Harry Potter and the Trump of Doom!
March 4, 2016
So it looks like Donald Trump. At least for the nomination, and maybe the Presidency. Shocked?
How many of you have actually read the Harry Potter books? No problem. For those who’ve neither read books nor seen the movies, here’s the deal: there are people who can work magic, called Wizards, and normal folks like you and me. The Wizard population has its own parallel society. It has a government called the Ministry of Magic and its own media, mainly the Daily Prophet newspaper.
Some years ago there was an evil Wizard leader named “Voldemort,” who is like Hitler, Stalin, and Satan rolled into one. He was defeated, is thought to be dead and gone. Harry Potter is the teenage son of people killed by Voldemort, and he’s becoming slowly aware that Voldemort is somehow returning. And almost no one will believe him.
Specifically the government –the Ministry and its ‘prime minister’– refuse to believe him. They are not just skeptical, but actively resist the growing evidence. In fact, they try to suppress Harry Potter, silence him, and punish him to keep him from sounding the alarm. The government-run media starts a campaign: “Don’t believe Harry Potter, everything is fine.”
But more and more, the evidence piles up that Potter is right, Voldemort has returned, and the Ministry is lying to cover it up. The evidence is everywhere, and the gap between the Ministry official truth and obvious perceived reality grows and grows. One by one, people notice the gap and the Ministry loses its credibility. The untrusted media become a bitter joke. Finally, the grim reality becomes impossible to suppress, and the Ministry falls.
So is Donald Trump this election’s Harry Potter? For the last few years, America has had problems that no one seems to want to talk about. Despite rosy pronouncements from the government and happy media cheerleading, the economy has not recovered strongly or for everybody. ObamaCare is a debacle. Foreign affairs look darker. Strange, authoritarian moves by the government and lawless acts by Administration figures swirl. And immigration…
Illegal immigration and apparently uncontrolled pure migration have brought new working populations that depress the price of labor. Working class Americans have seen jobs disappear and wages stagnate, meantime the Obama Administration joyfully celebrates more unskilled workers arriving. Anyone who objects is silenced as a bigot or racist. The suspicion grows that America is being run by an elite who think the country is full of rubes, and wants to import a new population to work for less money and reliably vote Democratic. The gap between reality and official “truth” grows wider.
Did you ever wonder what happened to the little boy who called the Emperor “naked?” You know the fairy tale: The Emperor’s New Clothes. Everyone knows the Emperor is naked, but no one says so, out of fear, ambition, or because no one else will. Finally the little boy speaks up loudly, and the whole town laughs the Emperor out.
That’s called a “preference cascade.” The minute before the boy speaks, everybody’s accepting the Emperor’s false reality or narrative. Everyone sees the Emperor naked, but believes they’re the only one. In reality, the only one who thinks he’s clothed is the Emperor himself. But when the boy spoke up, everybody realizes quickly that they aren’t alone and it’s safe to point out what everyone knows. So very quickly, the cascade of people who reject the Emperor’s false reality grows to a tsunami.
Donald Trump was the little boy who yelled that the Emperor’s immigration policy was “B.S.” And everyone who felt silenced, suddenly looked around. Donald Trump went on to say more things that everybody was thinking, but which had been silenced by the Administration and enforced by a complicit P.C. media. And one by one, the villagers in the town square are saying “hell, yeah! That’s what we thought all along. Harry Potter is right, the Ministry is lying and the Emperor is naked.”
Donald Trump stood up and said it, which is why he may well be our next President. If you don’t like that, don’t blame Trump. Blame the folks who for their own reasons silenced America’s once robust tradition of free expression. And blame those who should have had the courage to speak up, but didn’t.
teaches Political Science at Oakland University and serves on the Board of the Regional Transportation Authority. He was elected to represent the 40th District in the Michigan House and was appointed Chairman of the all-important Appropriations Committee, responsible for the entire state budget. Prior to politics, Chuck was political columnist for the DETROIT NEWS, and has hosted talk shows for radio and television.