“I frankly think the office of the president deserves respect, even when the actions of our president at times don’t.” — Delaware Senator Chris Coons, speaking about President Trump getting booed at the World Series. Washington Post, 10/28/19
Politics is a complicated endeavor and there are many different points of view — all of which are equally acceptable. Within our wizardry community, there are some who back the racist and violent policies of Lord Voldemort. There are others who are opposed to child kidnapping and racist violence. These viewpoints are equally acceptable to hold — and, if anything, those who are opposed to Lord Voldemort’s political movement should do a better job of trying to understand the economic anxieties of his followers.
At the recent Triwizard Tournament, the anti-Voldemort movement demonstrated a lack of tolerance when they booed Voldemort as he appeared on the Jumbotron. Booing a psychopath who aspires to create a fascist ethno-state is uncivil and therefore wrong. There is a time and a place for everything. A sporting event is sacrosanct and definitively not the time to protest violence, racism, and corruption. Additional times that are also unacceptable to protest include before, during and after the atrocities that Lord Voldemort is perpetrating. Furthermore, it is also unacceptable to use wizardry to pause time to protest Lord Voldemort within suspended animation. I am, of course, in favor of peaceful protest — as long as it does not exist within linear or non-linear time.
Some people may claim that Lord Voldemort’s near-constant rallies featuring calls to imprison, deport and incite violence against his political opponents are uncivil. Other people may say the actions taken by Lord Voldemort and his followers to enact his plans to imprison, deport and incite violence against his political opponents are uncivil. Both groups are wrong. The only thing that is truly uncivil is the act of booing Lord Voldemort as he appeared on the Jumbotron at a Triwizard Tournament. The act of booing may have hurt the feelings of Lord Voldemort. The act of booing may have also hurt the feelings of those who support imprisonment, deportation, and violence towards those different than themselves. As previously stated, kidnapping children from their parents and then sending them to Azkaban is a morally neutral political issue. Some people support child kidnapping and imprisonment, others are opposed to child kidnapping and imprisonment. We should not make the supporters of child kidnapping and imprisonment feel bad about holding that political opinion. Which, again, is morally neutral.
If Hogwarts wishes to reclaim the mantle of civil discourse, then it must immediately condemn any actions that make anyone feel uncomfortable at any time for any reason — specifically, supporters of Lord Voldemort. The Triwizard Tournament is our national pastime — we should all be able to enjoy the games after a long day’s work, whether it’s drafting and enacting policies that permanently traumatize children fleeing violence or accounting. As much as we would not want to live in a world where accountants were booed at Triwizard Tournaments just because they are accountants, we should also not want to live in a world where political leaders were booed for locking hundreds of children in cages and then denying them toothpaste. Civil discourse, at its root, means that nobody should ever feel shame or embarrassment for their political opinions because all political opinions are neutral and equal.
The Triwizard Tournament has the power to bring us all together: Lord Voldemort and his supporters with those opposed to Lord Voldemort who have yet to be imprisoned, detained, or murdered. Fortunately, this can all be solved by completely de-contextualizing Lord Voldemort from anything he has ever said or done and re-framing him as a purely neutral figure who should be met with polite applause at all times. Now, PLAAAAAAAY QUIDDITCH!