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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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630 comments
Mary Rose Hampton
Mary Rose Hampton

I don't believe it is going to take us until next year sometime to get into war since both Russian and US ships are maneuvering out in some place i can't remember, but the Russian ships maneuvering in such a way as to "dare" the U.S. ships to continue on their path. Just posted a note on this yesterday. But i am betting the same thing will happen as happened in the Gulf of Tonkin which took us into the Viet Nam war. Another war of just shear arrogance which got us no place. But which created a lot more jobs in the industrial sector from which US contractors made big money. Same was true of the Iraq war for which it has been recently proven there was no justification.

Jim McDonald
Jim McDonald

Whats left ??? Not coming up with a plan ????

Justin Cooperrider
Justin Cooperrider

I would vote for Jill Stein but she lacks support. I'm probably going to vote for Gary Johnson because he might be the only person that can save us from this 2 party nightmare.

Mary Rose Hampton
Mary Rose Hampton

Stein is quickly gathering steam as Bernie Sanders faulters and loses his team. Many are moving over to support the Green Party, especially as she gets more media coverage.

Michael Croghan
Michael Croghan

Neither Independent candidate has a snowball's chance in hell. You should already Know that. Protest votes accomplish nothing but often hurts other candidates who actually have a chance of winning. PLEASE don't throw you votes away. They are VALUABLE!

Mary Rose Hampton
Mary Rose Hampton

Do you know that Jill Stein gathered more vote in the last presidential election than any other candidate running for president ever has, including Hillary Clinton. And she did this with only being registered in a few states. Relatively few people knew who she was and now she is becoming well known and even getting on conventional radio and TV shows.

Pat McCutchen
Pat McCutchen

Join the REAL revolution . . . vote for Dr. Jill Stein and the Green Party Platform, which is nearly identical to Senator Sanders' agenda for progressive change needed to put this nation back on the right track for the future. Dr. Stein and the Green Party are now on the ballot in 36 states. able to be counted as write in candidates in three more, and volunteers are still working hard to gain ballot access in the remainder. We CAN and WILL do this! And if all disillusioned, disgusted, angry DEM's, Independents, Bernicrats and horrified GOP voters will simply make take a leap of faith, stand strong together and VOTE GREEN in November, WE WILL WIN and begin the hard job of taking back control of OUR nation and OUR lives!

Cam Jam
Cam Jam

Vote TRUMP\U0001f1fa\U0001f1f8\U0001f37e\U0001f5fd\U0001f3a9\U0001f3c1\U0001f3c6 if you love USA!

Kim Karr
Kim Karr

You have to have people that are capable first.

Mark Dresselhaus
Mark Dresselhaus

And you consider yourselves thought leaders--this is one of the most elitist comments I've read on this site. Soros must be desperate. We don't need nuance we need truth!

Diana Fischer
Diana Fischer

Hi Dear, I like your interest on here and you seem intelligent, kindly add me up.. smile\U0001f48b

Kevin C. Smith
Kevin C. Smith

Why do you think they are different? Just your anti liberal ideology?

Terry Mingus
Terry Mingus

So in other words no acting like the current two political parties? DO i have that correct? *smirk*

Richard Griffith
Richard Griffith

I am an Independent ....but we are never going to change anything till we Vote 88% out of office ASAP....then, and only then, can we start to change the way this once, great, maybe too late, nation operates...Congress won't change by themselves...and elections are decided by Electoral vote....popular vote amounts to diddly squat....

John Taylor
John Taylor

regulation needed on emissions couldnt come from Hillary ...her corporate sponsors wouldnt allow it...up to now fighting climate change means conferences seminars fundraising...they way they use cancer research...only way is to cut emissions is regulation inspection and embrace new filtration and idustrial processes...changes that rich Clinton supporters wont do

Mary Rose Hampton
Mary Rose Hampton

But which Jill Stein and her supporters will willingly do. If they don't we boycott them. With enough of us in boycott, they have to bend If they don't they are out of business. There is only 1% of them and 99% of us. Who do you feel really holds the power here. Unless, of course, we continue to be addicted to their money game.

Paul Blakeslee
Paul Blakeslee

How about ALL PARTIES REPRESENTED if YOU TRULY believe any of THIS ! VOTE JOHNSON ! The HONEST CANDIDATE that fears NOT of any ISSUE !

Mary Rose Hampton
Mary Rose Hampton

The same is true of jill Stein and we very much need to see a woman as president, only #never Hillary.

Paul Blakeslee
Paul Blakeslee

Mary Rose Hampton I like Jill very much ,but we need to desperately replace the 2 party corporate machines at all cost ,Johnson is the candidate registered in all 50 states with the most likelihood to be able to do this ,it is about issues all issues ,but our economy is about to collapse this is why Obama reviews the news each night from all sources ! we have lost freedom of speech and TPP is going to be passed in days by both reps and dems support per Obama only 5 pages of this document is available to the publics eyes ! 202-456-1111 ! Johnson receives 90 thousand new campaign contributions each week by people whom get it ! we must balance our budget or at least start paying on it we have not had one in decades and are living currently with a house of cards . our money is refused by many countries now as we have to exchange before we leave the U.S. ! Please continue to educate your self and others ! American Airlines as of last week pays negative - 67% in taxes and is one of the TOP 10U.S.companies ! So to reduce its tax rate is to really stop them from receiving tax payers monies ! please review taxes for Americas top 10 companies ! thank you for your concerns I get it as I currently sign thousands of petitions defending the worlds environment people and anomals I truly do ! but first the world counts on us theU.S. to stabilize the worlds economy as we are the worlds largest consumer ! with most countries at a near 0% interest rate for years the worlds economy must be first this is by far the most serious issue we have ! our having the ability to help the world counts on it ! for now they will have to count on WORLD ORGANIZATIONS to HELP ! when Johnson IS ELECTED AND THE WARS STOP we will be headed in the correct direction for the first time in decades . although I cant agree totally with every issue that Johnson has he is honest and the only one whom addresses the most issues and embraces ALL people !

Anne Ward Dempsey
Anne Ward Dempsey

Are you a site for voters registered as independents or a site for those favoring a third party?

Daniel Howle
Daniel Howle

We try to be a site that fosters and encourages independent thinking. Your criticism has some validity. Having said that, IVN.us is open to writers across the political spectrum and we will try harder to broaden the range of opinions we publish. Your input is important and we intend to do better. Dan Howle, IVP Board Chair, sponsors of IVN.us

Michael Tyrpak
Michael Tyrpak

Dan I really appreciate your message and am glad to hear that you are working to have a broader range of opinions

Mary Rose Hampton
Mary Rose Hampton

Michael Tyrpak - Michael, while i very much appreciate what you point out here, and i am a newcomer to this group, i am also becoming an Independent with a big "I". However, i do believe that time if of the essence her and for too many years, the Republican Party has held us hostage and the last eight years have amounted to getting almost nothing done. Now we have so many crises staring us in the face, that time has become of the essence and if we don't move it quickly, we are goners as the human family. S to my way of thinking, we need to push the envelope as far as we can to the center and get everyone on board in creating a planet on which our grandchildren for generations to come can live in relative safety. What appears to me is that while as residents here, we are not the cause of global climate change, it is a natural phenomenon that happens every so many thousands of years, we are helping it along with our present way of life and we need to change.

Robert Allen
Robert Allen

This frustrated Bernie supporter is backing Dr Jill Stein and the Green Party! Go Green!

Keith Braunwalder
Keith Braunwalder

Partisans have been attacking this country for decades; refraining from reciprocal attacks is beyond tough.

Jake Polcari
Jake Polcari

What about statements that attack both parties, focusing on the inequities of the two party system?

Bruce Wolfarth
Bruce Wolfarth

This veteran could NEVER vote for either of the MAJOR party candidates. I researched the Independent candidates THOROUGHLY and will vote that ticket, not for any other reason but that they can take the USA where it needs to go. Spent lots of hours researching ALL candidates and to me they are the only choice.

Clyde Slade
Clyde Slade

This election is too important to waste your vote to make an independent statement. I agree with you but it will take years of building a huge independent party and voting out local politicians and both houses of Washington DC congress. 2018 will be another chance to elect independent house representative.

Cyndy Bowman Odenwald
Cyndy Bowman Odenwald

The only wasted vote us the one you cast for someone you believe is NOT a good choice. Voting for the "lesser of two evils" is still a vote for evil.

Diana Fischer
Diana Fischer

Hi Dear, I like your interest on here and you seem intelligent, kindly add me up.. smile\U0001f48b

Susan Sires
Susan Sires

If you're looking for an alternative candidate to Trump or Hillary, check out third-party Libertarian candidates Gary Johnson and Bill Weld. Both are former two-term Republican governors with excellent records and will be on the ballot in all 50 states. You might want to take the ISideWith.com quiz. The Libertarian platform is at: https://www.lp.org/platform .

Gaylene Bartlett
Gaylene Bartlett

O M G a debate with actual rules????? Trump will never agree to attend.

Kathryn Wallace
Kathryn Wallace

The country is going to get exactly what it deserves whether Trump or Clinton.

Kathryn Wallace
Kathryn Wallace

Until we elect people who want electoral reform there will be no electoral reform. The people in power now like the status quo.

Michael Taylor
Michael Taylor

some folks do not wish to be confused by facts when their minds are made up.

Michael Muschenheim
Michael Muschenheim

This independent voter voting for Trump in order to turn both political parties up side down.

Bev Yaklich
Bev Yaklich

Ditto and I'm doing it as an unaffiliated voter in Colorado. They don't care about you until you change your voting affiliation. In Colorado tick both sides off by unaffiliating www.UnaffiliateColorado.com. The Bill of Rights, US Constitution and the Declaration of independence are on that site too.

Jake Polcari
Jake Polcari

Or you could do that by voting GREEN! The only way to break the two-party system is to VOTE THIRD PARTY!

Wes Delgado
Wes Delgado

Art Ratcliffe I read that he never actually said that. Can't stand the man but can you provide a source?

Art Ratcliffe
Art Ratcliffe

You don't need to vote Trumpf to do that! Both parties are up-side down, especially the republican party.

Terry Mingus
Terry Mingus

I think really Trump is a democrat who is playing republicans acting badly. No matter who wins a democrat ends up i office. Trump is saying what a very extreme sector of republicans want to hear but he's supported democrats for 30 years until "this" election how anyone can believe he changed his stripes overnight is beyond any form of logic.

Art Ratcliffe
Art Ratcliffe

Terry Mingus about 20 some years ago when some body first asked him if he would ever run for president and with which party, and Trump replied that he would probably run as a republican because they are so stupid.

Neal Gomez
Neal Gomez

Watching Rome burn to the ground now, to effect change, is kinda like cutting your head off because your foot has gangrene!!!!

Neal Gomez
Neal Gomez

Terry Mingus Correction, Clinton is a neo Republican...and yes, while Trump "does" emit some old school Democratic tendencies, he is much too erratic, and self serving to be POTUS!!! Either of the two major party candidates will have us in full scale war by the end of next year!!! Stay tuned....

Michael Muschenheim
Michael Muschenheim

Neal Gomez you can not really believe that a billionaire will want war and loose his wealth. He is putting him self at the service of the country.

Michael Muschenheim
Michael Muschenheim

Terry Mingus I will take my chance with a business who speaks his mind over a crook like Hellary that is selling out America.

Terry Mingus
Terry Mingus

It really is like picking which rattle snake we want to bite us either way we'e so screwed.