I never thought of myself as a conscientious objector, but I guess I am.
I simply cannot bring myself to vote for Donald Trump. It's not because I see my decision as noble or virtuous or anything else especially high-minded. I just think the man is an embarrassment.
That's not even a controversial statement. Unless you're Donald Trump or one of his acolytes who see him not as a candidate but as a savior, you know that he's an embarrassment, too.
I wanted to like him. In the beginning. Before he opened his mouth. But it didn't take long to figure out that this is a guy who is way too thin-skinned to be president, who is too much of a narcissist to sit in the Oval Office, who is intellectually lazy and too ignorant on too many issues and who lacks empathy and is too vindictive.
He's too consumed by ratings and the size of crowds at his rallies. This is a man who craves adulation. There's something unsettling about that. If I were a psychiatrist, I'd pick a better word than unsettling.
What about Hillary Clinton? Let me put it this way: If there is a less genuine person out there, I don't know who it is. She has no problem saying one thing publicly and something else privately. She vilifies people who are wealthy for not paying their "fair share" — after she takes millions of dollars from them.
She recklessly put our national security in jeopardy when she decided to use a personal server for her emails. She arguably should have been indicted for that recklessness. She panders even more than most politicians. And she lies at least as much as Donald Trump. There's more but let's move on,
How about Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate? Call me silly, but I have a rule: Never vote for anyone running for president who knows exactly as much about foreign policy as my dog — which is nothing.
So, whether I like it or not, I guess I am a conscientious objector. I can't vote for any of them. And I'm not alone.
But, unfortunately, somebody is going to win. So what do we have to look forward to after the election? Not much that's good, I'm afraid.
The winner will be the most unpopular person elected in a very long time — maybe ever. The country will be deeply polarized. The new president will have a tough time bringing the nation together.
If Clinton wins, Trump will still be around. Can you say Trump TV? You've probably heard that he may start a new cable channel or a streaming operation on the internet.
Donald Trump is constantly telling us that he's not a politician. And this is one of the few things he says that is indisputable. What he is, is a businessman. And he knows he's made a lot of money for other people, simply by being a guest on somebody's TV show. He's great for ratings. That much no one will dispute.
"Why should they make money off of me," he must be saying. "I've got tens of millions of loyal followers who worship me. They'll watch Trump TV. They'll make me even richer than I am now."
And maybe even more than money, they'll give him the adulation he desperately needs.
I've long believed that one of the reasons Trump has talked so much about rigged elections and fixed outcomes is to lure his fans over to Trump TV if he loses. Donald Trump may sound dopey at times, but he's not stupid. He will wind up the winner even if Clinton is elected president.
If she wins, she'll have to deal with the mess that President Obama has left her — starting with Obamacare and the Iran nuclear deal. She'll also have to deal with Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders who will think they're co-presidents and will never let her forget how much they helped her win over the far left. As for Trump, he'll be back on TV (or something like TV) making lots of money.
So Trump wins even if he loses. But Hillary Clinton loses if Donald Trump wins. She could be indicted. And if either of them wins, we're screwed for at least four years.
To find out more about Bernard Goldberg and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.