Why is it so important that Political Rankings be nonpartisan? As discussed in The Federalist Stories No. 3, there is a real hunger in America for a source of political information that is, nonpartisan. Why? Well right off the bat it would be a novelty because almost all other sources of political information lean toward (or are firmly planted in) one political party or the other. But let’s take a second to specify exactly what nonpartisan means. When Political Rankings talks about the adjective nonpartisan, we mean “not being controlled by, supportive of, or exclusively affiliated with, either political party.”
But when it comes to being a source of political information, why is being nonpartisan so important? In a word: trust. Trust that there is no conflict of interest, trust that there is no covert narrative being driven, and trust that there is no overt covering up of important information the American people need to know. You see, when the tobacco industry started feeling the heat in the latter decades of the 20th century related to the negative effects on health of their products, they tried leaning on research that refuted such claims. When it came out that the research was either directly or indirectly funded by members of the tobacco industry, Americans quickly lost trust in the information found in said research.
A similar thing has happened in recent decades related to the negative effects of the American diet on health. Scientists and research studies found culprit after culprit: carbs, red meat, fat, etc. One food-related item that mysteriously was either minimized or excluded all together when it came to its effect on negative health outcomes was sugar. Then it was found out that the sugar industry, via organization such as the Sugar Research Foundation, was paying scientists and researchers money to keep the heat off of sugar. Since then Americans have lost trust in the information coming from such studies about the latest thing “they should cut from their diet or it’s going to kill them.” So it is with Americans and political information; unless it is coming from a nonpartisan source, Americans are typically (and rightfully) skeptical.
Not Rooting For A Side
Political Rankings does not root for a side, Democrats or Republicans, period. This is not to say Political Rankings will not ever have anything positive to say about a word or action from an individual or group on either side of the political aisle. We believe in giving credit where credit is due and are not so cynical so as to believe that political individuals or groups can do no good for America. American politics would truly be broken using that line of thought. So for generally praiseworthy things such as achievements that better America overall, commemorations of American history, plans that will improve America overall in the future, etc, Political Rankings will be right there to celebrate. Who honestly doesn’t think America could use more good news and less bad news, right?
The key is to give credit where credit is due, regardless of party, and to make sure the tenor and frequency of said credit is similar, regardless of party. And it should go without saying, but let’s go ahead and make clear that any particular situation where Political Rankings does not give credit does not mean it was actively withheld. In other words, the American political landscape is vast (countless politicians, government organizations, policy proposals, etc) and as much as Political Rankings would like to be informed about everything, everywhere, it’s just not possible. This is especially true during this growing period where Political Rankings is getting off the ground and does not have the resources of legacy media organization, for example.
Not Rooting Against A side
The other side of the coin of not rooting for a side is, naturally, not rooting against a side. Political Rankings does not root against a side, Republicans or Democrats, period. This is not to say Political Rankings will never have a critical thing to say about a word or action from an individual or group on either side of the political aisle. Believe it or not, individuals and groups in the American political landscape are just like those outside of the American political landscape: they are not perfect. The foremost characteristic of the public sector is that the work of the public sector is open for scrutiny. We the American people are paying for said work with our tax dollars, are we not?
The key is to criticize only where necessary, regardless of party, and to make sure the tenor and frequency of said criticism is similar, regardless of party. Furthermore, Political Rankings seeks to ask critical questions in place of critical statements in every scenario where it is feasible, because the former seeks to learn while the latter does little of anything. Also, for the sake of clarity, the same logic applies to any situations where Political Rankings misses an opportunity for a critical question or statement. This does not equal treating one party or the other with kid gloves or helping sweep something under the rug. Again, the American political landscape is vast (countless politicians, government organizations, policy proposals, etc) and as much as Political Rankings would like to be informed about everything, everywhere, it’s just not possible; especially while Political Rankings is just getting off the ground.
No Past Affiliation With Either Party
One of the things mentioned in The Federalist Stories No. 2 was how there has been a carrousel of people in visible, specifically partisan positions rotating back and forth between the government and news media organizations. This is not the case for anyone working at Political Rankings. The only person working at Political Rankings who has ever worked for the government is the founder, Alex Moyher, and he worked at the local level of government in the elections office (a specifically nonpartisan government agency). Likewise, no one at Political Rankings has ever campaigned for a candidate of either party, worked for the national, state, or local party machinery of either party, or ever endorsed a candidate of either party. As discussed in The Federalist Stories No. 6, no one at Political Rankings has ever donated to campaigns for either political party or had any financial affiliations with any partisan organizations.
As Political Rankings grows and becomes more known around the American political landscape, it will inevitably mean things such as meeting with politicians, attending political events, and interviewing partisan individuals or groups to learn more about the political process. We believe the key to operating within the partisan, political industry while maintaining our nonpartisanship will lie in transparency, balance, and decorum. For example, Political Rankings will be transparent ahead of time about any partisan political events where we will have a presence. We will balance seeking to attend events for both parties, such as seeking to attend the Republican National Convention while also seeking to attend the Democratic National Convention. Lastly, the decorum of Political Rankings will be the same, in person or online, with regards to the words and actions of political individuals and groups, of either party. That decorum, as is already expressed in the nature of the www.politicalrankings.com website, is one of collecting information about the American political process so it can be provided to the American people and help them become more informed voters.
Political Rankings puts such an emphasis on being nonpartisan because it is demanded of us by the American people. The underlying point to all of this is that the Political Rankings base is not just the Democratic base or the Republican base. The Political Rankings base is the American people. There can be no talk of making American politics better without making the American people overall better via such things as education, objective news coverage, and addressing America’s problems with an eye towards solutions. Politicians are in the offices they hold and political organizations have the money to function because the American people vote politicians into office and donate their money to said political organizations. We’re all in this together and America needs an organization like Political Rankings to be a nonpartisan, comprehensive, and trustworthy source of political information.
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