Thursday, June 26, 2003
Dimocrat CandidateDennis Kucinich thinks he's Harry Potter. Here's the quote:
I just came from Newton, Iowa, where I was one of five Democratic Presidential candidates, and was asked a question relating to cuts in educational spending. I told this story of how in Washington there is this sculpture above the entrance to the House of Representatives of a woman whose arm is outstretched, protecting a child who is happily sitting on top of a pile of books. The title of the sculpture is "Peace protecting genius."? Then I went on to say that I have it on authority that one of the books that the child is sitting on is the soon to be released "Harry Potter Challenges the Pentagon" in which Harry Potter takes on Lord Voldemort, and I explained that Lord Voldemort has an insatiable appetite for violence. I pointed out that the increase in the Pentagon budget takes money away from education. As President I intend to cut the waste from the Pentagon budget and put that money right into education. Harry Potter knows that education or Hogwarts is the place where magic is made and we are going to create new magic in the country by rebuilding our education system. I closed by saying, ?Will Harry Potter overcome the power of Lord Voldemort? When I am elected President I intend to restore the educational funding, and I know where the money is.? After the event a young boy and a young girl both came up to me with their brand new copies of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and asked me to sign them. And they knew exactly what I was talking about.
The problems with this allegory are almost to many to count. Let's start from the begining. First, we Harry Potter is probably a Libertarian. I haven't read the newest book, but that view seems pretty consistent with the others. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is most threatened, not by Voldemort (because of the power of the Headmaster), but by the government. Yes, that's right. The Ministry of Magic, whenever something out of the ordinary occurs at Hogwarts, tries to exert more control over the school, threatens to fire teachers, implements restrictive regulations, and attempts to undermine Dumbledore. This invariably leads to more trouble, because the government doesn't know what it's doing.
Second, at the end of the fourth book, and a theme that apparently continues in the fifth book, it is precisely because Voldemort is being ignored and hushed up that problems happen. The Government wants to ignore the destructive enemies of the people. Voldemort isn't the Pentagon, he's much closer to Bin Laden. What happens in the book is the government ignores Bin Laden, and instead devotes its energy to controling the independent minded students and faculty at Hogwarts "for their own protection."
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