that’s all you got out of the Harry Potter books you are missing a major point: J.K. Rowling herself has stated (as recently as 2/1/17) that the series is about “the rise and fall of an autocrat.”
For those who have never read the books or if you have and still don’t get it, try this experiment: pick up any of the books, find a page with the word “muggle” or “mud-blood” and start reading; as you are reading replace the word “muggle” or “mud-blood” with the word “Jew” or “Jewish” and there you have it. The Harry Potter world is full of Nazis.
The authoritarian regime of Rowling’s Lord Voldemort is connected to Nazism through the same use of fear, racism and obsession with the idea of “blood purity” (to be fair, Rowling has said she did not realize just how much the “blood’ symbolism of her books matched Nazi ideology until after the books were written). For Voldemort and his followers, non-magical people (muggles) are different from magical people not simply because they just don’t have magic — the logic is they don’t have magic because their blood is “impure” and “tainted” and they are therefore lesser than/inferior to magical people. They also believe that if you are a magical person but one or both of your parents are not magical people then you are a “mud-blood” or “muggle-born”, an unworthy mixed breed; only the fully “clean” “pure bloods” are worthy to wield magic and rule all the “lesser” people.
This is the same logic Adolf Hitler used in relation to the Nazi treatment of the Jews. The Aryans (according to Hitler, the Nordic and Germanic peoples of Germania prior to the Roman invasion) were the “Master Race”, the “purer race” “pure of blood”, the Jews had “impure blood” and were thus inferior. In the Nazi mind, the co-mingling of Jewish and Aryan blood was bringing down the German people and nation and had to be stopped if Germany was to rise again to be a great power. To this end, the Nazis passed the “Blood Purity Laws” and eventually set in motion a process to exterminate the Jews, to rid Germany (and the world) of their “impure blood” and thus reclaim/re-purify Aryan blood.
Hitler used this racism against Jews as one of several avenues to gain power w/the German people. He pointed to the Germans (albeit only the non-Jewish ones, because the Jews were also in fact Germans) who were unemployed or stuck in stagnant positions with no path forward and told them that their economic and/or social situations or failures were the fault of the Jews and if they got rid of the Jews (and the Socialists and the Communists) they could bring Germany back to a position of greatness, “make Germany great again”.
If this sounds familiar, it should. When speaking to crowds of largely white, working class people on the campaign trail Donald Trump pointed to Mexicans and Muslims as “the problem”. Too much crime in your neighborhood or town? It’s the Mexican “rapists”,“drug dealers” and “criminals”. Don’t have a job or can’t get a better one? It’s the illegal Mexican immigrants who are taking your jobs and/or its the bad trade deals that shipped your jobs to Mexico. Afraid of terrorists (or not yet afraid enough)? Islam is a terrorist religion and Muslims are coming here to kill you.
The new Republican administration (by the Republicans in control of Congress doing nothing to curb the abuses of their leader — they now own this monstrosity) would fix these “problems” for you by banning Muslims from entering the country, deporting Mexicans, building a wall between the US and Mexico to keep “them” out, somehow bring jobs back from Mexico to the US and “make America Great Again.”
Now go back to the earlier Harry Potter reading experiment and instead of replacing “muggle” and “mud-blood” with “Jew” replace those words with “Mexican” or “Muslim” and you can see the same ideology and tactics passing through those books, the Nazis, and the current Republican administration in relation to wall building, scapegoating, deportations and travel bans.
Republican party stalwart John McMcain (one of a very small handful of elected Republican officials to have anything negative to say about Trump or his Republican administration) has noted this trend of overt racism and stated as such in a speech on Feb. 17th at the Munich Security Conference in Germany. He said, “[The founders of the Munich conference] would be alarmed by an increasing turn away from universal values and toward old ties of blood and race [emphasis added]and sectarianism (in the United States).”
Just a week prior to McCain’s speech, Donald Trump himself officially invoked the “blood” symbolism. According to McClatchy news, on 2/9/17 Trump signed an executive order to increase law enforcement to go after, as he said, “criminal cartels that have spread across our nation and are destroying the blood of our youth”. Yes, the dark-skinned Mexican “drug dealers”, “rapists”, and assorted “bad hombres” are impurifying/ “destroying” the “blood of our youth”. Keep the blood pure. Just like Voldemort. Just like the Nazis. Yes, it is all connected.