The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Web site provides resources for independent viewpoints

A think tank dedicated to independent viewpoints in American politics launched its new Web site last week.

The group, called Independent Thinkers (, describes itself as a networking group for people who don't affiliate themselves with any particular political party. It researches the way independents view American politics and wants to find ways to have the government move toward a nonpartisan system of policymaking rather than relying on the views of the current party in power.

"We give resources to people who think outside the boxes of our political parties," said founder Robert Redding.

It gives independents a way to voice their opinions by connecting them to resources for publishing, broadcasting and scholarship opportunities.

Redding said the idea for Independent Thinkers was planted when he was still in high school.

"I would watch politicians on TV and wonder why we have so much partisanship in our government and I didn't think it was right," he said. "I wanted to find a way to bring people together who weren't necessarily in a political party and help them foster new thought and increase diversity in our government."

According to Janet Boles, professor of political science, the United States has always had a very divided two-party system, and it is unlikely that it will ever change.

"Our system is incredibly entrenched. About 60 percent of Americans identify with one party or the other and many who claim to be independent will say they are a Republican or Democrat if pushed," she said.

Students are frequently faced with this issue, as they are just beginning to make their own political decisions.

"It's hard to identify with either political party because they're at such extremes," said Laurie Duszynski, a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences. "I have a difficult time trying to decide on a party that will fit my differing views."

Redding said he believes college students will be the most interested in Independent Thinkers.

"Students are considered to be the group most open to new ideas and we're hoping to open chapters of Independent Thinkers at as many colleges as we can find interest across the country," he said.

Independent Thinkers said it wants to encourage college students to voice their opinions by offering scholarships and giving them the same opportunities as older adults to have their ideas heard.

Redding said he is very optimistic about the group's success.

Redding said he is currently in the process of planning a tour to various college campuses. At this time, most of the cities he plans to visit are in the eastern part of the country, but he said the group will make plans to come to Marquette or the Milwaukee area if there is an interest.

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