Was Harry Potter a Donald Trump nemesis? According to a recent study titled “Harry Potter and the Deathly Donald,” fans of J.K. Rowling’s books are more likely to equate the Republican nominee with “He who must not be named.”
Some might believe it has something to do with basic literacy, since there are seven increasingly longer books, and Trump often seems to repeat simple words. He was infamously quoted as doing just that while insulting President Barack Obama.
“I know words, I have the best words. I have the best, but there is no better word than stupid,” he remarked.
University of Pennsylvania Professor Diana Mutz conducted the study using a cross-section of over 1,000 citizens of the United States, both Republican and Democrat, and some Independent. The study included questions involving levels of favor toward the Harry Potter books and Donald Trump, and the people who claimed to have read all seven books had a generally lower opinion of the media and real estate mogul.
Mutz’s conclusion was surprising.
“This may seem small, but for someone who has read all seven books, the total impact could lower their estimation of Trump by 18 points out of 100. The size of this effect is on par with the impact of party identification on attitudes toward gays and Muslims.”
One aspect which Trump seems to share with Lord Voldemort, the main villain of the book series, is that both appear to have a general dislike for groups of people. Voldemort felt that muggles, or those born without the ability to use magic, and their offspring should be exterminated. Trump has repeatedly offered blanket statements against Mexicans, blacks, and Muslims, and he even insulted women in general as he targeted Rosie O’Donnell and Fox News reporter Megyn Kelly.
Another aspect the Harry Potter nemesis and Donald Trump seem to share is an aggressive and exclusive attitude toward their means, as Mutz points out.
“I think a lot of the identification of Trump’s dominating kind of politics is something people associate with Voldemort. So it makes some sense that if you have been exposed to these long series of books where he is the ultimate kind of incarnation of evil, that the characteristics that are more aggressive tactics and so forth that Trump represents are less attractive, even leaving aside how it affects your policy attitudes.”
Author J.K. Rowling has even acknowledged her general dislike for Donald Trump, comparing him with the Harry Potter villain and saying Voldemort was “nowhere near as bad.”
How horrible. Voldemort was nowhere near as bad. https://t.co/hFO0XmOpPH
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 8, 2015
New study finds Harry Potter readers are more likely to dislike Donald Trump https://t.co/tUR2ctoASO
— TIME.com (@TIME) July 20, 2016
A common theme in the books, which could also have a certain political value, is the inclusive nature of the heroes. No one is looked down on unless there is a strong theory about their intentions. The first character we meet who sees anyone as inferior is Vernon Dursley, and he is a wealthy and opinionated man, much like Trump. Donald seems reflected in most of Harry Potter’s opponents, including the Malfoys and the rest of the Death Eaters.
Study: Reading Harry Potter increases dislike for Donald Trump https://t.co/fx9VdgF8XG
— Juliana L. Brandt (@julianalbrandt) July 21, 2016
The dislike for the media and real estate mogul is about equal between all groups, political and heritage-wise. It is interesting that people who have read the Harry Potter books generally don’t like Donald Trump, even though he’s never mentioned in them.
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