Comment: Why Harambe’s votes are a statement on America’s political disillusionment

A gorilla at Cincinnati Zoo

A gorilla at Cincinnati Zoo

The notion that America’s fate would be different had over 15,000 voters not opted to vote for a dead gorilla is, for many, a frustrating state of affairs. But are votes for Harambe a wasted opportunity?

In fact, it could be argued that a vote for Harambe is better than a vote for either presidential candidate; supporting the lesser of two evils does not achieve more than using your vote for protest. As a result, we must consider: how different would America’s fate be in the scenario of a Clinton victory?

When placed alongside Trump, any candidate would appear an acceptable choice for presidency. Those who reject Trump for his foreign policies, his statements concerning deportation, nuking and such must reflect on Clinton’s equally heinous policies.

In reality, she is not enough of an improvement to merit a vote. This is the woman who stated in interviews her intent to launch attacks on the likes of Iran and Palestine in the case of her victory – a vote for her is a vote for attacks on the middle east. And so opting for a dead gorilla is perhaps not so preposterous after all.

Harambe’s supporters evidently had no desire to have Trump or Clinton in office. The fact that they were active and used their vote regardless is a great feat. Rather than sitting in silence, the people are standing up and fighting back.

Some may question how much this really achieves. Spoilt ballots may not have an immediate visible impact, but they achieve at least as much as any vote for a valid candidate. If nobody voted, we would not have any of these radges in office.

Votes for a deceased gorilla are in fact very important indeed – they are an expression of the disillusionment and discontent felt by voters in regard to the current political system. Harambe’s legacy lives on; this crazy gorilla continues to smash the system from beyond the grave.

Words by Ailsa McEwan

Thousands vote in US election for dead gorilla

The US Presidential Elections may have dominated headlines for months now, but for a select few, the complex voting process remains a joke.

Amid the Twitter meltdown that ensued after the news of Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, was leading by a clear margin, there was one name in particular that seemed to pop up over and over again on the microblogging site.

Harambe, the male gorilla that hit the headlines earlier this year after being shot and killed in his Cincinnati Zoo enclosure in order to save the life of a young boy who fell into the gorilla’s habitat.

By around 1:00am ET, the dead gorilla had racked up more than 11,000 write-in votes for the presidency on election night.


In what seems to be the umpteenth time since his death in May this year, the 17-year-old male western lowland gorilla  found his name being dragged into yet another Twitter storm.

The surprise write-in candidate sparked a flurry of reactions. While some Twitter-users outraged about how voting for Harambe was an insult to democracy, others took a dig at the US elections as a whole.


As well as over 11,000 votes for the famous gorilla, recent polls have also shown over six thousand votes for Hennessy – a brand of Cognac.


While the surprise write-in candidate may seem humorous to some, others are distraught at the results. Many of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s losing states could have been swung by just a fraction of the 11,000 votes.


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