Dumbledore's Army, still recruiting: How U.S. elections are like the Battle of Hogwarts

October 16 2018 | Guest post by Julia Renee
Dumbledore's Army, still recruiting: How U.S. elections are like the Battle of Hogwarts
A generation raised on Potter? That could be a force to be reckoned with…

I've been upset about the recent Senate hearings and I've been ever more upset since the vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court; I've also been thinking a lot about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Seem strange? Let me explain. First, a short summary is in order.

In this book, the evil Lord Voldemort has effectively infiltrated the Ministry of Magic (the ruling body for the magical world in the UK). He has appointed those who support his cause into positions of power and, even though he's not the official figurehead, he's pulling everyone's strings and rules are being created for the magical world, including the students at Hogwarts, that support his cause — namely, running the magical world as a totalitarian society.

During all this, Harry, Hermione, and Ron are on a quest to destroy Lord Voldemort, so they dropped out of school. The students at Hogwarts, particularly those who knew and supported Harry while he was at school, are forced to fight the new regime and deal with the consequences while living in a world where all the evil is apparent but about which they seem to be changing little.

The students fight, deal with their punishments, and trust that Harry, Hermione, and Ron will succeed. This gives them hope as they are beaten, starving, and tortured because they're willfully disobeying school rules. In the end, it's these students — the students who spent much of the year bruised and broken — who collectively help the "adults" create the mutiny that leads to Voldemort's death.

So why was I reminded of all this the day that women in the U.S. are still upset over the fact that Dr. Ford's testimony seemed to matter little to the Senate Republicans?

Because this is simply one battle in the larger war.

And you know who will help us in the war?

Millennials.

According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials will outnumber Baby Boomers by 2019. Generation X, the generation immediately before the Baby Boomers, won't surpass Baby Boomers until 2028. Just by sheer volume, Millennials can sway the way the government looks.

Here are just a few ways we all can do this:

  1. Register and vote. Read up on each candidate and proposition and choose those you think will do a good job. Don't like how much money is in politics? Only choose candidates who don't take money from big business. Think the Republicans are doing a great job? Vote to keep them in office. Think Donald Trump should be impeached? Vote for Democrats so there is a chance of impeachment proceedings. Not sure how to register or what the 2018 voter registration deadline is? The New York Times put together this handy article with those answers.
  2. Listen to those whose beliefs are different from yours and try to see things from their viewpoint. Don't ignore them or unfriend them. Don't even argue with them — simply state your point of view and listen to theirs. Encourage others to make their voices heard by doing the same. In the end, nothing will get done if all we do is blame those who are different from us without compromising.
  3. Start running for office. You can be very young and run for local offices, including City Council and School Board. Run on platforms and do things that you think all politicians should do. Here is an article about just a few of those who have won local seats.

Here's the thing: it's super easy to look at everything that is going on in this country and get so angry and/or discouraged that you give up or sit back and wait and see how things change. Many of us are doing things that we think will help the political and social climate in the U.S., but we all need to vote to make sure that happens on a national scale.

Do we need Millennials to save us? Of course not. The Battle at Hogwarts would have occurred whether the students were allowed to fight or not. Those from the Order of the Phoenix and those teachers who didn't support Lord Voldemort would have fought bravely and would have continued to fight until Harry, Hermione, and Ron could destroy all the Horcruxes and kill Lord Voldemort. But the war likely would have lasted a lot longer without the creativity and cunning of the Hogwarts students.

Dear Millennials: help us turn this country into what you want it to be. Sure, Harry, Hermione, and Ron were the heroes, but so were Neville and Luna, Ginny and Seamus, and the rest of the unnamed Hogwarts students who bravely fought daily for what they thought was right.

Am I registered to vote?

Dumbledore's Army, still recruiting: How U.S. elections are like the Battle of Hogwarts

Check here to see if you're (still) registered and pass it along to everyone you know. It's super easy to do. People are getting tossed off of voter rolls for all kinds of reasons so keep checking and then VOTE in all your local and federal elections.

  1. I have been thinking of re-reading all the Harry Potter books because of current politics, but also am avoiding the books because they seem too real now because of politics. Anyhoo, thanks for writing this. Took me awhile to finally get brave enough to read it (it's politics, very scary) but glad I did, even if the pessimist that I am still has trouble feeling hopeful. The Harry Potter analogy is pretty good, I like using it.

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