It's a cliche to say that we live in turbulent political times. Never before have the institutions and norms that underpin US democracy seemed more vulnerable to the forces of demagoguery, corruption, and – maybe worst of all – apathy.
We all know that our representatives take huge contributions from lobbyists, making them more accountable to interest groups than to us, their constituents.
But the blame for this parlous state of affairs doesn't only lie with corrupt politicians and amoral institutions. It lies with the nearly 50% of eligible voters who don't turn up. You may well be one of those abstainers.
No judgement here. Politics can be arcane, opaque, and aloof. That's why you need MOXY, a new app and online ecosystem from developer Epluribus, designed to demystify the political process and give you a more direct line of communication to your representatives.
MOXY is totally non-partisan, and exists purely to encourage democratic participation. It does this in a number of ways – the eight keystones around which the app is designed.
First up, MOXY allows users to quickly and easily view upcoming local, regional, and national elections. It includes information on the candidates and other ballot measures.
It also has a section on elected representatives, allowing you to follow, contact, and review those that represent you on a local, regional, and national level.
Proposed and enacted legislation is visible in the app, too, along with pertinent details to enable users to understand how they might be affected by the new laws.
Then there are the forums, where users can discuss, debate, and exchange political views. Civil discourse is a vital ingredient of a healthy democracy, and this is where it happens. This is augmented by a handy chat function, where you can message friends, colleagues, and representatives.
MOXY also contains surveys and polls to help you get a sense of the big picture and contribute to the discussion in a quick and easy way.
There's a carefully curated library of featured podcasts, too. These allow users to avail themselves of the most insightful and informative punditry available. And there are live streams, where you can get immediate updates from community leaders and representatives.
The free, ad-supported version of MOXY lets you register to vote, check your status, connect with your representatives, and more. The premium version, meanwhile, gets rid of ads and lets you Go Live daily. A further Power User tier lets you lead your own forum, create chat groups, start a podcast, and Go Live three times a day.