Why I Won’t Vote in November

As things stand now, I’m not going to vote in the general election in November 2020. What choice do I have?

Now that Bernie’s dropped out, It’s between two mentally impaired dirty old men – Donald Trump on the one hand, and Joe Biden on the other. Both are showing clear signs of dementia.

Trump stands accused of sexual assault by multiple women. Biden has a still unanswered but very credible similar charge outstanding. And no one in Biden’s party or in the press will even raise that accusation for discussion. (Trust me: Trump will! So, goodbye, Uncle Joe.)

And both men are serial liars. With Trump, that is a foregone conclusion. But Biden’s a liar too.

In one of his previous candidacies, his history of plagiarism made him surrender his bid. He’s lied about his education and his achievements in law school. Then there are those lies about his civil rights activism, about his history with Nelson Mandela, and about his attacks on Social Security. He just makes stuff up.

And neither one of them – neither Trump nor Biden – can put two sentences together without confirming their dementia. Every time he opens his mouth, Trump sounds like the doddering Mafia Don he is. He slurs his words, repeats himself, and can’t even remember what he just said. He hasn’t a worthwhile thought in his head. Never has.

Biden’s even worse! His sentences wander; he forgets what he’s talking about; he constantly leaves his audiences wondering, “What?” Or “That’s (to put it nicely) simply embarrassing!”

In a country of more than 350 million people, is this the best we can do? Are these our best and our brightest?

(However, I have to say that debate between these buffoons will make great television. It will be highly amusing and comical. But that’s what politics in this country has come to. It’s all Kabuki theater; it’s a cruel joke.)

That’s another reason I’ll not vote in November. The political system in general is completely broken. The politicians that are supposed to represent me have nothing to do with my concerns. They’ve completely sold out. They represent no one but their rich cronies. (Now I know how people in the Soviet Union must have felt in the late ‘80s.) The system just isn’t worth my participation.

And that goes for AOC, Ilhan Omar, the rest of the so-called “squad “(and Bernie too). In the most recent bailout, they all caved. They gave grandstanding speeches about the injustice of it all. But in the end, they voted against us, didn’t they? Their loyalties are to party and career, not to me or to you. We have NO ONE to represent us.

Democracy in this country is dead. The system is completely rigged. They don’t even want us to vote. The obstacles they’ve set in terms of the electoral college, gerrymandering, disenfranchisement, crooked voting machines, interminable lines, and Citizens United make a mockery of the entire process.

And please don’t try to shame me into voting because of the Supreme Court. That body is totally corrupt as well – completely politicized. No justice there – not even a glimmer of hope. Only clowns like the sexual predator Clarence Thomas (whom Biden ended up supporting over Anita Hill), the accused rapist Brett Kavanaugh, and a coward like John Roberts (who, remember hardly spoke a word while presiding over the recent sham impeachment hearings). The SCOTUS has no credibility at all. It’s irreformable. So, dear Ruth, you may go in peace.

The hell of it is that we don’t have any time for reform. Mother Nature won’t allow it. Climate change is breathing down our necks. What are the scientists giving us – 10 more years – or is it 8? You can now subtract 4 from that number. Neither Trump nor Biden will do what needs to be done. (Remember, Joe told his corporate friends, “Nothing fundamental will change.”)

And no one cares. I mean, with COVID-19, we can make the entire world stop. But with the far worse threat of climate change: not so much. It’s all business as usual. And it’s all nuts.

But in a way, maybe that’s the only ray of hope we have – from Mother Nature. While our system won’t object to climate destruction, maybe Our Great Mother just won’t allow this madness to go on. In any case, it’s now up to her. She will have her way.  

It’s all so discouraging on this morning after Bernie’s surrender. In the face of it all, and as things stand now, that’s why I’ll boycott this election in November.

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Mike Rivage-Seul's Blog

Emeritus professor of Peace & Social Justice Studies. Liberation theologian. Activist. Former R.C. priest. Married for 45 years. Three grown children. Six grandchildren.

17 thoughts on “Why I Won’t Vote in November”

  1. Amen, brother! I got a letter from the Republicans about a week or so ago. Why, I have no idea. Of course, I made no contribution. I stuffed my “Ballot” into the postage free reply envelope—-and then stuffed in as much scrap paper as possible so their bill would go up for weight AND for thickness.

    A few days ago, the Democrats mailed me a letter looking for support for Joe Biden. It was very, very difficult but after an hour I was able to send the Dems a “NO, NEVER!” response instead of Drill Sargent language. The Democrats are just as corrupt as the Republicans.

    They are all corrupt—-the whole system is corrupt, everywhere. When the Last State of the Union took place with all the top people in the 3 branches crowded into the Congress building, I thought, “What would happen if some terrorist detonated a nuclear device in the basement?” Maybe then would there be a positive change back to the people?No, there would not. In the oligarchy, it doesn’t matter who preserves its power as long as someone, anyone blocks The People from regaining any—-by any means necessary.

    He Is Risen!



  2. The election is Nov. 2020, and not 2016.
    Trump has to go !
    VOTE, damn it !

    I liked Elisabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Elisabeth would be a great VP choice… she’s got a plan!

    Still love your comments even when you are “off track.”

    Best to you and family – stay healthy.

    Dr. G


  3. Unfortunately, the election of 2016 has taken place, and we are constantly paying the price. The grand American experiment is a failure, and I agree, it is a tragedy that our choice for 2020 is two old demented men. The difference between them though, is enormous. One of them, the one we have and will probably continue to have, through a totally broken election system or by edict, is pure, unadulterated evil. The kind of leaders available, Stacy Abrams, Katie Porter and Elizabeth Warren, are never going to lead this country. They are women and they are intelligent, neither of which is respected in our country. Your blog is very depressing, but deep down, buried under my natural instinct to see hope, I agree with you. I am an almost 80 year old woman who wept when Elizabeth Warren withdrew. It is so heart breaking to witness the destruction of our rich, beautiful planet, the dominance of greed and corruption, mostly in the hands of men, and the domination of the majority by the worst few. I lost faith in religion long ago. I find solace in the natural world which is gradually being debased and obliterated. I am aware of the diminishing number of song birds coming to our property over the past 10 to 15 years, the loss of fire flies, bees and other precious insects. Margaret Atwood was optimistic in her interview on pubic radio months ago, but “The Handmaid’s Tail”, published in 1985, still speaks loud and clear, if perhaps as an exaggerated metaphor. The development of surveillance is no joke.

    I worry that if there are many like you who will not vote, we will have the same outcome as we did in 2016. The choice is pathetic but another 4 years of Trump is untenable. Democracy is dead but Biden is not stupid/weak enough to be guided by white supremacists, conspiracy theories and Fox “News”. He will install intelligent people to work for him and rebuild the gutted agencies. I agree, the Republicans will block any humanitarian efforts, but we may avoid becoming a fascist nation for awhile.

    So Happy Easter. Ironically our air is cleaner now, and it is quieter outside. Still, most of humanity is clinging to the trunk of a felled tree, caught in the current of a muddy river.

    Marion Johnson (Phillip), Westport


    1. I’m sorry, Marion, if my posting was depressing. Perhaps after Bernie’s surrender, I should have kept my depression to myself. It’s just that I found his and the presence of “The Squad” gave me hope for a while. Now that opening appears to have closed. However, the closure has more clearly than ever revealed (at least to me) the corruption of the entire system.


      1. Are there no races down ballot even on the local level that your vote would not help?? Nothing says that you have to vote for every office or proposition on the ballot!!


      2. Of course, you’re right, Kay. I was just addressing the top of the ticket. As I listened to “The Young Turks” last evening, I was struck again by the corruption of the whole system which seems beyond recall. That’s one of the benefits of the Trump administration. It makes it all so undeniably clear.


  4. Mike, this is not a perfect world, don’t pick up your marbles & run. I agree with many of your thoughts & statements, but not to vote is not the answer. All the people who didn’t vote in 2016 & maybe subconsciously you realize that not voting will deliver a repeat of 2016. Not only can I not even imagine what life would be like for us if he got elected again, I can not allow that to be our legacy to my grandkids. Think also the Supreme Court, think also Hungry! Marion Johnson has said it so much better than I am.


    1. Of course, you may be right. However, would you have said the same thing to Germans after Hitler came to power? In my estimation, the system is that corrupt — that dominated by corporate interests, while the rest of us are rendered powerless by deprivation of our voting rights. It is beyond recall. And so is the SCOTUS. And we’re running out of time in terms of climate chaos.


    2. Thanks, ams. I share your dread of the next four years — in any case. Biden will do nothing to reverse climate change, to remove the threat of nuclear war, or to introduce the required Green New Deal our grandchildren need so desperately. He has promised that nothing fundamental will change. That’s the position of the entire Democratic Party. It needs to collapse entirely. The choice it has made insures that it will. I’m glad that you are voting your conscience too. Both of us are.


  5. I’m so disappointed in Rivage-Seul. I despise this kind of syllogism that reeks of privilege. Children in cages should convince you to vote democratic. But followed by the mishandling of this pandemic?

    Maybe humor. This is David Sedaris: “…I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it? To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.”


    1. Susan and David: Thank you for your thoughtful, passionate comments. I agree, what I wrote may have been over-provocative. I hope however that you’ll forgive me for the similar thoughts in the current posting. I was trying to respond to the ones you shared and it came out pretty much the same. Sorry. To my mind, the candidates we’ve been given show so clearly the brokenness of the entire system. These men are not in charge; they’re not nearly capable of running the show. There are much greater and much darker forces behind them. Fortunately, the curtain is being lifted.


  6. Hey brother, I think it safe to say I share your frustration with the entire system. Remembering it was established by a group of wealthy men, interested in their own power as well as seeking improved but limited rights/freedoms for the masses, we are still ruled by the oligarchs.
    As to you position, I must point out that the top of the ticket is as we are witnessing only as important as those in subservient positions. Cabinet posts, especially EPA , DOJ and others play key roles in policy. I needn’t mention the SCOUS – please. In my opinion the primary objective is to defeat President Bone-spurs. I’m no Biden fan, but I will wait in line in the driving rain to vote for him instead of staying home in protest to the corrupt system.
    Hope you and yours are well – Stay Safe!


    1. Thanks, Craig. I always so appreciate your insights. You have such wide and deep experience with all of this. I’m grateful that you even take the time to read the stuff I write. Your comment deserves thought and thoughtful response. For better or worse, I’ve tried to express that in my current posting. I hope all is going well for you and your family at this extraordinary time. Missing Berea . . .


  7. Hi Mike,
    You surely anticipated the reaction you would receive from this missive. For example, to not vote for Biden gives more votes for Trump. And, as you also anticipated, Is Biden the better of the two poor choices? What I’m waiting on is the announcement of Biden’s VP. This is where there may be a glimmer of hope; understanding that Biden may not make it through a full term or will decide not to run for a second term. If he picks a weak VP, your frustration may be felt by many, including me. I’m remaining hopeful, while recognizing so much of what you say is true. This election will pass one way or another, as will the pandemic. What choice can I live with—to vote or not to vote—knowing that I have fewer and fewer opportunities to change the direction of our political landscape. Sitting it out does not feel responsible, at least at this point—and especially so if I contributed in any way to the re-election of Trump!


    1. Great to hear from you,Bill, in this forum. When are we going to put the blame where it belongs — on the Democratic Party? Their choice of Biden represents a giant vote for Donald Trump. They’re exactly repeating the disastrous strategy of 2016.


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