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Who Are Independent Voters? Diverse Ideologies; Open Minds

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The most difficult part of maintaining a news platform that is open to all ideologies and opinions is that people often rush to judgment about the motivations of the entire operation based on the content and context of a single article. In short, IVN.us is biased … in many directions … by hundreds of authors who are given wide latitude to write about any topic that helps advance our political dialogue in a positive direction.

IVN exists to give our authors and our audience a forum where they can discuss important topics in U.S. politics and elections in a civil and productive manner — to go beyond the headlines and look at the biggest issues facing American voters that escape the two-sided dialogue prevalent in the mass media. We are an open, online platform for independent-minded authors from across the political spectrum.

The only litmus test for our writers is that they adhere to a simple 4-point etiquette: No partisan attacks, no personal attacks, substantiate sources, and no self-promotion. To the best of our knowledge, there is not another website like ours — and it is evident when we see positive feedback on what we are trying to accomplish:

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Yet almost everyday, we will get a comment or a message that accuses us of being “closet Republicans” or “Democrats who do not want to be called Democrats.” Think of any traditional political label — e.g. Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives, progressives, libertarians, etc. — and chances are we have been accused of being biased toward that party or ideology.

I know what you’re thinking: how can a news site be accused of both liberal and conservative bias, of being shills for the Republican Party in one post and then undercover operatives for the Democratic Party in the next — sometimes even in the same post? See for yourself:

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Being a truly open platform for independent-minded authors, the perspective you get depends on whose article you read, and we have published content from over 400 contributors and counting.

Being independent, to us, means that political ideology and opinion are not substitutes for substantive discussion. It also means that coming to a different conclusion on a particular issue should not prevent us from discussing other issues with a clean slate.

Being independent-minded, most simply, is a mindset … one that is open to persuasion, and recognizes that there is merit behind even conflicting opinions.

Being independent, to us, means that political ideology and opinion are not substitutes for substantive discussion.

When political commentators in the mass media run headlines like, “The Independent Voter is a Myth,” they argue that over 40 percent of the electorate cannot be independent because most Americans are not “neutral” or fall in the middle of a linear, left-right scale.

To us, being independent does not mean being “moderate” or “neutral”; it means that you don’t subscribe to a narrow set of conscripted positions and follow them faithfully to the group-think conclusion that “we are always right” and “they are always wrong.”

As a society, we have become accustomed to the simple red-versus-blue, liberal-versus-conservative goal posts that have been set up by the drivers of American politics — from the political consultants, to the mass media, and even the research institutions that do their bidding. At IVN, we are trying to move beyond the false two-sided narrative to a real discussion — where thought leaders understand the importance of nuance and the sophistication that good policy actually requires.

The authors and readers of IVN cannot and should not fit neatly into the red and blue boxes that color our political maps. America is more diverse than that. And our political discourse should be too.

Editor’s note: This article was written with the help of IVN intern Gabriel Saint Cyr. 

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The Independent Voter Network is dedicated to providing political analysis, unfiltered news, and rational commentary in an effort to elevate the level of our public discourse.


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514 comments
William T Martin
William T Martin

Sign me up!! The two parties have been fighting the culture wars for the last 30 years while the country has gone into the shitter.

Connie Carter
Connie Carter

No the number one issue is Islamic terrorism. That terrible joke that won't go away. Every nation on earth suffers from the disease. Many have tried to cure it but no success so far. It isn't my duty to do your research. A slick wildly trick.

Tony Abron
Tony Abron

The idea of believing in something on principle seems to be foreign now, it's all about political affiliation.

Rick Boldman
Rick Boldman

Yep, with no attacks or lies, most people have little to say ;-) I have noticed a disturbing tendency in the media and online for people to focus on any mistakes or errors the candidates may have made in the past. We are not voting in a time machine, what should be more important is focusing on which candidate is most capable of handling the duties and demands of POTUS. I don't care which party, which gender, what history; what matters to me is who will do the best job for the next 4 years. We need to move beyond petty squabbling and present some serious and concrete information on each candidate's presidential abilities and preparation. ALL candidates.

JF Nowinski
JF Nowinski

And yet you wonder why independents rarely win.

Ken Bolotin
Ken Bolotin

You got to be kidding those days long gondr

Marty Wolff
Marty Wolff

This will require voting for moderates of both parties...

Cliff Campen
Cliff Campen

I agree that we need to get along well enough to run the country - right now - not so much.

Barry Twigg
Barry Twigg

Be PC gentlemen, gentlewomen, and those who disagree with labels.

Sketch Fritz
Sketch Fritz

You mean like professional, responsible, and all adult like? That'd be weird.

Bill Harris
Bill Harris

As I have followed and read a lot of material posted here on IVN or Independent Voter it is my opinion that those participating in the discussions have been very good about etiquette but that IVN has an agenda that ultimately lends itself to GOP victory.

John Posey
John Posey

love the idea but you have to vote for one of the two most elections

L Carol Auten
L Carol Auten

My number one issue is election reform. Check out the USVRA Nothing else matters until we have a voice and honest elections.

Ben Hardin
Ben Hardin

Thanks for posting, Carol. I looked the proposed amendment. Impressively long.

L Carol Auten
L Carol Auten

Google: Hillary Clinton - Haiti - minimum wage.

James Rob
James Rob

As a republican, I will be supporting Hillary. Clueless trump is dangerous because he is completely clueless and his priorities are his own businesses. He went to promote his Golf resort in Scotland while running for our presidential elections! What other private business will he market using the Presidential office? #countrybeforeparty

Allan Kinsman
Allan Kinsman

The truth is always a good place for every occasion.

Karen Holland Buck
Karen Holland Buck

What a concept! This is exactly why Congress has been in a virtual stalemate for years! Disgusting

Karen Holland Buck
Karen Holland Buck

Perspective man. Everyone has one. How about balance or a happy medium for a change? If everyone could be trusted with liberty, Enron would be unheard of.

JF Nowinski
JF Nowinski

All for more stupid laws huh? Not me. Let them stay in gridlock forever. The more that happens, the more liberty for us.

Pat Kennedy
Pat Kennedy

You know, there will be humans involved?

Karen Inda
Karen Inda

This is the place to come for civil discourse. I'm so glad I found this group!

Rick Boldman
Rick Boldman

I wouldn't expect many posts now. Some people revel in spewing hatred and allegations. But, I appreciate the idea of a forum that follows the rules I try to adhere to. If more people would move beyond partisan politics and slavish devotion to one or the other major party, we might actually accomplish something. My impression of independent is being able to evaluate the candidates and issues free from party loyalty, choose the ones that most closely match my beliefs, and vote as I wish. Thank you for setting sensible posting rules. Now perhaps the positive thinkers can post freely without dealing with hate-filled, inaccurate rants.

Matt Cates
Matt Cates

Substantiate sources? No personal attacks? Where's the fun in THAT? :-D

Ron Dierkes
Ron Dierkes

More like this please! I've wanted to write a piece for some time now, and this seems like its best forum.

Independent Voter
Independent Voter

We appreciate your participation! If you are interested in submitting an article, you can contact the editorial team at [email protected]

Warren Sizer
Warren Sizer

Independents make up the largest group of voters in the country.

Dmt Computersolutions
Dmt Computersolutions

Our system was originally designed to work without parties, and then the guy that wrote the constitution becomes the first ever party-first politician. I think we need to revoke the rules that protect the 2 major parties. I hate all parties. Our new media systems should allow cadidates to get the message out without having to stand on the support of a party.

Dorine Anzoategui
Dorine Anzoategui

that's whats hard to figure how an independent party could ever adopt a platform not all are progressive or liberal or conservative they are for candidates not party.

Oscar Mace
Oscar Mace

To have a forum as an independent voter has allowed me the ability to express my skeptical nature. As a skeptic, I can't adhere to any political party dogma relating to economic or social theory because there are valid pro and con arguments that undermine the truth value of a particular theory. Consequently, what becomes the essential part of being a skeptical independent voter is to participate in a discussion about how to interact within this political culture outside the affiliations of political parties. One aspect to my support for the candidate, Mr. Sanders, is the quality of moral character in contrast to the other candidates. It is in this direction I'm taking my independent thinking because it appears virtue is not a character trait valued in politics...and why is it not?

Keith Basham
Keith Basham

Without looking, I'll bet 45% of independent voters are nudists. but i'm not looking, so i don't know, and also in case you actually are naked right now.

Ken Clutter
Ken Clutter

I can think for myself. I will not subscribe or submit to party politics. I look very closely at the platform and the person.....Independents will decide this and most all future elections. We should have a greater voice.

Nancy Burkus
Nancy Burkus

I am begging to believe that the independent party is the way to go. If we are stuck between voting for Holley vs trump I'm afraid we're screwed

David Isakson
David Isakson

Not all independent voters are open minded, some can still be slaves to the two party ideology.

Melissa Malley
Melissa Malley

I see a few who are like, "but only a party can win!" Uh...kind of the point is that we are HALF of voters, and therefore, we really don't HAVE to let them win. But it disheartens me to see that even independents can still be partially brainwashed.

David Isakson
David Isakson

Well the two parties in power have made it all but impossible for anyone but the establishment candidates to win or gain ballot access. Pennsylvania and Alabama are absolutely atrocious for ballot access for independent and third parties. But both parties in power were once third parties. The Republicans first president was Lincoln.

Bill Atnip
Bill Atnip

Not defending the two party system they are both corrupt. I support Sanders.I like Stein and Green party is making inroads. Getting to my point all the other party platforms I have looked at have a very narrow focus or are pretty far out there Foil hat kind of out there how can anyone take them seriously or think they can even run a local election let alone a national one?