There are plenty of healthy ways to deal with Donald Trump’s stunning victory. Even those who cried on election night shouldn’t be senselessly mocked—many Americans put an awful lot of emotional energy into the campaign. One could argue that investing so much hope into a candidate is better than not. After all, an apathetic populace doesn’t necessarily make a wholesome republic.
Some liberals, however, have retreated into adolescent fairy tales and are certainly worth your mockery and scorn. Over at the millennial political science journal Buzzfeed, writers developed the habit of comparing Donald Trump’s election to children’s morality tales. Just one day after Trump’s big win, Julia Reinstein wrote “People Are Turning to Harry Potter for Comfort after the Election.”
Yes, you read that right. Reasonable people might revisit the Democratic Party’s leftist platform, why Hillary Clinton was such an abhorrent candidate or whether identity politics spells a dead end for progressives. But you know what’s a lot more calming? Pretending you’re a middle school-aged wizard who battles trolls and lives in a closet under some stairs during summer vacation.
You’re probably thinking, “Maybe the Democratic Party needs a way to reach blue-collar workers.” Wrong. Reinstein’s piece quotes some tweets from anguished millennials proclaiming that, “Even Dumbledore wasn’t enough to stop Voldemort, but I’m not going to let Death Eaters destroy our home. We need Harrys now more than ever.” I don’t know any West Virginian coal miners, but I’m fairly confident that if you say “Dumbledore” in a few Parkersburg bars, you’ll get your ass kicked.
The fun doesn’t stop there. Another Buzzfeed philosophical treatise entitled, “Walt Disney, Harry Potter, And The Age Of Trump Anxiety,” by Allison Willmore, muses whether new Disney and Harry Potter flicks can comfort us in the face of “the oppressive weight of so much real-world distress.” If you think you’re too old for animated princess movies, you haven’t considered how Moana’s “effort toward inclusion” “isn’t perfect,” but “still means a lot.” I don’t know what any of that means, or what a perfect Disney movie looks like, but I do know that if enough of these pieces are written, I’m starting a Baron Trump 2052 super PAC.
I don’t want to single Buzzfeed out here. Sure, they’re responsible for a disturbing amount of cultural debris (I’ll spare you a close reading of their story entitled “Benedict Cumberbatch’s Impression of Donald Trump at a Grocery Store Will Destroy You in the Best Way”), but they’re not alone. Over at the hipster AVClub, Joe Blevins analyzes the claim that “It turns out Donald Trump is bad guy Prince John from Disney’s Robin Hood.”
According to this scholarly critique, both Trump and Prince John are “easily manipulated” (huh?), wear “ill-fitting clothes,” (seriously?) and “desire to punish those who speak out against him (OK, fine, but the best comparison you could think of was some animated lion?). Such commentary is perfect for the individual who would rather not address the ramifications of renegotiating NAFTA.
“But, Joe, these are just a bunch of goofballs online. People can write whatever they want, didn’t you once pitch to The Atlantic a 3,000-word feature on why organic poodle hair is the textile of the future?”
My vision for rebooting Brazil’s sluggish economy aside, liberals’ new habit of imagining the world as a black-and-white fantasy extends beyond Internet think pieces. On Tuesday, the Washington Free Beacon reported on “a group of millennials … planning to open a permanent space near the White House next month.” They don’t know what they’re going to be protesting, but they do know they’re going to be pissed off. So what are they naming the house they’ll be living in? District 13, aka the “defiant community in the “Hunger Games,” children’s science fiction series.
There was a time when liberal activists had cool names, like the Black Panthers or the Weather Underground. Rather than set off bombs or carry around assault rifles, the contemporary leftist protester apparently draws inspiration from book characters that Scholastic publishing house recommends for fifth graders. I understand that Jennifer Lawrence looked super hot in the movie adaptations, but I always thought that the goal for leftists was a global socialist revolution, not running around in tight pants and whistling like a bird.
It’s one thing for millennials to be living in their parents’ basement, or putting marriage off a few years, but it’s another to reject reality completely. Of course, there might be an upside to all of this: If millennials remain so preoccupied with childish fantasies, they might forget to vote next election.
Joe Simonson works for the New York Post editorial page. You can follow him on twitter at @SaysSimonson.