inform | empower | engage
Let me take a minute to tell why we started IDn and how it works. I can do the first in one word: Need. While by far the fastest growing portion of the American voting public over the last 25 years, Independents have no place to call home. Pundits and professors all talk about the Independent, the swing voter, but they would be hard pressed to name one, point one out in a crowd. There are few celebrity Independents.
But we are everywhere, literally and in fact. National Election Study surveys indicate there are more than 40 million of us. But few of us know one another, can even name someone else they know to be an Independent. More troubling, we generally know less about the political system than those who self-identify as partisan; i.e., Democrat or Republican or something else. And this is where the need begins: This largest portion of the voting public is less informed than the people who select the nominees and create the party platforms. IDn was created to help meet this need.
IDn’s tagline is inform empower engage, and that is exactly how the site was developed. The inform function is filled largely by IDn Digest, to your immediate right. It contains access to the top political publications, columnists, blogs, news shows, personalities and related. It also provides access to the top polls and a political almanac to give you ready access to information on past elections and conventions.
The empower part is to your immediate left, Being an Independent. The American Independent will provide you with a brief history of this nation’s political parties and its political process. Elector articles will help you think about what it means to be an Independent and how to be a better informed and more effective voter. Above, in the page line, your will see You know you’re an Independent if… If you take a minute with this, you’ll have a good idea whether or not you’re an Independent. We will also be building a Body of Knowledge on Independents; articles by Independents, academicians, pundits, surveys. Incredibly, there is not one now, certainly not one that we could find. Most appropriately, this will be created and built by Independents – you and us. That’s the plan.
And now for engage, and that’s where you are now, the blog. It will be updated daily. It is where the Elector articles will first be seen before they are moved over the Being an Independent space. Articles by you and others will be posted here and the best of these moved to the Blogkeep. These and other materials will be catalogued in the Body of Knowledge.
The idea is to get Independents in the game, not as a group, but as independent Independents, as voters who want make the best possible choice given their individual views, beliefs and interests. We don’t want your vote, we want to help you vote better and smarter. Our success as is first measured by you becoming a more engaged, better informed citizen — more empowered. IDn will not speak for Independents; through it, Independents will speak for themselves, and be heard.
We designed IDn to help you to think and express yourself politically. Our mission and goal is to enhance your ability to have an impact on how others think, and to learn and understand better why they think as they do. And we want your ideas on how IDn can do this better. We want you to help us to build and maintain it.
Where to start? The American Independent will give you a framework and context for the political process – past and present – and where and how Independents fit in. It will take you maybe half an hour to read. You’ve got the time. It’s your country.