Why I’m not voting — and why you shouldn’t either

A day late and a president short

8 min readNov 2, 2020


Credit: Jon Tyson

I told you so

I didn’t vote in the last election. I was tired of being stuck with terrible choices each election and “holding my nose” as they say. My family and friends were aghast.

As someone raised in a conservative tradition and by then having become more libertarian, I refused to support the supposed lesser of two evils. For one thing, I had assessed the probability of attempted dictatorship by the Republican nominee as non-zero. And Donald J. Trump was even in the 2016 election a blatant liar, an opportunist on economic policy, and an utter jerk.

Who looks smart in retrospect?

Few things get you in hot water more than taking a minority political position. Few people on either side can listen, and whoa to she who is in the minority in her geography, workplace, or Thanksgiving table.

Of course, the fact that we barely blink at there being two sides — and only two sides — for all political issues is a huge part of the problem. You’ll probably anger those around you if you support a minority view, but your position is accepted as somewhat normal as long as it is part of the received doctrine of at least one of the two major American parties.

But one risks outright ridicule or worse if suggesting an idea that doesn’t have a home at one of the poles of our system. Whatever you think of Bernie Sanders, this reality was at once both his allure and his downfall. Ditto Ross Perot.

The American public does not really want “new ideas.” They want a microset of antiquated ideas — just repackaged for same-day delivery sans GMOs in 4K HD streaming over 5G and with jingles authored by Tyler the Creator. [1]

Plus, when you take a break from political content for several years like I have, you eventually see what those fringe independent friends of yours have been telling you for years: the two parties aren’t as different as they seem.

It’s simply a miracle that the quadrennial repackaging of the same old tropes…




Not Siri. Sri (shree'). Navy SEAL, podcaster, machine learning, father. Trying to understand jazz. Trying to find huevos rancheros.