I'll sit out this presidential election because of the yahoos running

When former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was asked what he thought about the Iran-Iraq war, he said, “It’s a pity they both can’t lose.”

Funny, but that’s how I feel about Donald Trump and whomever the Democrats pick to run against him in November.

Let’s start with the president. I’m a Republican, a conservative, and I wish I could vote for him. But I can’t. It’s not his policies that annoy the heck out of me. It’s he who annoys the heck out of me.

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He is a man of bad character. A good man, someone who is decent, doesn’t enjoy humiliating people — something that President TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer employees critique EPA under Trump in new report Fired State Department watchdog says Pompeo aide attempted to 'bully' him over investigations Virginia senator calls for Barr to resign over order to clear protests MORE does with unfortunate regularity.

It’s not enough for him to tell his gazillion Twitter followers that Michael BloombergMichael BloombergIt's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Liberals embrace super PACs they once shunned .7 billion expected to be spent in 2020 campaign despite coronavirus: report MORE is too liberal and doesn’t deserve to be elected. Instead, he tweets that “Mini Mike Bloomberg is a LOSER.”

Mini Mike? What does former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s height have to do with anything? It’s a cheap shot designed to embarrass a political opponent. It’s childish.

He says Bloomberg is a “5 foot 4 mass of dead energy” who wants to stand on a box at presidential debates to avoid looking short.

Where’d that come from? There’s no evidence that Bloomberg ever said he wanted to stand on a box, and according to his medical records, he’s 5 feet, 7 inches, not 5 feet, 4 inches.

So what if Trump just made it up. Among the traits I don’t like about him is that he lies with frequency. Over matters big and small, important and insignificant.

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It’s too bad that Trump has so many character flaws. Too bad because, as I say, I want to vote for the Republican candidate for president; yet, thanks to Trump, I won’t be voting for him in November.

That I find him so unlikeable, in case you’re wondering, won’t drive me into the arms of the Democrats. Their party has lurched so far to the left that I couldn’t possibly support any of their candidates. 

Even the Democrats’ “moderates” are left-wingers. They don’t see the same America I do. Their America is a dark place, where only the super-rich are doing well, where ordinary Americans need two or three jobs to put food on the table, a place where racism is ingrained in the nation’s DNA. For Democrats running for president, the glass is always half empty — if that. 

And Democrats were out to impeach Trump from the moment he was elected in 2016. You don’t have to like our president to dislike that. There’s no way I’d vote for any of them.

I thought Trump was civil and, yes, even presidential, during his State of the Union address. I thought that, maybe, he had turned a corner. That, who knows, maybe we were going to see a new Donald Trump right up to the election.

Two days later, he thanked the pols who supported him during impeachment, telling them — on national television in the White House — that "it was all bullshit.” He can’t help himself. 

I grew up in a blue-collar neighborhood in the South Bronx and, while we didn’t have a lot of money back then, we did have values. It was a tough neighborhood but I don’t remember any of the grownups using words like “bullshit” in public. And the idea that a U.S. president would talk like that out in the open was unheard of — not possible.

Everybody in the neighborhood was a Democrat, but my parents and all the other grownups back then could never support free medical care for people who sneak into this country — not when they had to pay their own medical bills with the little money they had.

And if any Democrat back then had suggested that felons in prison be allowed to vote, as Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden wins DC primary Biden wins Montana primary Biden wins New Mexico primary MORE (I-Vt.) has suggested, they would have thought it was a joke.

Given the choice between hanging on to their jobs and disrupting the national economy with something like a Green New Deal — well, that would have been a no-brainer.

I’m not sure how they would have felt about abortion, but I am sure of this: They’d never have supported abortion with absolutely no restrictions.

We were a blue-collar family, as I say, but I never heard my parents bash the banks or big corporations, the way today’s progressives do. I never heard them vilify millionaires and billionaires.

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So, if you haven’t already figured it out, I’ll be sitting out the presidential election in November, just as I did in 2016.

Some people have told me that it’s anti-American to boycott an election, that Americans fought and died for my right to vote and that I am disrespecting them by not voting.

Sorry, I don’t buy that. But even if you believe that it’s somehow unpatriotic to sit out an election, don’t blame me. Blame the yahoos running for president.

I guess I can be persuaded to change my mind and vote for a president in November. If Trump decides he can’t win and drops out, and Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyThe Hill's Morning Report - Protesters' defiance met with calls to listen The truth behind Biden's 'you ain't black' gaffe A glimpse of our post-pandemic politics MORE jumps in, I’ll vote.

As for the Democrats, I’m with Ronald Reagan: They left me, I didn’t leave them.

So, in November, I’ll be exercising my right not to vote — my way of saying that I refuse to throw away my vote on candidates not worthy, as I see it, of the position of president of the United States of America. My way of saying, “Henry Kissinger, you were right: It really is too bad both sides can’t lose.”

Bernard Goldberg, an Emmy and an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University award-winning writer and journalist, is a correspondent with HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.” He previously worked as a reporter for CBS News and an analyst for Fox News. He is the author of five books and publishes exclusive weekly columns, audio commentaries and Q&As on his Patreon page. Follow him on Twitter @BernardGoldberg.