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Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 09:18 AM
Original message
Some thoughts on civility and posting
Edited on Mon Sep-29-03 09:24 AM by Padraig18
I was a member of DU for almost two months before I posted anything; I spent that time period reading, familiarizing myself with the issues, the various forums, etc., and just getting a 'feel' for the place. In that past month, I noticed a disturbing and dramatic increase in the number of 'flame posts' and ad hominem attacks on both candidates and their supporters/defenders. With that in mind, I submit my own thoughts, as follow...

To those who criticize experienced career politicians, like Kerry, Graham, Edwards and Gephart, e.g., for being "Beltway insiders" (or worse), I would ask you "Why is in-depth knowledge of governmental processes neccessarily a BAD thing?. In the event that we are successful in recapturing the White House and either one or both Houses of Congress, would you prefer that the new President's legislative agenda be shephered by those knowledgable of the process, or those who are ignorant of it? Would you wish his advisors and counselors to be learned and wise, or neophytes?"

To those who criticize General Clark, I ask you, "As one who by most credible reports served this Republic well throughoutr his adult life--- dilligently, honorably and wisely, forsaking until late in life far more lucrative pursuits in the private sector--- why do you demonize him?. Is the ONLY 'acceptable' public service OUT of uniform? Has this Republic no legitimate need for armed forces, and do those who have devoted their lives to armed service have nothing of value to contribute in civilian life?"

To those who criticize Congressman Kucinich, dismissing him as merely a 'flake', or a 'leftist', I say, "Today's 'kook' may be tomorrow's 'visionary'!. Every party needs a moral compass, someone who reminds us of that we should endeavor to be what Lincoln called the angels of our better nature. Regardless of what you think of his 'electability', can you honestly dismiss or marginalize him as 'unneccessary', or is your dismissal of him more venal in nature, intended to shut away someone who uncomfortably reminds you of your DUTY to your fellow man, when you would prefer to simply be expedient?"

To those who would dismiss Ambassador Braun because of her all-too-human foibles, I ask, "Have you truly listened to her message of decency and compassion, and of the need and DUTY to care for those who are often 'out of sight and out of mind? Have you forgotten her FIERCE moral courage as a Senator, confronting the evils of both racism and economic bigotry?"

To those who scoff at Governor Dean, and call him "a hothead", or "the governor a small, insignificant state", I ask, "Is there no place for righteous indignation in our party? Why should we NOT be angry at the theft of our right to self-governance, and at those who committed the theft? Are not the States, including the one he governed, 'laboratories of democracy' and often times better suited for developing new and innovative approaches to old problems? Are your memories so short that you cannot remember that the best President in the last 20 years was also 'the governor of a small and insignificant state?"

Any omission of any candidate by name is not meant to be disrespectful, but is done solely in the interest of verbal economy. That said, can we not return the tone of our debates in this forum to one of CIVILTY? Can we now advance our preferred candidate by confining ourselves to positive statements about them, or by raising LEGITIMATE issue and policy differences WITHOUT the needlessly inflammatory or perjorative verbiage and rhetoric? Aren't we mature enough to do that, at a minimum, or must we imitate the Reugnicrat freepers, and continue this pointless and ultimately destructive and divise pattern of decidely UN-civil discourse and 'flame wars', and ensure the re-election of those crypto-fascists who have already fired the opening shots in the war to extinguish our rights as sovereign, self-governing citizens of this Republic?

Thank you.
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molly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 09:22 AM
Response to Original message
1. Thankyou!!
all of our candidates contribute something - an awareness, perhaps, even of differences within our party. I think we need a candidate that can win - that is the number 1 priority.
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Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thank you!
I am not normally a 'scold', but the level of debate here has dropped to gutter level, and thretens our ability to rationally decide both who we should support and how we should regain control of OUR government. :)
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rwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 09:43 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. In the discussions of candidates
we keep forgetting that anyone, ANYONE, will be better then bush*. Herbert Hoover would be better. Nixon would be better.The worst candidate you could ever imagine or has ever been, would be better. Our 10 candidates are a wonderful hope to bring us out of this national nightmare. When we decide on one of them I will vote for him or her.
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tsipple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 09:54 AM
Response to Reply #6
11. Nixon?
Well, let's not get carried away. The bombing of Southeast Asia alone... Can we call that one a tie?
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Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. LOL!
My maternal grandfather is reported to have remarked (upon watching Nixon's funeral and hearing some talking head comment "Well, they certainly won't have Nixon to kick around any more") quote: "I'll believe that when they open the coffin and show me his corpse with a stake driven through the heart!"

Granddaddy was an immigrant 'yellow dog Democrat', in case you wondered! :P
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moosedog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #6
18. Nothing worse?
Well, if we get someone in that is a puppet of the radical right...then we would be in worse shape. I wonder if that could happen. Could they put in a shill for us to vote for and they win the election and do their bidding. OK....I was just thinking and this outfit has me thinking crazy. Well, anything is possible. They won't cheat in the same manner as last time, will they?
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 09:32 AM
Response to Original message
3. Bravo Padraig18!
Glad to have you here at DU. Getting the big picture is important if we want to take the government back. We must use all our strengths, and civility amongst ourselves is a grand starting point.
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Girlfriday Donating Member (570 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 09:33 AM
Response to Original message
4. Great post Padraig!
Like I said in an earlier thread, I am increasingly becoming disillusioned. When I found this site, I couldn't believe how lucky I was to stumble across so many people of like minds. Being a liberal has a way of making one feel alone, but not here; that is until lately. I have found myself avoiding candidate threads or swiftly exit when I inadvertently wander into one.

I guess it proves that Dems can be as mean spirited as freepers..... scary.
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rooddood743 Donating Member (148 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 09:34 AM
Response to Original message
5. Everybody's different...
I think people should express themselves in a way that they think is appropriate. That's not to say we should'nt be somewhat polite to one another, but if I wanna say that so-and-so is a low down dirty butthead, that's what I'm gonna say. And man, there's a lotta low down dirty buttheads in politics.

Calling people names is not only appropriate and warranted at times, it's also fun!
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Bridget Burke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. For "fun", try the Lounge....
The endless candidate bashing in General Discussion is a waste of energy. If you've got a favorite candidate, tell us how great he or she is.

Each Democratic candidate has good & bad points. None of them (even My Least Favorite) should be called a "low down dirty butthead."

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Maeve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 09:49 AM
Response to Original message
8. I've almost given up reading GD
Because it is too full of long knives. All I can stand to do is skim the subjects and light on a few that look promising (like this one).

We've let the likes of Newt set the tone for political discourse (remember the "call your opponents traitors and other vile names" list?). Let the Republicans eat their own; we don't need to!
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tsipple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
9. You Know What Will Rogers Said About Democrats...
Edited on Mon Sep-29-03 09:52 AM by tsipple
:-)

We have 10 candidates, it's crowded, and there's an active and vigorous debate. In 1992 it was all very similar.

I agree. We should be civil. (I am and will be.) But civil debate is also healthy.

Oh, and if you be dissin' my man Howard -- or even dissin' my second choice(s) -- be prepared for a factful response. (I'm talkin' to you, trolls! :-)) I'm rehearsing for the Big Show between roughly March (when we'll probably have a nominee) and November, 2004.

(On edit: Think rough-and-tumble presidential politics is new? Here's a bonus question. When was this slogan used: "Ma, Ma, Where's My Pa? Gone to the White House, Ha Ha Ha!"? And what was it about?)
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Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Civility and facts!
What a concept! :toast:
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Rowdyboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 10:05 AM
Response to Original message
13. Sadly, they're few threads like tthis....
and dozens started mainly to drag us down. I'm certain much of it is due to the anonymnity the internet allows. You can be an absolute jackass and never look people in the eye. That's irrestistable to some.

Thanks for the thread...
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Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Thank YOU for the support!
:)
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spinkbottle Donating Member (31 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 10:12 AM
Response to Original message
15. Thank you
I am new here myself, but I lurked for months before I signed on for the same reasons you did. I have made a decision that I will not reply to uncivil posts so as not to fan the flames. Perhaps if enough of us did that, the flame-baiters would be reduced to playing with... er... among themselves.

My candidate is ANYONE BUT BUSH.

:toast:
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Castilleja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 10:13 AM
Response to Original message
16. Wow, I'm glad I clicked on this...
That was a wonderful post! Should be read by everyone. Thanks!
:thumbsup:
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Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. Thanks!
:kick:
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Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
19. Kick
:kick:
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Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 10:52 AM
Response to Original message
20. Kick
:kick:
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SWPAdem Donating Member (951 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 10:56 AM
Response to Original message
21. Hip-hip-hooray!
It is so comforting to see some level headed thinking. I returned to DU after a lengthy absence a few days ago. The Greens vs Dem battles have now become candidate bashing free-for-alls. I must admit that I entered into the fray to defend the candidate that I support. When I finally came to my senses, I decided to hit the ignore button (for the first time) and sent the most obnoxious posters to the dust bin.

I have pledged to not engage in any more arguments on candidates or ideological purity. When Nov '04 rolls around, I know that I will vote for whatever candidate the Dems nominate...that will be my vote of "conscience."
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Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 10:58 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. It's about taking our most fundamental right back, plain and simple.
:toast:
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XanaDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
23. Civility like
Edited on Mon Sep-29-03 11:41 AM by LibertyChick
this..?

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Which was first posted in the GD forum and then moved to the Lounge, which was correct.

As long as DUers follow the rules on DU, and they are easy to follow, criticism of any candidate is normal and part of the political process.
I find it hard to believe that removal of The Chimp is NOT the goal of almost all DUers, whether or not they happen to support a candidate others support or not. Even if they voice criticism of that candidate. One poster's "bash" is another poster's "valid criticism", paraphrasing per Skinner.

Telling other posters what to post and how to post it is a bunch of manure. One of the weirdo-scary things about Freepers is how they agree , en masse, about all the bull that issues forth from Chimp's WH.

One of the best things about DU is how we all can discuss things, within the rules (which many break).

EDIT:typo
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noiretextatique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #23
31. thanks, liberty chick
and thanks to the original poster also...it was a good reminder. but i agree with libertychick...as long as people stay withing the rules of he board, everything else is fair game. inevitably after a spate of "flame" posts...there are a bunch of anti-flames posts. and so the cycle has been since i signed on two years ago. all of it is predictable, and i don't have a problem with any of it. as i mentioned in another anti-flame post last night: if you don't like a thread, don't read it. if you open it and find flames, then close it. works pretty well for me.
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Zuni Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 11:38 AM
Response to Original message
24. EXCELLENT POST!!!!!!
I love when rational, true democrats post things that are not hate.
Thank you for posting this. All the candidates deserve our support, even if you do have a favorite.
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Lindsay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
25. Thank you.
I avoid the flamer threads if I can, but I've been dismayed by the couple I stumbled into because they started out as serious threads and then degenerated into a flame war.

I wish there were a separate forum for serious discussions...or for flamers. Just so those of us who want to discuss issues could find each other!

P.S. As somebody who recently discovered she's 1/4 Irish...I love your name, Padraig!
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MoonAndSun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. a good kick
"kick"
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Padraig18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. Thank you!
To paraphrase, I'm "Irish by birth, and American by the grace of God." :)
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Rowdyboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 02:55 PM
Response to Original message
28. Kick
:kick:
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5thGenDemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 03:02 PM
Response to Original message
29. Thanks for posting this
Since you were interested in verbal economy, I'd like to add a good word for Al Sharpton.
He's been the candidate who's made me say "Fuckin' Ay, Bubba" the most times. I didn't think he'd appeal to me, but he does -- he does a lot.
John
Not a member of Al's core constituency.
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dweller Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-29-03 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
30. Wise words come at the most dire times.
Those that survive are those who heed them.
You have given more credence to why there ARE ten Democratic candidates in the race, and should be until the time a voting primary decides the one. That one will have to speak for the all, of them, of us. He or she will be 10 times the greater President because of that.
and there is more integrity, honesty and decency in the most miniscule fragment of those ten candidate's sliver of a pinky toenails collectively, then can be found in the whole body of this present administration.

You've obviously done your DU homework, kudos to you for that.
I look forward to your future posts.

peace,
dp
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