None of the Above · 8 October 2016

We were talking about politics at lunch the other day and the film Brewster’s Millions came up. Now, I know how I am going to vote in the presidential race.

Everybody knows that you are not supposed to talk about politics, finances, or religion in polite company or groups of more than one, but sometimes we break those rules. This particular short political conversation started when one of my colleagues was reading another’s water bottle and asked, not so innocently, “Does that say Trump?”

The other was aghast. “What? No!”

The asker, Dave, had seen the R, U, M, and P on our unnamed colleague’s water bottle. Our unnamed colleague, Andie, read the word which the R, U, M, and P were actually part of (they were not just a whole word by themselves). Then she might have used an expletive (probably not, but it makes the story more interesting) to explain how she would never vote for that candidate.

Ignoring my own thoughts of self-preservation and the great advice given to all about polite company, I posited that perhaps neither presidential candidate this year was a very good one. To which Marc, my good friend and faithful reader, replied, “None of the above.”

“Yeah,” I agreed, missing the movie reference.

Naturally, Marc helped his slow friend along. He said character names and other references to help me get it, but I had no clue. As usual. So he finally got exasperated and said, “Brewster’s Millions? Richard Pryor? None of the above?”

I got it. “Oh yeah. Great movie.”

Now for those about as clueless as me or those who have not seen the movie, Brewster’s Millions is about Montgomery Brewster (played by Richard Pryor) who inherits a ton of money ($300 million). Or at least he will. If and only if he spends a tenth of that amount in a month without having any assets to show for it. And he is limited on how much he can give to charity. The movie shows the efforts it takes Brewster to spend that much money on nothing.

One of the more zany ideas Brewster has for spending the money is to run for office in the race for the mayor of New York City. In his campaign, he tells people to vote for None of the Above. Naturally, he wins.

I never thought of Brewster’s Millions as a prophetic or political movie, but it seems to be so. For if Colin Powell believes that neither of the two candidates from the main parties are really viable candidates for President of the United States of America, why should anybody else? I would certainly trust one of the most loyal and honorable men in the history of the United States in his assessment of potential presidents. Which is why I plan to follow the movie. I plan to write in None of the Above for president.

I know it is crazy. Zany. And probably stupid, but I really am going to write in None of the Above. It is the only vote I can make in good conscience. I do not believe most of the words either candidate says. And I find appalling the words that I do believe. But what I find least appealing of all is neither candidate seems to have any character at all.

There is nobody on the ballot for president of the United States of America that I would like to call the leader of the free world. I would write in Colin Powell, but he has made it clear that he would not run for the office. So I will do the next best thing that my conscience allows. I will vote for None of the Above. Sure, it is throwing my vote away, but the electoral college is going to do whatever it does anyway.

I know it is impossible, but I wonder what would happen if people actually voted like they did in Brewster’s Millions and elected None of the Above? I do know, but I am willing to find out.

(Actually, I plan to write in Colin Powell for president as my vote for none of the above.)

© 2016 Michael T. Miyoshi

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