Independent Politics topic of next Freethinkers meeting

Rolly Prager

Dr. Klar will be the guest speaker on Sunday, January 20 at the next meeting of SaddleBrooke Freethinkers. The presentation will start at 10:00 a.m. in the MountainView Ballroom. Her talk will include a discussion of her research regarding how individuals’ personal identities and social surroundings influence their political attitudes and behavior.

Dr. Klar, with co-author Yanna Krupsikov, recently published Independent Politics which won an award from the American Political Science Association. The book looks at how American disdain for political parties leads to political inaction. Specifically, the book examines independent voters and how they are misunderstood by the media as well as by academics. The media describes independents as pivotal for electoral outcomes. Political scientists conclude that independents are merely “undercover partisans.” Klar and her co-author have a different take on independents – they found that Americans are becoming more and more disenchanted with their political parties and don’t reveal their true partisanship to pollsters, academics, friends and even themselves. “Independent Politics” demonstrates that people intentionally mask their partisan preferences in social situations. Breaking with decades of research, the authors argue that independents are highly politically consequential. The same motivations that lead people to identify as independent also diminish their willingness to engage in the types of political action that sustain the grassroots movements of American politics.

SaddleBrooke Freethinkers provides a forum for the responsible search for truth and meaning in understanding and solving human problems by applying science and reason. We believe that tolerance, compassion, equity and civility should characterize interactions among people and organizations. We strive to achieve these goals through meetings, lectures and discussions. In 2017, Freethinkers initiated a $10 membership fee. In addition to the program events which are open to all, members will also enjoy member only events through the year.

Freethinker meetings begin at 10:00 a.m. often on the fourth Sunday of each month October through April. Attendees are encouraged to arrive by 9:30 a.m. for coffee and fellowship. Non-members are encouraged to make a $2 donation to defray costs. Attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items or cash donations for the Tri-Community Food Bank.

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