Friday, February 16, 2007

Are you and independent voter?

Have you checked out

I recommend it!

The Internet has made this the age of the instant political movement. Like-minded people (and even unlike-minded people) can find one another and quickly create a kind of critical mass. The hope, often the expectation, is that these new aggregations can bring positive change to the body politic. This includes seizing new opportunities for democratizing communication and communicating democracy, both of which are urgently needed.

While uses the Internet as a path to the "netroots,” we think the process of social change – particularly one driven by independent voters – requires more than an "add water and stir” methodology. Developing new political conceptions, new organizing models and new political leaders is challenging, especially when two-partyism, left/center/right ideology and top-down approaches dominate the culture as they do. If your premises aren't out-of-the-box, what you build won't be either – no matter how innovative your tools might be.
In our experience, the seemingly instant movements – at least the ones that make a real difference in the lives of ordinary Americans – are not really instant at all. They are the product of what athletes like to call "brick work” – the slow, steady and unglamorous enterprise of doing the groundwork for the progressive and democratic transformation of political process our country so desperately needs.

The reactionary thrust of the Republican Party and the visionlessness of the Democratic Party have left a political void. That is why 35% of Americans are independents, rather than identifying themselves with one or the other major party. The void is not, as some analysts argue, a space "at the center” for a centrist party. It is rather an opportunity for independents – regardless of ideology – to come together around a vision of radical political reform that effectively challenges the old partisan institutions and old top-down ways of policymaking.
For 12 years (and longer) the folks who bring you have been "laying cables” for that movement – and have attracted tens of thousands of independent voters in all 50 states to participate in that process. Through their work, a vibrant, outspoken, up-from-the-bottom, multi-racial, mainstream and engaged community of independents has put itself on the map.

We invite you to learn about and join in the multiple ways that independent voters are finding their voice and becoming a potent third force in American politics.

Jacqueline Salit is the Political Director of the Committee for a Unified Independent Party

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