France is set to hold its presidential election this spring, and a lot of French people apparently want Barack Obama to be their next president.
A petition for Obama to run in the May election was launched last week, Time reports, and it states,
Barack Obama has completed his second term as President of the United States on January 21, why not hire him as President for France? Our goal is simple, to collect before the 15th of March, 1 million voting promises to convince Barack Obama to run for the presidential election of May 2017. Barack Obama has the best resume in the world for the job. Because it is still possible to vote for a President and not against a candidate. Because at a time when France is about to vote massively for the extreme right, we can still give a lesson of democracy to the planet by electing a French President, a foreigner.
The petition reportedly has around 27,000 signatures so far, and people have plastered posters of Obama across Paris in conjunction with it.
The petition was reportedly launched by several men in their 30s "after a drink."
One of the men behind the petition, who didn't give his name because he's afraid of potential legal consequences that could harm his career, told NPR,
We were thinking about French politics and saying that we were fed up with the fact that we all the time had to vote against someone and how it would be cool to be able to vote for someone we admire. We came up with Obama. I think the whole world would love to have him as president.
Long story short: Some French guys got drunk, and decided Obama should be their next president because he's really "cool."
This has a lot to do with the fact France has its own version of Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen, a populist with unabashedly xenophobic perspectives.
It seems many in France are terrified of the prospect of Le Pen winning the election.
Polls currently show Le Pen winning the first round of France's election, but ultimately losing the runoff.
Like Trump, Le Pen is yet another example of the nationalistic, anti-immigrant stances that are sweeping Western societies.
Just to be clear: There's not a real chance of Obama becoming the next French president.
But this is a huge sign that many people in Western societies, like France and America, are unsettled by the rise of politicians who openly embrace intolerance.