Man, life is weird. One minute you’re taking part in a Senate roll call vote, trying to pass some random piece of legislation drafted by Lord Voldemort in order to pay him back for running a couple TV spots for you back during the election, and the next thing you know, you’re sitting in Azkaban with all your Congress buddies because being a muggle politician is suddenly illegal. Pretty nuts, right?
But before the Dementors come back up here and subject us to another round of mind-rending torture, I wanted to ask you guys something. Do you all think it was maybe—and I’m just talking hypothetically here—sort of a mistake to let the Heir of Slytherin start his own political action committee?
Now hear me out—I’m not saying that super PACs are inherently evil or anything. After all, look how that Citizens United case turned out—even the Supreme Court figured that well-funded special interest groups ought to have a constitutionally protected right to inject extreme sums of money into the political process. I mean, every American has that right, don’t they?
It just seems like under the old rules, Voldemort had a slightly harder time bending Congress to his infernal will. Campaign finance regulations used to place a cap on individual contributions, and the identity of each donor had to be logged with the FEC—so even He-Who-Must-Not Be-Named had to be, you know, named. It was public information, for example, that Tom Marvolo Riddle contributed the maximum-allowed $5,000 to John McCain’s ’08 presidential run.
But the whole super PAC system just made it too easy for the Dark Lord to transfigure money into influence. Just think how quickly he was able to consolidate a massive endowment using donations from all those wealthy pure-blood wizarding families like the Malfoys, Lestranges and Bushes.
And who would have even guessed that a super PAC with a harmless name like Dark Wizards for a Better America would have such an unspeakably evil agenda? Sure, its mission statement had a lot of stuff in there about enslaving all mankind, but they also wanted tax reforms and a balanced budget amendment. Aside from all the rhetoric about killing Harry Potter, most of us just figured they were off-brand libertarians or something.
But once we saw how effective those Facebook ads they were running for John Boehner were, I know I personally felt a lot of pressure to swear allegiance to You Know Who. So what if I started writing speeches where I blamed the stagnating economy on the Order of the Phoenix? Tons of politicians did. Heck, Orrin Hatch even got a tattoo of the Dark Mark on his forearm.
To be fair, winning my election by a massive margin did make me feel kind of guilty and all. But you know what? I’d have felt even guiltier if I didn’t at least try to repay Voldemort for his help. Maybe voting in favor of the Total Subjugation of Non-Magical Americans Act was taking things too far. But what if Voldemort would have decided to support my opponent in the next election? I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself.
Look—I was just as bummed out as anyone when a couple weeks later the three branches of the federal government were summarily abolished and replaced by a Ministry of Magic headed by a coterie of Lord Voldemort’s henchmen. And that thing where the Constitution magically transformed into a horcrux—well, that just plain sucked.
But the really depressing thing is that this all happened because one bad apple decided to take advantage of a system that had been intended to level the playing field between everyday, individual Americans and unfairly disenfranchised corporate and religious interests. And who would have predicted that?
But before I forget, there’s one other thing I wanted to talk to you guys about—and I can feel the icy, otherworldly chill of the Dementors approaching, so I’m going to make this quick. I realize that democracy’s been completely abolished and stuff, but have you all heard about this new super PAC, the Alliance of Progressive Decepticons? I know they haven’t exactly promised to put an end to the whole oppression of all humans thing yet, but I’ve still got a really good feeling about this Megatron guy they’ve got in charge. Plus, have you seen those billboards they’re running for Mitt Romney?