NYU professors weigh in on Election 2012

Center photo via wikipedia.org

Now that Election Day is here, NYU professors voice their opinions about today’s election.

Pia Brar for WSN

“Right before the election, candidates can’t touch on any hard issues like climate change. I’m hoping that whoever is elected will be able to start tackling issues related to climate change. I’m also worried about people not being able to vote because of the hurricane.”
— Catherine King, LSP professor of Environmental Studies

Courtesy of Martin Scherzinger

“It’s distressingly fascinating to witness the political debate curdle into simplicity as the election draws closer. To take just one of a multitude of examples, we find financial regulation pitted against deregulation when both positions amply entail actual regulation. There is no financial system unhinged from legal contracts. The question should focus on the mode of regulation, whom it serves, how it functions and so on. [The Dodd-Frank Act], for example, could easily be construed as regulation for the proper functioning of the free market. False dichotomies litter the rhetorical battlefield, and yet somehow the actual vote takes on a slightly oblique relation to it.” — Martin Scherzinger, Steinhardt associate professor of Media, Culture and Communication

Courtesy of Stephen Duncombe

“If my candidate wins or if my candidate does not win, I will do the same thing. [I will] analyze, organize, agitate and fight for what I think is right for the country. This is what we should all do, no matter who wins and [for whom we voted]. Politicians only act in the public interest when the public makes its interests well-known.”
— Stephen Duncombe, Gallatin associate professor

Courtesy of Tamuira Reid

“I was raised in a strictly Republican household, having grandparents who socialized with the Reagans and a mother who, despite her bra-burning days at Berkeley, also leaned to the right. But coming from a town like Santa Cruz, Calif., I was surrounded, thankfully, by liberals and found my own political footing as a young adult. I still have a difficult time identifying with one party; I vote for the best person, regardless of affiliation, to lead our country. I’m voting for Obama. Again. Am I completely satisfied with what he’s accomplished in the past four years? No. Do I think there is anyone who could’ve done better? Absolutely not. The process of healing this country from the inside-out is timely and complicated. I have faith in Obama because he has faith in us. It’s that simple.”
— Tamuira Reid, LSP professor of Writing

Pia Brar for WSN

“This might be the last election where the white vote counts.”
— Harel Shapira, CAS adjunct professor of Sociology

Pia Brar for WSN

“The extreme difference between swing states is becoming an increasing problem for American democracy. The amount of money and focus aimed at these states is becoming more extreme.”
— Jeff Manza, CAS professor of Sociology

Courtesy of Patrick Egan

“Whether Mitt Romney wins or loses on Election Day 2012, one of the biggest questions that will arise for the Republican Party is how it can expand its coalition to include groups that are becoming ever more powerful in American politics. The party will face serious electoral trouble in the future unless it grows its support among black, Latino and Asian voters as well as the youngest generations of Americans of every background. Watch for a renewed struggle in the GOP between its base, which tends to resist responding to these demographic trends, and its leadership, which knows that the party must gain new supporters to remain viable.”
— Patrick Egan, CAS assistant professor of Politics

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Nov. 6 print edition. Su Sie Park is a contributing writer. Pia Brar is a staff writer. Email them at [email protected]