I can definitely speak for everyone when I say, this 2016 Presidential election has been one of the hardest, most controversial presidential elections in the history of America. We had Donald J Trump, reality TV star and self-made businessman who started with a “small loan of a million dollars” from his father. We also had Hilary Rodham Clinton, secretary of state and former first lady to her impeached husband Bill Clinton.
Due to certain things these two have done and said, they have indeed made their enemies. During their campaigns, I, for example did not support either. I have seen many online memes that say Clinton is everything that’s wrong with our government while Trump is everything wrong with our culture. This makes sense considering while Trump was doing his campaign, he was saying tons of things that appealed to ugly America and now that he’s President-elect, he has begun to change a few of the things he was telling us.
Going back to May of this year, we all recall the death of Harambe the gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo. A young boy fell into the gorilla enclosure and the gorilla was subsequently shot and killed to protect the boy. All this happened the day after the gorilla’s 17th birthday.
Moving forward, the internet took this by storm. It was the biggest thing online. Everyone suddenly cared about this gorilla, everyone but me that is. I couldn’t care less. But it got so out of hand that people actually created a bit of a religious following for this dead primate called Harambism. This is the worship of the dead ape. I am a firm believer that if one worships something they claim to be alive, then their belief too is very much alive. Harambe isn’t alive. He’s dead and the only reason that anyone cares at all about him is because a human being shot him dead.
This election, as I mentioned, I didn’t support Trump or Clinton, but I didn’t write in a candidate either. Many of our fellow Americans however, did write in the name of Harambe on their ballots. Now, let me tell you why this was stupid on their parts. 1) Harambe was 17 when he died. 2) He was a gorilla. 3) He is dead. Now, to become President of the United States, some basic requirements are to be a minimum of 35 years old, to be a human being, and to be living. I have heard of dead people voting for living politicians, but living people voting for dead animals is really beyond me.
This was indeed throwing one’s vote away. There were protests that transformed into riots in even our downtown Portland because Trump won the presidency. The fact that people voted for Harambe makes me even more frustrated at all of the vandalism that people did downtown because I guarantee you that many of the people who voted for Harambe were in downtown as well.
As Americans, we have many unalienable rights. We need to take these rights seriously. We need to exercise our freedom of speech, but to still watch our words. We need to exercise our freedom to bear arms but not to just go around with our weapons out in the open. We need to exercise our freedom of religion but not to shove ours or our lack thereof down the throats of others. Further, we need to exercise our freedom to vote democratically, but to vote wisely for the best human for the job.
Featured image courtesy of Jack “@THOTJAI” on Twitter
-Loren Riddle WR 121-19