The Boston Globe is reporting that a group of students at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government has formed what they euphemistically call “Dumbledore’s Army” to teach fellow students how to resist the agenda of President #Donald Trump. Instead of meeting in secret to learn the defense against dark arts, the group has developed a four-part series of online courses on political agitation. The effort is being backed by former Obama administration and Clinton and Sanders campaign staffers.
The name, referencing Harry Potter, is another example of how #Pop Culture is intersecting modern politics.
The coincidental release of the movie “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” incited anti-Trumpers to liken themselves to the film’s rebels. People started showing up to rallies wearing T-shirts proclaiming themselves to be part of “the Resistance” with pictures of Princess Leia, the character played by the late Carrie Fisher, pointing a blaster. No word exists whether “Dumbledore’s Army” will sell t-shirts of Harry Potter and his friends pointing magic wands. The books’ author, J.K. Rowling, is a fervent foe of President Trump and would no doubt grant her approval.
No word exists what the president feels like being likened to either Darth Vader from “Star Wars” or “Lord Voldemort” from the Harry Potter books. If Trump cared a bit about pop culture, he would likely not identify with either fictional character.
Also, no one, at least so far as can be ascertained, has likened themselves to the Fellowship of the Ring and President Trump to Lord Sauron.
The phenomenon of far-left activists invoking pop culture to reference their various causes demonstrates the power of fantasy and science fiction to define people and their beliefs. “Star Wars’ has been around since the late 1970s and “Harry Potter” as books since the 1990s and as movies since the turn of the current century. Both series depicted overwhelming threats to peace, freedom, and life itself in the form of super villains. The suggestion that President Trump is evil enough to blow up entire planets or wipe out nonmagic users is something that is over the top, to be sure. But it demonstrates that for some politics has become no a clash of two competing ideas but a cosmic battle of good vs. evil. The attitude is likely to get toxic for political discourse going forward and marginalize the groups holding to it.