There were two interesting polls this week that present together a humorous, if chilling, picture of the state of the American democratic process. According to the New York Times, only nine percent chose Clinton and Trump as nominees. That is unfortunately no surprise. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are the least popular candidates ever to secure nominations of the two parties. Then the Public Policy Polling found that in a general election matchup, five percent of Americans would vote for Harambe, the endangered gorilla that was shot and killed in May after carrying a 4-year-old around inside his habitat at the Cincinnati Zoo. Indeed, not only did five percent prefer Harambe (which seems quite sensible given the choices) but another four percent was undecided. So, those who want Trump and Clinton represent the same percentage as those who either prefer or might consider voting for a gorilla.
In fairness to Trump and Clinton, the Public Policy poll shows Harambe at third place with Clinton receiving 48 percent and Donald Trump at 43 percent. Thus, they are both beating out the primate vote. However, given the New York Times calculation, only nine percent of voters actually supported the two candidates so Clinton and Trump appear within the range of statistical error in trying to pass a dead gorilla in popularity.
One could ask, as we have previously discussed, how any country that prides itself on being one of the longest standing democracies could reach this point. The vast majority of voters dislike, if not despise, both Trump and Clinton but it does not seem to matter in the American duopoly of power.
Moreover, Harambe has a number of things that neither of the mainstream candidates have been able to establish with voters. First and foremost he is self-sacrificing and authentic. Second, he is empathic and strong. Finally, he is absolutely honest. Clinton recently gave an interview that addressed her problems with truthfulness. That interview was given “four Pinochios” by the Washington Post. Trump for his part seems to think that business deals is the equivalent to giving your life in combat. In that company, Harambe is a stand out.
Moreover, Harambe could easily adopt past slogans to work as a mainstream presidential candidate as someone who demonstrated the very values claimed:
William McKinley: A Full Dinner Pail
Lyndon B. Johnson: The Stakes are too High for You to Stay at Home
Barry Goldwater: In your Heart you Know he’s Right
Jimmy Carter: A Leader, For a Change
George Bush: Kinder, Gentler Nation
Bill Clinton: Putting People First
George W. Bush: Leave no Child Behind
Hillary Clinton: Stronger Together