Election 2016

Colin Kaepernick Didn't Vote, and That's Great

Says he wasn't going to be a hypocrite



San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who gained prominence in the pre-season after refusing to stand for the national anthem as part of a protest against police abuse and conditions for African-Americans in the country, says he didn't vote in the presidential election.

In one of his earliest public statements, Kaepernick talked about how the election plays into his view of the problems for marginalized people in America. He called Trump an "openly racist" candidate but was more specific in his criticism of Hillary Clinton.

"I mean, we have a presidential candidate who deleted emails and done things illegally and is a presidential candidate," Kaepernick noted. "That doesn't make sense to me. Cuz if that was any other person you'd be in prison, so what is this country really standing for?"

Many Clinton supporters are now blaming not just Trump voters, but third party voters and non-voters as well, for Clinton's defeat. Such a for now total inability to acknowledge anything the candidate or her campaign staff might have done to earn a defeat, combined with the inability during the campaign for many Clinton surrogates to acknowledge any flaws in Clinton's policies or decision making process, probably vindicates the decision of many of the nearly 140 million people who did not vote for Clinton—either choosing another candidate or, like Kaepernick, making the decision to stay home.

Kaepernick defended his decision to vote from a sports media that largely believed was a hypocritical decision that hurt his credibility. "You know, I think it would be hypocritical of me to vote," Kaepernick said. "I said from the beginning I was against oppression, I was against the system of oppression. I'm not going to show support for that system. And to me, the oppressor isn't going to allow you to vote your way out of your oppression."

I've argued that it's important to vote, specifically to leave the presidency blank if desired, or to vote for third party candidates that reject the binary status quo. There are powerful political mechanisms maintaining the two party system, but it is still possible for tens of millions of people to reject it at the polls and challenge its authority. That millions of people are discouraged from doing so is as much a product of a virulently pro-status quo culture (even when it dresses up in anti-establishmentarianism like Che Guevara t-shirts) as any political mechanism working against third parties.

The most libertarian thing may have been what Kaepernick's done—not vote at all and reject the system. After all, as Katherine Mangu-Ward explained in 2012, your vote doesn't count. The 2016 election took up a disturbing portion of people's lives. Trump's election has caused many people to say they are in fear. But we should examine how we got here. In a Constitutional republic, not one person in the government should ever have so much power. Clinton supporters who describe Trump's victory as "catastrophic" for democracy have only themselves to blame. If the system were just one bad election result from a catastrophe, something should have been done to restrict the power of the presidency in the last eight years. It's the same argument Republican critics of Obama were faced with in 2008—if they believed Obama posed such an existential threat to America, they should not have spent their most recent 8 years in power mindlessly expanding the power of the federal government in general and the executive branch specifically. Partisans who continue to blame everyone for Clinton's loss but the candidate and her staff (all of whom appear poised to walk away from this scam pretty well off) are reinforcing and enabling a broken system.

Asked whether his cause was more "urgent" now that Trump had won, Kaepernick responded: "I think everybody should feel urgency, to make sure we're doing the right thing, building, you know, things the right way, in order to be able to protect ourselves from the things that may come from this."

Voices like Kaepernick's, calling on people to focus on how to limit the damage government can do to people, rather than focusing on who should take control of the government, will be crucial in getting the work underway to dismantle an overreaching executive and an out-of-control federal government that has made its way deeper and deeper into the lives of all Americans.

NEXT: 2016 Likely Hottest Year in Instrumental Record, Says WMO

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    1. Apparently you do if you took the time to comment.

      1. My ‘give a shit quotient’ is related to complaining about reason articles.

        1. Who gives a shit what you give a shit about?

          1. You do if you take the time to comment on it.

            1. I give a shit. At least 1.5 shits, in fact.

              1. You may want to finish that second one and wipe. Leaving it hanging there will be more of a problem when you leave the toilet.

              2. Only Sandy can really settle this.

  1. Hmm, incomplete opening para/sentence?

    1. I think it was supposed to the alt-text.

  2. Why did people think he would vote?

    Somehow the media didn’t widely report the little rant where he said Hillary was a criminal who should be in jail.

    1. Again, who cares if he voted or not?

      1. Democrats who had temporarily made him a hero.

        1. Democrats assume anyone who is against police abuse is a democrat. I have no idea why they would assume this. The large metropolitan areas that are most infested with perceived racism and actual police abuses are largely controlled by democratic politicians writing democratic policies. Some opponents of the police can see that.

          1. Right, see above:

            Colin also said Hillary was a criminal and should be in jail. A statement not spread all that much by the media.

            How in the hell could they assume he was going to vote for her?

          2. I have no idea why they would assume this.

            Maybe you just missed this big election thingy where it was kinda decisively shown that Democrats were mistakenly optimistic in their assumptions that other people were Democrats just like them?

            1. Apparently they missed it too. Still blaming the election results on third party voters. There are reasons people vote third party. I did because johnson was as close as I was gonna get to a libertarian. Eco nazis voted stein because they believe the world is gonna end if we don’t shut down oil companies. A whole lot of other people vote third party because they can’t stand your party. Assuming without the third party option all of these different people would have voted democrat is an example of the left not learning anything about what just happened to them.

  3. Many Clinton supporters are now blaming not just Trump voters, but third party voters and non-voters as well, for Clinton’s defeat.

    Because all of them would have voted Hillary.

  4. Colin Kaepernick: Reason’s Liberwoke Bae of the Half-Week

  5. Geez. The hair is just awesome in that photo, btw.

    1. I thought that was his ego swelling his scalp.

      1. I too am against him voicing an opinion. The nerve.

        1. America: Love it or leave it, hippie.

        2. I have no problem with him voicing his opinion – that isn’t where I get the impression of ego from.

          1. Is it that he is using his popularity to speak about a cause he believes in?

            1. Who here heard about him before the undue attention to his commentary?

              1. Anyone who followed football in the slightest?

                1. What does soccer have to do with it?

                  /deliberate cluelessness

              2. Me.

                I thought he was a mediocre QB for SF. He was, in fact, auto-drafted to my fantasy team.

                I actually didn’t realize he was black until this. He just looked like a tan white dude to me with a bunch of tattoos.

                I also didn’t realize the full majesty of that hair.

              3. You are aware the NFL is very popular, right?

                1. Not any more, thanks to Kaepernick.

                  1. I was not replying to you, T.F.G. However, I think his kneeling has very little to do with the NFL’s dwindling ratings. I would think that other entertainment options – such as cord cutting – has more to do with it then some dude (and then dudes) kneeling during the national anthem.

                    1. I think that too, Crusty, but I was trying to be funny.

                    2. It’s probably not the driving factor, but a lot of people do not want their sports to politicized. Me included.

                    3. Me included.

                      But wait, let me guess: you’re ok with them playing the national anthem.

                    4. Wouldn’t bother me if it went away. The anthem is also not really political. It’s national. Politics are individual. The National anthem is supposed to be celebration of America as a whole. It represents no policy positions.

                    5. @Hail Rataxes I, for one, am vehemently opposed to the playing of the National Anthem at sporting events. As I always turn the channel for the Anthem, and the 7th inning “God Bless America” in baseball. And the worst of it all are those staged, propagandized “family reunions” at halftime. All that Nationalism makes me throw up in my mouth whenever I see it.

                    6. It’s probably not the driving factor, but a lot of people do not want their sports to politicized. Me included.

                      I agree completely. I’m sure the politicization of everything contributed to Trump’s victory. However, the narrative that NFL ratings dropped 10-15% because of a dude kneeling is absurd.

                2. You are aware the NFL is very popular, right?

                  I’m aware that it routinely robs me of tax dollars. I still can’t figure out why it’s subsidized.

                  1. In terms of bullshit stadium deals, yet.

                    I do not consider tax breaks for non-profit status a “subsidy”, however, so that portion of the popular argument I don’t completely buy.

        3. That damn darkie better learn his place.

          (Relax UnCiv, I know you’re not a racist… are you?)

          1. Speaking of, where’s Irish?

    2. When he’s out of football, he’s a shoo-in to reprise the role of Freddie “Boom Boom” Washington in the Welcome Back Kotter remake.

  6. You know what my wife said yesterday? Well I’ll tell you. She said that now that Donald Trump, a person with no political background, has been elected as President, any person could just think that they could be President one day.

    After staring at her like she had just grown a second head for a good 30 seconds, I calmly explained to her that “THAT’S THE WAY IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

      1. You won’t believe what happened next.

        1. You were right – I do not believe what happened next.

      2. She bowed to my superior intellect and knowledge of the subject matter.

        1. Your wife rules. Can she train my wife?

        2. So.. you’re sleeping on the couch again?

          1. Not at all, I have her trained to understand when I clearly know more about a topic than she does and it’s better to not argue.

            1. Mail order?

              1. Just garden variety uneducated.

        3. So you are on the couch until further notice?

    1. I look forward to the Trump vs. Franken election.

      1. Search the trunks of candidates’ cars before the polls open.

    2. But Abe explained to Homer the system is designed to keep people like him out!

  7. Oh he’s still a hypocrite, just not about voting.

  8. Many Clinton supporters are now blaming not just Trump voters, but third party voters and non-voters as well, for Clinton’s defeat.

    *raises hand*

    Already been blamed. I guess my vote “belonged” to Clinton, and I withheld my precious essence from her.

    1. Ditto.

      The thing is I could’ve easily just voted for Clinton, and chose not to because… you know… I didn’t actually like her or want her to be president.

      1. This was true coming from Trump’s rabid supporters and it’s now true of Clinton’s hysterical ninnies. Your candidates still has to earn my vote, you know. And no, being not-the-other-guy is insufficient reason to cast my lot in with her.

        1. I think the logic partly comes from “Trump = Hitler” that every reasonable person should conclude according to a progressive.

          Yeah, I suppose if I thought Trump was Hitler or able to even be Hitler in this country I wouldn’t have voted for Gary Johnson.

          1. The problem with Trump= Hitler is even if tou accept the premise, they do not realize that they nominated Mussolini over Lenin. There were not offering a clearly better alternative or even had one available.

    2. +1 purity of essence

    3. Even though I would have never voted for Clinton, I’ll happily take credit for their yummy tears.

  9. Also, it’s unfortunate when relatively important things end up with retarded spokespeople.

    1. I’m still trying to figure out what a Leppo is and where I can get one.

      1. Gary Johnson for Secretary of State.

        1. Because what difference, at this point, could it make?

      2. Try Father Damian’s resort on Molokai.

      3. Here’s a fun thing to try with those dissing Gary about Aleppo. I kept hearing about aleppo. Had no clue what it was either. Till my cousin pointed it’s what the uneducated call Halab. Halab I know, aleppo I don’t. My family and friends know aleppo by it’s arabii name, Halab.

        1. Awesome, you and a handful of others call it something different he’s off the hook now!

          1. It does get him off the hook. The LP parties foreign policy speaks about not intervening and occupying. The fact that Johnson, wasn’t a media zombie, speaks highly. Let’s not forget that Syria is a by-product of the federal gov’s intervention and occupation of the ME. As stated perfectly on lp.org foreign policy paragraph three. They highlight the point exactly for the attack on 911. The toppling of Sudaam, caused a power vacuum for criminal organizations such as Qaeda and Daesh. Essentially bashing down the back door for Iran to sneak in, creating Yemen’s, Syria’s situation and Lebanon’s current quagmire with Hezbollah. Dear oh dear, poor North Africa. What a shit storm that is. Aside from Lebanon. These were safe countries. Where you could walk outside at night and not have to worry about crime. Women didn’t have to worry about rape. True in some places such as Syria and Lebanon groping was common. There was no need at all for door locks. But go ahead make fun of the LP foreign policies, because your way is working so flawlessly. To end, I would like to say that I wouldn’t call millions a handful.

  10. None of my republicans friends have thanked me for throwing my vote away on Johnson this year. How rude, after they blamed me and my third party votes for Obama’s two electoral victories.



  12. Love him or hate him, you gotta admit he’s a sorry excuse for an NFL q-back.

    1. I can’t admit that, since I didn’t even know that was the part of the game he played.

      1. Isn’t he mostly benchwarming these days?

          1. Look, UnCS doesn’t know anything, doesn’t care about anything, and absolutely will not stop until everyone knows it.

            1. And for some reason, that seems to bother Hugh.

        1. He wasn’t protesting anything when he was a starter.

          1. He has been starting for the past three games.

  13. I don’t understand how the BLM set can be as absolutely blind to the actual problem with police as they are.

    It’s like we’re all watching illegal dogfighting and everyone is pissed when a dog of the breed they prefer is killed and don’t care at all when dogs of other breeds die in the ring.

    Why can’t we get everyone to agree that the dogfighting itself is what’s wrong, regardless of which dogs die and which are doing the killing?

    But I guess if we did that, we couldn’t harness identity politics to keep toes on the line voting the way Democrats need them to vote.

    1. Being a libertarian, I’m am for full legalization of dog fighting, and all other animal based bloodsports. There hasn’t been a good bear baiting around these parts in the better part of a century.

      1. Come hang out with me one weekend. I go bear ‘bating several times a month.

  14. You know what else Kapernick did in addition to not voting? He allowed the police and those who defend them to paint anyone who criticizes the police or desires to hold the police accountable for their misconduct as being against the entire country.

    Fuck kapernick. And shame on reason for saying anything nice about him. That idiot set the cause of police accountability back a decade. And worse, he did right when it seemed that the country was starting to wake up to the need to hold police more accountable. Then along come BLM to make it look like the entire thing was just an excuse to let criminals no longer have to worry about the cops.

    Kapernick, however, was the icing on the cake. What was the point of not standing for the anthem? It did not change anything. It didn’t bring any new information to the public’s attention. All it did was cause people to assume that being concerned about police brutality and accountability was associated with rejecting the entire country.

    The police unions ought to send that assclown a thank you note and some flowers because I can’t think of anyone in public life that has helped them more. What a dumb ass.

    1. I’d direct a lot more of your criticism to that guy who shot all those police in Dallas. It infused fresh blood into the “war on police” narrative and probably did more to doom the police accountability movement than anything else has in recent history.

      1. That guy sucks a lot worse. But he is a lunatic. It is hard to really criticize a lunatic or expect reasonable behavior or even effect their behavior. Kapernick is not a lunatic. He is just stupid.

        1. Well, it’s no different from most of the people who become celebrities. Rarely are our brightest people in the public eye. Ask people if they can name ten living scientists. Some of them can name two at most and most can name none at all. Can they name any living mathematicians? How about any economists (Krugnuts is prolific, but most can probably name no others).

          We can name quite a few technologists. That’s easy enough, because many of them are business moguls much more than they are technology geniuses. Also, we can more easily connect to an iphone than we can to some esoteric mathematical theorem. We can touch the former, handle it, use it. The latter requires a lot of effort to comprehend.

          I think a clearer message is to stop asking celebrities what they think about shit in general. They’re no better at understanding these issues than any normie, and often worse. If you play football for a living, count your blessings that you have the physique and aptitude for it, shut the hell up, and play.

          1. They’re no better at understanding these issues than any normie, and often worse.

            They’re better than the normies at getting a camera and microphone in front of their face.

            I like that the pithy post-election analysis on Hillary’s celebrity support is basically saying Americans never miss a chance to look at their celebrities, but they don’t take them seriously.

      2. I’d direct a lot more of your criticism to that guy who shot all those police in Dallas. It infused fresh blood into the “war on police” narrative and probably did more to doom the police accountability movement than anything else has in recent history.

        But look at the beforehand validation of that guys actions coming out of BLM. No small proportion of those professional activists are calling for dead cops, regularly. That sort of social acceptance gives a license to lunatics to commit crimes and think themselves heroes and moral crusaders for doing it.

    2. Fucking jerkoffs and their fucking principles, amirite?

      1. What principles was he standing up for by refusing to stand for the anthem? What does doing that even mean? Nothing. And if his principles really matter that much to him, maybe he should think about constructive ways to express them and persuade people rather than jack ass moves that do nothing but piss people off and allow his opponents to confuse the issue?

        If you can’t see the damage this jack off did to the Libertarian cause, then you are an idiot.

        1. Why would I care what kind of damage a retard does to the libertarian party? They picked Gary Johnson for crying out loud.

          Anyway, if you take him at his word then he believes the system is broken. Not one political party, not one politician, the whole damn system. In that case, it is entirely possible that he is against what America as a whole stands for. In which case rejecting everything from the national anthem to politics is perfectly in line with his principles.

          Granted, the guy is a moron and is probably incapable of making his point better. However, retards on the other side of the issue are going to blame him for ruining police reform or some damn thing.

        2. If his sort of hijinx do damage to the libertarian cause, that damage was done by BLM long before he made the news.

    3. He allowed the police and those who defend them to paint anyone who criticizes the police or desires to hold the police accountable for their misconduct as being against the entire country.

      As if no one would have done that anyway? Anyone who thinks that somehow Kapernick is representative of all criticism of police is even more of a fucking idiot than he is and should be ignored even more.

      1. He made it a lot easier. He took the issue and made it the subject of a bunch of stupid emotional debates over the national anthem and allowed the police to avoid having to defend their own conduct.

  15. “Report: Trump was unfamiliar with the scope of the president’s job when meeting Obama”

    Pretty sure he didn’t know he could order summary executions.

    1. It took Obama a while to teach him how to use the hotline in the Oval Office that connects to the Grand Reptilian Council orbiting just outside the solar system.

      1. Aka the Hillary Hotline

    2. Obama (carefully rubbing his desk in the Oval office):’And here’s my – er YOUR – desk. I like to keep the red pens in the left drawer (symbolically if you get my drift) and the blue ones on the right – blue is right. Blue makes might. Get it?

      Trump (looks at watch): Yeh, yeh. Red pen, blue pen. Together they make purple. Can I eat on it?

      Obama (hugs desk): Fried chicken never tasted so good while eating it in here.

      Trump: Fried chicken, huh.

  16. Somewhat OT, but absolutely hilarious:

    Hillary Clinton’s 36-year-old campaign manager, Robby Mook, dismissed the advice of the 70-year-old former president as the ravings of an aged athlete desperate to regain his former glory, and insisted instead that young, Latino and black voters were the key to winning 2016.


    Excuse me, I shouldn’t laugh like that.


    1. Who are you going to believe, a guy who was a Rhodes Scholar and won the governorship of a pretty red state twice and went on to win the Presidency twice or a 36 year old campaign manager no doubt armed with a BA and not much else.

      I can forgive Mook for being stupid. But I can’t see how he could be that stupid and be that arrogant as well.

      1. It’s less Mook and everyone else involved with the campaign who went along with it. They all should have known better.

      2. That’s why I’m so incredibly tickled by this story. It’s SJW presumption and arrogance writ large. Here’s one of the most skilled politicians of at least the last quarter century telling them advice and because it didn’t fit their presumption of moral superiority to “those people” they dismiss the guy’s warnings.

        And they got their ass handed to them for it.

        And I love it.

        1. I do too. They didn’t even learn the right lessons of the Obama campaign. They really thought Obama won by going full Prog and America embracing it rather than because he was black and pretended to be a centrist and uniter when he campaigned. Trump won because a bunch of key counties in swing states that had gone for Obama twice went for Trump this time. And these retards are the reason why.

          1. Hillary’s entire campaign was built on repudiating Bill’s presidency. The DLC “Third Way” politics that served Bill so well has become anathema to the contemporary Dem party.

            Which is fine by me, because it ensures that these assholes are out of power. Instead, we get a completely different group of assholes!

      3. Stupidity joined with arrogance pretty much describes Hillary’s entire campaign.

      4. But I can’t see how he could be that stupid and be that arrogant as well.

        John, come on. We’re talking about a Beltway insider, here. When it comes to those ‘tards, always bet on stupid and arrogant.

    2. So Clinton got Mooked

    3. That is funny. If Bill Clinton announced his presidential candidacy tomorrow people would be stampeding back to the polling places. When they remembered the election was already over they would demand their ballots back. And you can be sure nobody in the media would dare mention his overall regard for women or sexual proclivities.

      To this day the Democrat party runs on the fumes of Bill Clinton’s 90’s career and charisma. Despite Obama’s early cult of personality, he never had the (ultimately failed) potential of Bill had to be a ‘Great Statesman.’

      I hate BC’s political stances and would never vote for him personally, but that’s reality. There’s just something about the dude.

  17. “Voices like Kaepernick’s, calling on people to focus on how to limit the damage government can do to people, rather than focusing on who should take control of the government, will be crucial in getting the work underway to dismantle an overreaching executive and an out-of-control federal government that has made its way deeper and deeper into the lives of all Americans.”

    It sounds then he did have a choice.

    Voted libertarian because this is their position, no?

    1. Libertarians are still part of the system.


        Is it like a wild-cat formation?

  18. And he didn’t vote for Johnson, cause he couldn’t stand Weld!

    1. Who can?

  19. Good on him. His refusing to vote publicly after getting so much media attention is something the Dems will actually pay attention to. He’s black he’s one of their votes according to their analysist. Running Hillary lost them that vote. Hopefully the post-Clinton machine Democrat party will figure out how to actually run non-blatant criminals in the future.

  20. “The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists, who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood. The trailblazers in human, academic, scientific and religious freedom have always been nonconformists. In any cause that concerns the progress of mankind, put your faith in the nonconformist!”
    ? Martin Luther King Jr. (Strength to Love ? 1963)

    colin is not a conformist.

  21. I have an exhaustive list of people whose votes I don’t care about.

    Colin Kaepernick is on it.

    So are Cher, Sean Penn, Ted Nugent, and Clint Eastwood.

    I’ve never been to any of those people’s website. I don’t even know if they have websites.

    I come here to read what Ed Krayewski and others say.

    What Krayewski thinks about what Kaepernick thinks is certainly more interesting than what Kaepernick or anyone else on that list thinks.

    If Eastwood wants to explain how he has 14 children with 23 different women, I might be interested in what Eastwood thinks.

    1. “Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.”

    2. Are some of those children Frankenstein’s Monsters?

      1. See, that’s what I want to know.

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