What is so special about Political Rankings with regards to its finances? The American people can recognize truth and honesty when they see it. A longtime strategy of being able to gage trust and honesty, beyond words and generalized actions, is to follow the money. This is where all of the existing main sources of political information run into trouble. When the American people look at the finances of legacy media organizations, social media companies, and the political parties, many are not happy with what they see. Companies merging to form ever-larger conglomerates controlled by an ever-shrinking cadre of elites, lobbyists throwing billions of dollars every year at both political parties, and conflicts of interest related to sponsorships or other financial agreements are just a few examples of concerns.
Because of the negative impact on trust caused by concerns related to the financial dealings of legacy media organizations, social media companies, and political parties, we made sure to keep Political Rankings as financially independent as possible from day 1. By bootstrapping our funding, avoiding conflicts of interest, and making sure our priorities are aimed at making American politics better, we hope to maintain America’s trust in us by preserving the first rule of trust: don’t lose it to begin with.
Political Rankings was planned to be bootstrapped from before the company was even formed for a variety of reasons. Bootstrapping in this context means we did not receive any money from venture capitalists, angel investors, corporate sponsorships, etc. The owner of Political Rankings borrowed against his own credit for the little bit of startup cash needed to buy our domain, build the website, and complete other basic tasks that come with founding a company. We knew we wouldn’t receive the media attention of a Silicon Valley startup getting a billion dollar investment from some hedge fund, but that’s fine.
This meant such drawbacks as the features we wanted to provide to our visitors taking a longer time to develop, getting the word about our company out to the world would be more difficult, and hiring additional staff outside of the founding team would not be possible for a long time. All of these things are worth it for the benefits of bootstrapping. We could completely focus on our top priority (providing political information to America), without distracting or conflicting priorities of investors. Others who do business with us will know we will practice ethical business practices and never jeopardize our company (or the business relationship) because we put our heart and soul into building Political Rankings up from nothing. Also, without the ability to hire or get trained by experts, we would have no choice but to develop for ourselves a deep understanding of the field/industry we are focused on, which is arguably the most complex field/industry of them all: politics.
No Conflicts of Interest
As it says on our About Us page, Political Rankings is not funded by venture capitalists, public sector unions, lobbyists, PACs, party entities, political campaigns, etc. This means we don’t have any conflicts of interest regarding any business decisions, big or small. All result pages are the same format regardless of party. Our descriptions of the parties are in the same format for each party. We put all of our data through a rigorous screening process before publishing it so we don’t believe there are any errors with any of it, but if there was an error we would fix it with the same speed regardless of which result page it was on. Content like this that we produce and comments from Political Rankings made on social media do not advocate for one party over the other. These same principles will be applied as more features are added to www.politicalrankings.com and as Political Rankings interacts more with the individuals and groups that make up American politics.
From the founding of Political Rankings we wanted it to be known for its nonpartisan nature. That’s why we put it in the logo and that’s why we have avoided financial decisions that would create conflicts of interest. As much as we heckle American news media organizations, they still do a great job compared to their counterparts overseas and the same is to be said about American social media companies compared to their counterparts overseas. Armed with the information provided by these organizations, the American people can follow the money and see through conflicts of interest some financial dealings create in the world of politics. But as good of a job as these organizations do, Political Rankings seeks to do a better job by not having any financial conflicts of interest of its own. Because when politics is involved, financial conflicts of interest are all the more problematic due to the partisanship and bias, real or perceived, that they cause.
Make American Politics Better
When it comes to issues related to finances, we at Political Rankings want to make 1 last thing clear: we’re not in this to become multi-billionaires, buy a yacht, or buy a private jet. Yes as a business we will need to make at least some money (one of these days) to keep the lights on and develop new features for visitors to www.politicalrankings.com to enjoy. But where analysts, critics, and ordinary Americans have questions about whether news media organizations and social media companies have maintained a proper ratio of focus between serving the public and increasing huge profit margins or placating stockholders, that’s not an issue for Political Rankings. Political Rankings has no stocks or stockholders, no boards of directors vying for power, no angel investor or rich benefactor railing about ROI, etc.
Some may consider it idealistic, and so be it, but Political Rankings was founded for the simple reason that has been (and will be) brought up over and over again: the landscape of American politics today is not good. In fact, it’s an overwhelmingly dark and dangerous place. Who out there would raise their hand and say “well it looks great to me”? The inescapable fact is that American politics is not going to get any better if no one (or not enough people) tries to make it better. Political Rankings was founded to be a solution to a number of the problems that exist in American politics today in hopes of making it better. Making money is nice, but everyone should remember (US) dollars are backed by nothing but the full faith and credit of the United States government. If American politics descends much further and the United States government continues to fail at its basic duties (or worse), all dollars could one day be worthless.
While we believe that the benefits of the financial decisions we’ve made will pay off in the long-term, the drawbacks in the meantime are very real. Legacy media organizations, social media organizations, and political parties are so far out of our league in terms of resources and reach that Political Rankings might as well not even be competing. We need the help of visitors like you to level the playing field and show that Americans want nonpartisan, comprehensive, and trustworthy political information like what we offer at Political Rankings. In this Federalist Stories article series, we’re going to continue giving details about what Political Rankings is about and what we plan to do. Whether it’s now or after you learn more about us, we hope you will consider financially supporting us, if you are able, by clicking on the donation links at the bottom of www.polticalrankings.com. If you are not able, no worries, we hope you will continue visiting the site to check out the hundreds of result pages available and tell everyone you know to do the same so we can all be more informed voters!
If you like what you see, please consider donating to help us get off the ground and crank out more Political Rankings for YOU!