Marilyn Manson voted for Barack Obama in 2012, but he has no intention of visiting a polling station this November. "I don't find either candidate to my liking, so I choose to stand out of this one," he tells Rolling Stone. "And I don't think that's a coward's stance. A lot of people might say that. I just don't really want to be a part of this piece of history. Last time, I did want to be involved in some piece of history as a voter."
When asked about the candidates – or more specifically, one of the candidates – he says it's the context that matters. "You're asking what I think about Trump, and it's a tough call because if you look back at old presidents that have been in the past, and you weren't old enough to know how they lived their lives, and you didn't live in the era that was so media-saturated and internet and just so many opinions swirling around, the world seems a bit chaotic more than it should be," he says. "But then when you simplify it, it isn't more chaotic. It just comes down to two things: Who has more charisma, and who are they appealing to. And neither one of them appeal to me."
Manson, who will be making an appearance on the upcoming season of Salem and who has been teasing a "pretty violent" new album (SAY10) due in February, has long expressed disillusionment with the American electoral process. In 2000, when George W. Bush was elected, he told an interviewer, "I don't vote because I don't believe that it's a legitimate system anymore or of it ever was, so I just try and insert my beliefs on politics in music because I think that speaks to the youth which will be the future."
In 2004, when Bush was running against then-Senator John Kerry, he offered a similar opinion: "It's not a matter of me thinking my vote is going to make a difference or not; it's a matter of I don't have an interest in either person."
But his tone shifted when then-Senator Barack Obama became a candidate, telling Time in 2009 that he voted for "the president, of course." It was the first time he'd ever voted for president, he said. In 2012, Manson told Time Out Chicago that while he did vote for Obama, he "never believed in the authenticity of the two-party system," adding, "Politics in this country is all what happens behind Oz's curtain."