This Harambe For President Petition Is For Voters Who Are Unhappy With Our Human Candidates
And now for something completely different. With all the preoccupation over Monday night's debate, with the fact-checking to be done and congratulations to be made (to Hillary Clinton, by most account), it easy to forget who this presidential election is really about. Not Clinton. Not Donald Trump. But Harambe.
In case you somehow missed this sad and viral story, Harambe was the gorilla who was killed by zookeepers at the Cincinatti Zoo in May after a four-year-old boy fell into his enclosure and staff feared the boy would be killed. His death caused a huge uproar which never seemed to fade, as memes involving the gorilla are still in the news months later.
There has been no shortage of odd tributes to the silverback gorilla. Petitions on Change.org include creating a Harambe Pokemon, putting him on the $100 bill, making "Justice for Harambe" Oreos, and changing the name of Cincinnati's NFL team, the Bengals, to the Harambes. A White House petition even calls on the president to rename the Navy ship the U.S.S. Harvey Milk to bear his name, which the petitioner says "will strike fear in the hearts of our enemies in a way that the name 'Milk' never could." (Milk, for reference, was one of the most influential LGBT activists and pioneers, and he most definitely does deserve to be the name on the ship.)
The Harambe movement has even gone international, with an effort in Australia to elect the deceased primate as prime minister. And now the political homage for Harambe sees petitions and social media campaigns stateside to have him appear on the ballot this November.
Write-in candidates have always been a fun thing to laugh about, but not often is there enough support galvanized behind one off-menu candidate to register on the polling radar. However, polls conducted by Public Policy Polling had the gorilla polling as high as five percent in July -- at the time, just one percentage point behind Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson and three points ahead of Green party candidate Jill Stein.
Harambe's support has fallen some since then, with the gorilla polling at 2 percent in August. However, the fact that he is even registering at the same rate as a legitimate third-party candidate is nothing short of insanity.
Public Policy Polling has a history of publishing odd results. The organization produced a study showing that 30 percent of Republicans were in favor of the U.S. bombing Agrabah, the fictional city from Aladdin. But Harambe got a lot of love on Twitter during Monday night’s first presidential debate. I guess the question now is what happens if his approval reaches 15 percent by the next debate?