Today, it feels nearly impossible to discern who is telling the truth and who is, as the president is so fond of screaming, “fake news.”
My right-leaning father and I are consistently battling each other with conflicting facts from our niche news sources. For example, his conservative news bubble is telling him that Trump’s approval rating is high, while my liberal echo chamber tells me the opposite.
How’s that possible, and what can we do about it?
While I lean decidedly left, I am independent-minded. I believe wholeheartedly that the two party system is screwing us, and I like to frequent sites that allow for readers to get both sides on important issues so I can make an educated decision as to how I feel about that topic.
Nine times out of ten, I’ll lean with the libs, but isn’t it important to at least give yourself that chance to hear another side to things?
So where can you go for civil discussion that is at least moderately unbiased? As my holiday gift to you, I decided to collect a list of what I consider to be some of the best political blogs for the, er, only slightly biased independent thinker. 😉
Re-vamp your blog aggregation this year by adding these sites to your must-subscribe list!
The Moderate Voice
Offering sections on society, politics, entertainment and much more, The Moderate Voice gives readers a full spectrum glance into the people, events and ideas that change our society. Articles range from addressing the current Republican tax bill as corrupt, to the little-known fact that Asiatic Cheetahs are facing extinction, to lighthearted comedy on the so-called "War on Christmas."
Offering a discussion forum as well as political blog posts, Ordinary Times also focuses on civil political discourse. Recent articles tackle topics as diverse as the acquittal of Philip Brailsford, a former Mesa, AZ police officer, in the shooting death of Daniel Shaver, to a discussion of whether the holiday hit song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is playful fun or a much darker invitation to commit sexual assault.
Political Storm, similar to Ordinary Times, offers a free and open platform for voices from many different sides of the political spectrum to get their thoughts out there and debate. It’s a place where pretty much anyone can contribute fresh thoughts as long as your writing is solid, your facts are backed, and your language and messages aren’t hateful.
The New York Times Political Blog
The New York Times features a highly evolved political commentary section offering many different perspectives. Recent exposes include the vast sum of money the House has expended to settle sexual harassment suits across the years. They also offer a very timely right and left look into the investigation Robert Mueller is conducting regarding possible Russian interference in the US election process.
The Centrist Project
The Centrist Project explores what a future without the divisiveness of the two-party system might look like. Their core values include environmental responsibility, social tolerance, fiscal responsibility and economic opportunity. Their mission is to help elect independent third-party candidates who actively work to solve problems. With at least 57% of Americans calling for an alternative to the current two-party system, this blog is timely and relevant.
Independent Voter Network (IVN)
The Independent Voter Network, or IVN, seeks to create an open network for journalists who wish to engage in open, civil dialogue built not on an ideology, but a simple 4-point etiquette: No partisan attacks, no personal attacks, no self promotion, and substantiate claims.
IVN has been called every political label -- from undercover Republicans, to closet Democrats, to anarchists, and everything in-between and outside. IVN welcomes writers from across the political spectrum, and thus each article can have its own unique take and bias.
FairVote focuses on pushing for electoral reform that gives voters more choice, stronger voices and a more representative political process for the people. This organization has made great strides in electoral reform at local, state and national levels. Their “Resources” page includes articles and blog posts that help followers keep up with the movement.
Open Primaries is another electoral reform organization. This one pushes for nonpartisan primary systems where voters don’t have to join a political party in order to put their right to vote into action. Besides having tons of resources and advocacy opportunities, this site also offers a blog you can follow to keep up-to-date on what the movement is accomplishing and where.
Uniters.org couples online resources and blog community discussion with grassroots groups of political independents who are pushing for actionable policy changes in locales all across the country. The organization is a nonprofit and is always seeking support and thoughts from like-minded centrists.
ModerateVoters.org is a daily news and commentary aggregator as well as an organization that is pushing for change. It also provides educational essays and resources on what it means to be a moderate voter in today’s world and what solutions are being offered by moderate politics, or “the third way.”
The blogs I’ve listed are some of the best moderate political blogs you’ll find! They’re great networks for open discussion from various political voices — and many of them accept guest writers if you’re interested!
While it may seem moderate voices exist in a sea of silence in our current political climate, they do exist. Those who can have civil discourse and take the time to consider the other side of the story give us hope for a far better tomorrow.
As long as human beings have opinions, there will be bias in reporting. The best we can do is make an active effort to look at multiple sources and form our own conclusions from that.
Even if you do tend to lean one way more often — which most people do — don’t get stuck in a partisan echo chamber. Read, read, read! Even if it totally pisses you off — read it. Then form an opinion.
You’ll be glad when you can back-up your winning argument against your conservative father with the real facts.
Editor's Note: This article originally published on the author's blog, and has been modified slightly for publication on IVN.