(Spoilers concerning Harry Potter and Star Wars ensue. You’ve been warned.)
Let me begin by stating: I’m a total dork. I know this. I accept this. I embrace it. Now that that’s out of the way…
I’ve recently been listening to the Harry Potter audiobooks, narrated by the extraordinary Jim Dale. If you love the books but have read them until whole passages are memorized, give them a listen. It’s an entirely new experience, and makes them like new again. Trust me on this.
Being fully absorbed by this world, I couldn’t help seeing the parallels between it and the election. From the Democrat perspective, the primaries, the trail, everything right up until Election Day was The Sorcerer’s Stone, The Chamber of Secrets, The Prisoner of Azkaban. It was a constant battle against great evil, but the fight was won every time.
And then came our Goblet of Fire.
At the end of Goblet of Fire, there is no happy ending. There is no vanquishing of the evil. Voldemort rises despite all the battles against him won. With him rises all the fear and denial and infighting in the Wizarding World. No one wants to believe it happened, and so they pretend it hasn’t. They go out of their way to prove it’s all lies. Old prejudices rear their ugly heads. The greatest battles now lie ahead.
That’s where we are now–at the end of Goblet of Fire, going into The Order of the Phoenix, and we have a fight on our hands.
But from the Republican perspective, it’s the same hero’s tale–Star Wars–just a different perspective. The last eight years have been their New Hope, and The Empire Strikes Back. Their evil overlord was in power, and they were fighting him with all they had. Those two stories ended with the rebels sticking it to him, but the Emperor was still in power, still needed to be overthrown.
This election was their Return of the Jedi. Against all odds, their candidate won. The Rebel Alliance toppled the Empire’s power, and set the balance in their favor again.
But a story doesn’t end when the last word is read, or the credits roll. After The Goblet of Fire, the Wizarding World fights to get their world back again. After Return of the Jedi comes The Force Awakens. The Empire is on the rise again, and has been since the Ewoks did their victory dance.
I keep saying that in the middle is where we’re going to find peace. Some days, it feels impossible to even hope for that. There aren’t simply two perspectives, but so many in between that there’s never going to be something that makes everyone happy. In the world of Lord of the Rings, there is definite good and definite evil, but, much as I’d love to claim otherwise, Donald Trump isn’t Sauron. His people aren’t Orcs. They’re people who believe they’ve just won the fight of their lives and, whether we agree or not, they have.
Life is a story. Hillary Clinton’s loss was a huge blow to a great many people for so many reasons, trying to touch on even a small portion of them isn’t possible in so small a space, but that story isn’t done. We still have to get through The Order of the Phoenix, The Half-blood Prince and Deathly Hallows, at the very least. And Trump’s win isn’t the end of that story either. He’s still got The Force Awakens (plus two more movies) ahead of him.
And it doesn’t end there, either.