A study recently published by the University of Pennsylvania concluded that reading the Harry Potter series is a good antidote to the candidacy of Republican Donald Trump for the presidency of the United States of America.
In her study, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Donald,” professor Diana Mutz concluded that the saga of the little wizard helps to combat, for example, Trump’s offensive messages against Mexicans and Muslims. The more novels read by the study’s participants, the worse the image of the Republican candidate became.
The results were valid even when Mutz looked at the slice of the American population more likely to vote for Trump, according to their party identification, their gender, their education, their age, etc.
“Because Trump’s political views are widely viewed as opposed to the values espoused in the Harry Potter series, exposure to the Potter series may play an influential role in affecting how Americans respond to Donald Trump,” the study stated.
In addition to the stereotypes regarding Mexicans and Muslims, Mutz points out another two examples in which readers of Harry Potter disagreed with the Republican candidate. First off, those who cheered for the house-elves oppressed by the wicked Voldemort in the novels probably will not agree with Trump’s vision of minority groups such as women, Asians and the disabled.
Moreover, Harry Potter presents peaceful means of resolving conflict — Voldemort could be killed for his crimes, but the protagonists seek alternatives, even to the point of sparing their enemies. Trump, for his part, has already defended the torture of terrorists.
The study was conducted with 1,142 Americans in 2014 and 2016, analyzing the consumption of the books in the series, screening opinions on issues like the death penalty and evaluating Donald Trump on a scale of zero to 100. Mutz concluded that with each consecutive reading of Harry Potter, the participants lowered their opinion of Trump by 2 or 3 points — the impact being the greatest, of course, for those who read all seven volumes.
This opinion aligns with that of the author of the series, J.K. Rowling, who has publicly criticized the Republican candidate. “I consider him offensive and bigoted,” she said in May.
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