Open Phones: What's Your #1 Reason for Voting?

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Warm up your dialing fingers - it's an hour of Open Phones! The first question: What's your number one reason for voting?
Comment below!

Comments [74]

That Alex. from Brooklyn from Park Slope

To conclude my previous comment:
...Now that's change you can believe in!

Resentment or pettiness are absolutely not the reason. It's that we are now left with a Pyrrhic choice between a known liability and an unknown one, both committing blunders that demonstrate their ignorance of policy and of politics. It's that a very dangerous precedent was set by the DNC in Florida and Michigan, and it must be called to the carpet on that. It's that I'm not a cockeyed optimist who believes that a speech read at a grade level higher than my 9-year old's necessarily heralds an effective leader. It's that I won't take a chance on a one-party legislature AND executive when the so-called leader turns out to be spineless - I knew that months ago. It's that I am convinced that the Supreme Court will not beget more Alitos or even creepier Thomases, because of an overwhelmingly Democratic Congress had better act against it. And if they don't stop that, then shame on them!

It's that I do not believe that Obama is up to any of the Herculean tasks at hand, either domestically or abroad. He will prevaricate at every turn, as he already does now when pressed for substance.

Better times in four years, I hope - if we're all still here!

Aug. 05 2008 08:58 AM
That Alex. from Brooklyn from Park Slope

I know it's a bit late for this but I want to elaborate on my comments on the July 31st Brian Lehrer show. Voting is important to me indeed, and I will go to the booth and do something - pack all my votes for Democrats no matter who they are, and I will also write-in for "Hillary Rodham Clinton" - spell that right on the paper ballot or else! To offer my opinion is still better than to vote "present" as did in Illinois the man who can't be bothered to finish his first US Senate term.

If you would just put your Clinton-bashing mob instincts aside and take a serious look at Hillary's policies, you will notice that almost all the ideas she has steadfastly advocated are one by one becoming Obama's mantra "du jour", as he sheds one after the other so-called convictions he once held. And of late, he is even wandering into Republican policy territory, with right-of-center energy policies - pray tell you did notice, right?

Now that's change you can believe in!

Aug. 05 2008 08:57 AM
Liz from Georgia

I never miss an opportunity to vote, because my father, an immigrant from the Ukraine, told me (pointing to his right arm), "I would give my right arm to vote, AND THAT'S THE ONE I USE!!"

(My father lived in this country from age 16(he arrived in 1920) but never became a citizen. (He was alarmed by the 1924 law calling on all "aliens" to register their presence; he was young and had already fully adopted this country, thus was offended at being called an alien.) Later, when he matured, he lived in fear of being deported for having not registered, so he never admitted outside the family that he was not a citizen. I didn't know until I was 16. But because I heard his deep desire to vote, I never missed an election.

Aug. 01 2008 05:22 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Vote for change! Educate yourselves on the issues and vote for change!

Jul. 31 2008 12:55 PM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Tony #63 - you are "spot on!"

Jul. 31 2008 12:52 PM
AWM from UWS


Don't try to box me in or Obamafiy me. I'm an independent who likes people who see things rationally, realistically, thoughtfully.
But your mocking of a concept touted by Obama and his supporters indicates a pettiness on your part. Not very substantive or "principled."

Besides, you don't want to be included.

Jul. 31 2008 12:46 PM
David! from NYC

Thanks, O. I have XM, but airamerica isn't offered on the online choices.

To ALL: peace--really & sincerely

Jul. 31 2008 12:43 PM
O from Forest Hills

#73, check out, he is on after Brian weekdays from 12pm-3pm, he may help you, he is a radio commentator that is awesome and tells us what we can do to change and gives the real news not the corporate media doesn't want us to know.

Jul. 31 2008 12:41 PM
David! from NYC


All sniping aside, the one thing I really take issue with in your statement is the assumption that I don't care about the future of this country or the world. You are dead wrong on that one.

I'm happy you have a candidate you can be enthusiastic about. I've been there, too, and it is a great feeling. For everyone's sake, I hope you're right. I think your candidate will win the election, and if he does, I hope he proves himself to be the best president in US history. Our nation and world do face serious challenges.

I don't apologize for not jumping on his bandwagon though. That is my right and privilege, and I'll also cling to my 1st Amendment rights as long as I have them.

Jul. 31 2008 12:38 PM
David! from NYC

70--or is this an example of those wonderful "politics of inclusivity" that I've been hearing about?

Jul. 31 2008 12:31 PM
David! from NYC


Thank you for your input. You've been very helpful.

BTW--I was responding to another, with whom I've been engaged in "conversation" and was merely offering some explanation.

Jul. 31 2008 12:30 PM
AWM from UWS

Hey David!

Enough about YOU already. Some of us care about the future of the country and the world.
Believe it or not it's more important than any one person's "values."

If you aren't going to participate in the process don't sit on the side and complain about it, that's lame.

If you plan to write in a vote out of spite and/or protest and waive it in everyone's face like you're supremely principled... lame.

Jul. 31 2008 12:26 PM
David! from NYC

A response to criticism directed at me on this forum, some of which has been removed:

One of the principles I hold as fundamental is loyalty to values. Values have degrees and nuances, some of which conflict on occasion. At those times, I have to weigh which is more important for the situation.

It has been suggested that failing to vote in a US presidential election is immoral and indefensible. While I think that is a rather extreme view, I'll consider it for the sake of bringing clarity to conflicting values.

I am not impressed with either of the candidates from the two major parties. So, if I vote for one of them, I am being hypocritical to my principles. I can vote and write in the name of the candidate I supported, or I can vote for a candidate from a third party. By doing so, I am engaging in an action of futility, because there is no reasonable expectation that a write-in or 3rd party candidate will come close to winning an election in this 2-party dominated republic.

Herein lies the quandary. Throughout my voting life, I have always voted and touted the importance of doing so. This year, I am seriously considering not voting because doing so will be futile. Is it really immoral to avoid futility? Would those who level such accusations feel better if I voted for the sake of voting and selected the candidate to whom they're opposed?

Jul. 31 2008 12:16 PM
AWM from UWS

Tony #63,


Jul. 31 2008 12:00 PM
seth from Long Island

To David! and those who agree with him:

It is immoral and indefensible to not vote in a US presidential election.
You don't live in Iceland or some other nation that lacks military might.
Whether you like it or not, the US military has the ability to do great harm and damage to any given target. You are obligated to choose who gets to deploy this awesome weapon and use it to "defend" or "promote" our interests.

Jul. 31 2008 11:48 AM
AWM from UWS

Can people who say that Obama can't lead or motivate people or make intelligent decisions or incisive judgments or listen with a true interest to the ideas of friends and foes or won’t be an improvement upon the stunted and destructive foreign and domestic policies that this country and the world have been subjected to for the past 7 years explain why?

How did you come to this decision? MSNBC told you? CNN? NY Times? God forbid, FOX? Please, let us know how and where you have formed this certainty that he somehow isn’t ready.

He’s intelligent, he listens, he “does” nuance.

And for all of you FISA complainers, he knows more about constitutional law than you will ever know, if he becomes prez he’ll handle it to your satisfaction.

Jul. 31 2008 11:47 AM
Tillie from Manhattan

I'm an optimist; I'm voting for Obama. I'm a fourth generation Democrat. Democratic policies have benefited my working and middle-class family for over 100 years. I vote to help the Democrats retain their majorities in the House and Senate and elect a Democratic President.

Jul. 31 2008 11:37 AM
John Celardo from Fanwood, NJ

There’s such an evident Rove - Chaney fingerprint on McCain’s attack ads that it’s hard to imagine anyone would want those guys influencing the next president. The off-shore drilling ad and the German hospital, wounded troops ad are very transparent. McCain was interesting in 2000, but he’s allowed himself to become a tool in 2008.

Jul. 31 2008 11:34 AM
Tony from Brooklyn

Have any of you ever been to Staten Island? Have you been to any small town full of "hard working white Bud Light drinkin' americans?" Obama's move to the center is to appeal to a very ignorant electorate. Scroll up for examples. This is a country that almost elected George Bush in 2000 because "he's the kind of guy I'd want to have a beer with." Who wants to have a beer with a recovering alcoholic?!?!?
Obama has made concessions on political issues like FISA. That's unfortunate. John McCain has flip flopped on TORTURE. This is a man who has experienced torture. In fact, it's the dominant theme of his narrative. He's called water boarding torture. Then he's voted to approve waterboarding IN YOUR NAME. There's a big difference between the morality of letting the telecoms off the hook for political expediency and voting to let Americans torture people.
The other knocks against Obama I think are true. He's smart. He's skinny. He's good looking. He's charismatic. He's athletic. Of course we hate those people. They make our insecurities stand up like a lesion on John McCain's face. But this isn't about your insecurities. It's about the country.

Jul. 31 2008 11:32 AM

what has voting got me????? you guys can have it. Also I dont think america is bad but it sure doesn't live up to its own hype.

Jul. 31 2008 11:27 AM
Chuck in NJ from NJ

I’m voting for Obama purely for financial reasons but not for the reasons you might think. Republicans are no better at fixing the debt. But on top of that, the tremendous spending increases pushed me way left. I support some Keynesian spending in a downturn but the war is no New Deal. If a $100 billion stimulus is good then $200 billion per year war is twice as bad.

I always vote and research. I am socially liberal and fiscally responsible. I voted for Bush in 2000 but not in 2004. My parents are solid republicans. I may never vote Republican again at the federal level.

Jul. 31 2008 11:27 AM
Robert from NYC

I don't think America is a great country but it has the potential to be one. There are countries in Europe that I think are far better than we are and that's because they care of their citizens far better than the US does.

Jul. 31 2008 11:26 AM
jade from ny

I don't want to vote for Obama.

I'm scared because if, as I expect, both houses of Congress AND the White House are held by Democrats, and we screw it up, it'll be another decade of Republican rule after that. I don't believe Obama has the skills to lead in those circumstances, and I think the Dems will suffer.

Ultimately, I may still vote for him because of the Supreme Court.

FYI I'm an ex-Hillary (and before that Edwards) contributor, a life-long Democrat.

Jul. 31 2008 11:24 AM
exlege from brooklyn

American Ideals; equality; individual rights and the like are what makes this country great. When we progress toward those ideals we are a great country. When we move away from those ideals (as we have over the past years) we are not a great country, we are just talking the talk.

Jul. 31 2008 11:24 AM
Jordana from East Village

I am unquestionably less partisan than my 60's era leftist parents. I am voting for Obama because I believe he can succeed in a breaking down some party line pitfalls, hopefully giving us a socially liberal, economically conservative program.

Jul. 31 2008 11:24 AM
chris o from New York City

McCain: used to be different, used to be decent, used to have integrity. Now it is all attack all the time, very unfair and lying attacks to boot. Because this is not like him, he seems to be going along with his petty party, he is exhibiting the behavior of a pathetic coward, not a leader. I know those are harsh words, but he needs to hear them.

I guess he'd rather win an election than retain his civic decency.

Jul. 31 2008 11:24 AM
David! from NYC

23--I know EXACTLY how you feel.

Jul. 31 2008 11:21 AM
David! from NYC

seth, thanks for being civil.

Call it like you want. I call it principle.

Jul. 31 2008 11:21 AM
John from Katonah

My number one reason for voting is because it is my responsibility as a citizen.

Jul. 31 2008 11:20 AM
Irving from Flushing

I agree with all the others who point out that it is both a privilege and our civic duty to vote. Those who do not vote and then complain about our government are as responsible for what we end up with. Apathy/non participation is exactly what those who are in power want. Our system is only as good as the people who are active and participate

Jul. 31 2008 11:20 AM
Mark from Brooklyn

Cannot wait to pull the lever for Barack. That said, I wish there was an alternate reality that all the Ron Paul-ites could go to and experience a truly libertarian USA. Enjoy your no health care, no job security, no environmental about "the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen."

Jul. 31 2008 11:20 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

#39 - yes Katharine I have noticed, you are "spot on"!

Jul. 31 2008 11:20 AM

You vote for the entourage, not the single candidate. We need the Democratic party in the executive branch. The Republicans have had it for far too long.

Jul. 31 2008 11:20 AM
midtown from midtown

one more ...
Everyone deserves healthcare. It is embarrassing that this nation spends more on healthcare than other countries and provides less can that be?

Jul. 31 2008 11:19 AM
tom from nyc

my #1 reason is not being addressed, yet. Bring hose steel factories back from China! Bring ship building back to Brooklyn...maybe Obama will do a little in this regard.

Jul. 31 2008 11:19 AM
Robert from NYC

Geeze, 90% of us are hypocrites!

Jul. 31 2008 11:19 AM
CharlesTalavera from Central Islip - Long Island, N.Y.

#1 reason we need ( Mr. Obama ) in the White is to bring about the change we need!!!!
Gone are the days of the shoot'em up cowboy mentality that got us into the mess our country is in!!!
Thanks For The Mess The Republicans Put Us Into... Us...

Jul. 31 2008 11:18 AM
Steve (the other one) from Manhattan

Yes Alex - continue to believe that McCain won't continue to fill the federal bench with subpar Bible-thumpers. Just brilliant.

Jul. 31 2008 11:18 AM
David! from NYC

#15--agree that the GOP is horrible, but in all honesty, what have the Dem House & Senate done since 2006--except fail to live up to their promises?

I was a faithful Dem for over 20 years until this year. I've come to the sad realization that the two parties are virtually identical.

Real change, positive change, will only be realized when enough Americans stop being held hostage by the 2-party system. Be an independent. Find another party that is aligned to your beliefs through its actions and not just its rhetoric and join it.

That's much closer to fulfilling civic duty than just floating along with the stream.

Jul. 31 2008 11:18 AM
Naseem from Brooklyn

Did your caller just label Alito "mainstream???"

Jul. 31 2008 11:17 AM
midtown from midtown

If the Republicans continue to hold the White House, civil rights that we now enjoy will be diminished.

*** ENERGY ***
We have to invest in alternative energy options. Offshore drilling will take about 10 years to realize any benefits and those benefits only will last about 10 years. The damage from offshore drilling will last for many more years.

The reputation of the USA has been severely damaged and must be repaired.
We need to withdraw from Iraq & Afghanistan.

*** VETERANS ***
We need to take care of the men and women who have given their lives and sanity to fighting the wars for this country. The number of wounded servicemen and servicewomen is higher than ever, esp. PTSD, brain injury, amputations, etc. These people need to be taken care of NOW.

Jul. 31 2008 11:17 AM
Katharine from Brooklyn

I'll vote for Obama. He can think and speak coherently and consider the Constitution, the Supreme Court and alternative energy. MOST IMPORTANT: hasn't anyone noticed that the constant right-wing use of adjectives for Obama like "elitist",
"arrogant" and "presumptuous", sound a lot like that old disgraced word, "uppity"? There is still a lot of thinly veiled racism being reported as fact in the "mainstream media".

Jul. 31 2008 11:17 AM
Gerry Lesk from Manhattan

My number 1 reason for voting this year - and I
have always voted since I was old enough, so its not really anything special for me - is that GW Bush is the worst president of my 60-year lifetime. I have a hunch that many other
people feel similarly and are going to be sure to vote for that reason. Bush has disgraced his office and his nation, and we are all eager
to get out of Iraq and beyond W.

Jul. 31 2008 11:16 AM
Robert from NYC

I am voting because I want the person I want to be president to be president!! And so my write in vote will be for Dennis Kucinich.

Jul. 31 2008 11:15 AM

#1 reason for voting -- I think we really need a 3rd party nominee. With that said, since Obama will win NYS anyway, I'm voting for Ron Paul.

Jul. 31 2008 11:15 AM
Laura from midtown

I tried to call, but got busy signals :(
i'm voting for obama because my brother, a jag lawyer for the marines, is going to iraq in january. right now, ending the war is the only issue i care about.

Jul. 31 2008 11:14 AM

Very simple reason:

Universal healthcare.

I have seen too many cases of people not covered, despite working full-time jobs. My parents cannot afford their healthcare costs for the first time in their lives, and it is a frightening situation.

I am voting for Obama. I originally was an Edwards fan because of his comprehensive health care plan. When he dropped out, I voted for Hillary as her health care plan resembled Edwards' plan more than Obama's. (Mandates as opposed to no mandates).

Jul. 31 2008 11:14 AM
chris o from New York City

As a Green who is so cynical about US politics, or not totally cynical or I would not be a Green but a libertarian, I was not going to vote for Obama, the mainstream Dem. But the last 2 weeks have seen such vicious, unfair, disgusting lying attacks from McCain - oh so typical from Repuglicans but he was supposed to be different - that I am going to vote for Obama to register my utter contempt for McCain's tactics, a man who I liked and respected for many years, granted from afar.

Jul. 31 2008 11:14 AM
Nathan from Saint Petersburg

Guilt Avoidance/Peer Pressure.

Jul. 31 2008 11:13 AM
David! from NYC

hjs, it wouldn't hurt, but save your time...good info on platform/philosophy/etc.

Jul. 31 2008 11:13 AM
J.T. from NYC


Jul. 31 2008 11:13 AM
David from Queens

People said BUSH and GORE were the same, but Gore wouldn't have gotten us in IRAQ!!!

Jul. 31 2008 11:13 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Can't believe he asked what specific change!! Everything needs to be changed so let's start with 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., and it is a civic duty.

Jul. 31 2008 11:13 AM
Jeremy from Williamsburg

I think - I'm not voting this year. I don't understand the excitement about Obama, he's not a candidate I'd ever trust to be President ... I think the Machine totally broke down. And I can't in good conscience vote for McCain ... so I think I may be dropping out of the democratic process ... which as a someone who loves politics and voting is very sad.

Jul. 31 2008 11:13 AM
Paula Beckenstein from Chappaqua

I am voting for Obama because I believe in him but the first reason is that I want a democrat in the White House.

Jul. 31 2008 11:12 AM
exlege from brooklyn

we need to reduce corporate influence in politics. I don't know if Obama is really going to do anything on this front, but that is the change I feel this country needs. No individual rights for corporations!

Jul. 31 2008 11:12 AM
Mary from Brooklyn

Supreme Court. We can't afford any more right wing justices.

Jul. 31 2008 11:12 AM
O from Forest Hills

US Supreme Court and keeping women's right to abortion.

Jul. 31 2008 11:11 AM
Amanda from Plainfield NJ

1) Because it is my obligation as a citizen.
2) Because lies led to a war we should not be in
3) Because we need to take better care of our citizens

Jul. 31 2008 11:11 AM
Nick from Long Island City

#1 reason voting for Obama is so that the rest of the world won't hate us anymore!!

Jul. 31 2008 11:11 AM
Albert from Greenwich, CT

Countless other black people before me got their heads bashed in so that someone like me could have the opportunity to do what they could not. I am proud to cast my vote to help ensure that their sacrifices were not in vain. Everyone in this country should realize that we are fortunate to have the opportunity to participate while many around the world do not.

Jul. 31 2008 11:10 AM
Brian from Brooklyn

Reason? I thought voting was a civic duty.

Jul. 31 2008 11:10 AM
hjs from 11211

this year, every year, I vote because i'm responsible for everything this country does.

Jul. 31 2008 11:10 AM
Gabriel from NYC


Jul. 31 2008 11:10 AM
Emily from Astoria

I turned 18 this year, so my number one reason has to be because I finally can.

Jul. 31 2008 11:09 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

#1 reason - CHANGE

Jul. 31 2008 11:09 AM
David! from NYC

hjs, a lot of online events...the nominating convention was held in Chicago recently. Cynthia McKinney, the former rep who called for w's impeachment, is the nominee. A South Bronxie, Rosa Clemente, is the vp nominee.

Jul. 31 2008 10:52 AM
hjs from 11211

david! what are green events like.

Jul. 31 2008 10:49 AM
veronica from manhattan

The system has many problems, but I feel by voting, I'm honoring the many who've given their lives for that right to vote.

Besides, if I don't vote.. I can't complain. :)

Jul. 31 2008 10:48 AM
David! from NYC

Diana, I agree that the GOP has regarded the Constitution as little more than tissue since little Georgie occupied 1600 Penn Ave NW. I'm glad you recognize that Barack is a pol. I hope you really don't have high hopes for him. His actions since being selected by the DNC reveal him (and them) to be about the same as the Repubs.


Jul. 31 2008 10:47 AM
Diana Clark from Chatham, NJ

Dabvid, as I said he is a pol and he sure ain't a perfect representative of honor and equity ... our political reality (given the huge number of people/opinions) has mostly been about compromise, but the people most responsible for insults to the Constitution (not to say our intelligence) over the past 8 years are the other side, as in, illegal unprovoked invasion of a foreign sovereign nation. I plan to take the possibility of improvement over the proven evil.

Jul. 31 2008 10:43 AM
David! from NYC

#2--Barack respects the Constitution??? Explain his vote in favor of FISA, please.

Jul. 31 2008 10:30 AM
Diana Clark from Chatham, NJ

Got the vote when i was naturalized 39 years ago and have used it at every election of every kind ever since, I ALWAYS vote. This time it's all about getting new leadership IN and the frozen old reactionaries OUT. I know Barack is a pol too, but he may, just may, have the leadership skills to lift us above Red and Blue and get some of our mojo, and our honor and respect for the Constitution, back.

Jul. 31 2008 10:28 AM
David! from NYC

Sorry, Brian, but this election generates so little interest for me that I will likely not go to the polls, and that will be a first in the 24 years since I turned 18. The candidates for the two major parties are much more similar than different when you look at anything besides their rhetorical style.

Jul. 31 2008 10:25 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.