Trump-Voldemort metaphors have proliferated during the 2016 US presidential election. Early in the campaign, Rowling asserted that Trump was worse than Voldemort and called a Trump campaign spokesperson a Death Eater. In December 2015, Sarah Xiyi Chen released a Chrome extension that changed all references from Trump to Voldemort. That July, EW released a "Who Said It: Donald Trump or Voldemort?" quiz. The metaphors continued after Trump clinched the nomination. After a man destroyed Trump's Hollywood Star, articles framed it as the destruction of one of Trump's horcruxes, while another listed Trump's six other horcruxes. A week before the election, MoveOn.org released a political ad featuring Senator Merkley reading "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child". The ad asserted that the Harry Potter story "espouses the values of respect and tolerance. Trump does not" and called citizens to "unite to defeat He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named." After Trump won the election, the Trump-Voldemort metaphor continued to circulate.
The Trump-Voldemort metaphor functions in two ways. First, the metaphor frames Trump as an evil dictator by aligning him with Voldemort's thirst for power, his unethical methods for achieving that power, his belief in pureblood superiority, and his selfish focus on himself. As scholars like Lakoff and Johnson explain, metaphor is central to the ways in which we make sense of our world and communicate that sense to others. In this case, the Trump-Voldemort metaphor argues that Trump is a dangerous demagogue.
Second, the Trump-Voldemort metaphor functions as a call to action for Potter fans. If these metaphors are convincing, then a citizen faces an obligation to act to defeat Trump/Voldemort. For most Potter fans, Voldemort represents evil. Framing Trump as Voldemort invites fans to envision themselves as their favorite character, working against evil. Failure to take action would be tantamount to failing to stop Voldemort.
This is not the first time the Voldemort metaphor has been used politically in the US. During the Bush era, bumper stickers proclaiming "Republicans for Voldemort" and "Cheney-Voldemort '08" circulated widely, though Harry Potter fans sometimes critiqued them for their divisive message. This time, the Voldemort metaphors have circulated beyond the Harry Potter fandom through organizations like MoveOn.org. This might be an indication that fan-based politics may no longer be restricted to online fan communities, instead, finding wider audiences in mainstream publics.