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RichM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 01:25 PM
Original message
The case for fewer candidate threads in GD (or banning them altogether)
IMHO, the proliferation of candidate threads in this forum has for some time been eroding most of the forum's potential value. The candidate threads & endless polls (several every single day) are invariably rancorous and dimwitted. They reflect no more than the determination of each faction to win. They result in the excessive plastering of what are essentially candidate commercials all over the board.

The stupidity and shallowness of these threads is exemplified by the following behavior: anyone who says anything critical of Clark is immediately accused of being a "Deanie," as though there were simply no other possible explanation.

The predominance of candidate threads here is obscuring other more thoughtful types of threads -- which really, IMO, are the main value of DU. Such threads explore, for example, GOP mind control techniques, Iraq, & larger questions bearing on where American society is headed.

One of the reasons that candidate threads stink is that they are just too easy to do. It takes no brains or thought to start a thread like "What would be your favorite ticket?" It takes no brains or thought to start threads like "Mr. Smith praises Candidate Jones!" or "DYNAMITE Article on Jones!!"

Another reason candidate threads stink is that they are in no way constructive. A Clark thread generally only attracts Clarkies, who all either whoop it up together, or jointly swarm against critics. I doubt that anyone not already in the club is often converted by such threads. And I'd pity anyone so weakminded that they would convert, on the basis of the superficial & abysmal quality of such threads.

In the larger picture, the effect of candidate threads is destructive. It's like a drug that is fun & exciting in the short-term, but harmful in the longer-term. The proliferation of these threads strengthens the impression that "politics" is mainly a matter of cheerleading loudly for your guy, and "winning." True, that is precisely the idea one gets of politics from American culture. However -- as the higher quality threads on DU have pointed out -- "American culture" is precisely the problem that has put us where we are today.

Politics -- once you get beyond the pathetic & truncated view offered by our culture -- should not be based on personalities, & on the construction of large noisy bullying followings for specific personalities. It should be rooted in an analysis of how society is structured, and how the prevailing system serves different interests. Opinions about particular candidates should flow from there. They should be based on how accurate, direct & truthful the analyses of various candidates are -- not on how handsome the candidate is, or whether you feel he has "charisma."

The DU approach that has now solidified is the very opposite of this. It emphasizes personalities & media image to the virtual exclusion of analyses & ideas. It accepts & reflects shallow aspects of American culture that are a big part of the reason why a gangster like Bush was able to seize power in the first place.

Therefore, I suggest: there should be far fewer candidate threads. Fewer polls, far fewer low-quality bullshit threads. If you have nothing worth saying, wait until you get a genuine thought, rather than just polluting the board with a cheap commercial for your guy.
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wndycty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. But you will retain your right to bash Clark, right?
:kick:
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Democrats unite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I agree with you...
Seems like the only mention here is about Clark. COuld this be a Deannie ticked off that Clark fans are fighting back now & we are in numbers drowning out the Dean threads? Just a thought.
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wndycty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I don't think its a Deanie. . .
. . .but definately a Clark hater who has started many candidate threads himself. He does not like what he sees and now he wants to limit the practice.
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RichM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #4
18. I am not a "Clark hater." I don't hate Clark at all; I merely am opposed
Edited on Tue Nov-18-03 02:13 PM by RichM
to him as a candidate. I think he is a quite decent fellow, in many ways.

What I "hate" is the approach of his supporters on this board, which were very accurately described by the above poster, as being an effort to "drown out" everything else on the board.

I certainly have not "started many candidate threads" myself. I have criticized Clark maybe a half-dozen times, & Kerry maybe once -- and that's about it. Once I started a pro-Kucinich thread. I start as many threads in a month as you do in a day -- and almost every single one of yours is a Clark commercial.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. Look at what you are doing! Accusing this poster of being an operative
for one candidate over the other! This is the kind of thing the orginal poster is talking about. We aren't doing Sports here, this isn't a GAME for some of you to take sides and pound down the opposition.

This is Serious! This is our Country! Discussions about the Energy Bill, Social Security, Patriot Act II, Health Care Reform and Iraq and Voting are as important or more important on a day to day basis than waving Pom Poms or throwing garbage at the candidates one might like or not like!
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wndycty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. Think about it. . .
. . .if the author of the original post is really serious about cutting back on the candidate threads he can greatly help by limiting his Clark bash threads (which he regularly contributes), but I would not ask him to do that, because I believe that everyone is entitled to the opinions regardless of whether I agree with them or not.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #13
34. In all honesty, I'm here every day. I've yet to see this poster
bashing Clark. If you could provide links, please do. But, just throwing this out, is not verification.
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RichM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #2
10. Heh heh heh -- Nothing could have better proved my point.
Not only do you accuse me of being a "Deanie" (I have never said even a single positive thing about him) -- you also use the phrase "we are in numbers drowning out the Dean threads." This of course is a very accurate description of what the Clark people do. And what I am talking about, is the detriment to the board as a whole, when this type of approach is used.
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bearfartinthewoods Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
12. excuse me, but you just validated the one point the guy has
this is supposed tobe about who is the best candidate, not which candidate's team is 'winning' at DU.
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. I had hoped the first few comments were meant to be ironic :-) (nt)
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bearfartinthewoods Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #14
24. hopes/dashed.......sigh
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 01:33 PM
Response to Original message
3. Agree. I don't read the candidate threads anymore unless there's a link
to an article, where there's an opportunity to read the article and discuss what was said about the candidate. Otherwise the rest of them are just shallow "cheerleading" or "trashing," done just to push an agenda.

It's so cluttered and reduced to "sound bytes" that it's like turning on the cables for news and finding newsflashing and scrolls on the bottom and flash pictures and split screens. It contributes to chaos of the mind.

Most of us thought it would get better with the new rules, but alas...it's getting worse.

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vi5 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
5. No! I am an undecided and as much as I hate to say this...
These threads are useful to me. I don't understand why it's so hard for supporters of particular candidates to just act like adults instead of spoiled, petulant babies.(Although as I mentioned yesterday, the age poll that was posted a week or so ago, and the resulting answers went a long way towards explaining this).

And I find it interesting to see that you picked Clark and his supporters as the main culprits. As an unbiased undecided I couldn't find this further from the truth. But then again you'll probably just accuse me of being a Clarkie.
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bearfartinthewoods Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #5
19. please tell me about that poll
i've always wondered what the age demographics were around here and have been hoping the childish behavior could be laid at the feet of...well...children.
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Yes, color me curious as well (nt)
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drfemoe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
6. It seems to be
a few who need regular anti-anyone but their candidate fixes.

Threads attempting to bring civility have been locked .. like I suspect this one will because it's "Admin".

Thanks for trying.
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DemExpat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 01:43 PM
Response to Original message
8. For a split-second I thought you were being genuinely
Edited on Tue Nov-18-03 01:54 PM by DemEx_pat
concerned about the quality of threads, fairness, mutual respect etc.....
but quickly realized it was just another Clark supporter bashing and a total denial of personal responsibility in the quality of the candidate threads here....

They should be based on how accurate, direct & truthful the analyses of various candidates are

Rich, you are a tad arrogant to think that you and your soul-mates have a monopoly on truth, accuracy and clear analysis here at DU..... :eyes:

:thumbsdown:

DemEx
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #8
22. Then, if you feel that way post links where Rich M has Clark bashed...
Edited on Tue Nov-18-03 01:55 PM by KoKo01
He says he doesn't read the threads...I think I would take him at his word, but if you have links which say he is a known Clark basher, or Dean basher, I'm sure it would add to this discussion.

Also, since I don't read the threads since I'm posting which candidate do you think I support.....hmmmmmm????
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DemExpat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #22
30. Clark-supporter bashing......
this thread being an example thereof....he talks about candidates, while only Clark supporters are put in a negative light....not very subtle about it either.

DemEx

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wndycty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #22
32. You asked for proof, here it is.
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bearfartinthewoods Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 01:45 PM
Response to Original message
9. the most important descision we can possibly make and you
Edited on Tue Nov-18-03 01:46 PM by bearfartinthewoods
want us to limit talking about it?

there is nothing more important, abeit my family's health, in my world today than who will be the nominee. and here, on a political discussion board, you want people to stop posting about and against the candidates.

oh amd btw...you may hate it...i may hate it, but image sells.

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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
11. Many of these threads are just emotional comfort for people here
They like being part of a group that thinks as they do, and they enjoy banding together to bash other candidates. It's less about the candidate at that point than it is about some bizarre kind of therapy. Most online forums have this problem.
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Ripley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. But DU has the P&C forum for those specific threads.
I kind of agree with Rich, but I don't know how the mods would limit them. And if they try to change the rules again, whew! Good luck.
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RichM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #11
25. Much truth to this, I think...
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bearfartinthewoods Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #11
31. i agree completly....
especially the daily polls and the" ___supporters...check in" threads.

it's almost like clockwork, whenever a new media poll comes out, the inevitable DU poll follows to buck up the troops and stop defections
from whichever candidate is on the downswing.
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Screaming Lord Byron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 01:50 PM
Response to Original message
15. We're a Democracy. If people want to post nonsense threads
about whose candidate is the best, then that's their prerogative, I'm afraid.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #15
26. Post nonsense threads about candidates? How is that helpful for
Edited on Tue Nov-18-03 01:59 PM by KoKo01
discussion. This Forum is "General Discussion." How does one discuss nonsense? Please tell me...I'm waiting and all ears!
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Screaming Lord Byron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. My personal bias. I'm defending their right to post whatever they like
So long as it's general and it's for discussion. I think a load of them (especially the Clark vs Dean thing) are pretty childish, but if that's what people want to post, that's fine by me.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #28
39. OMG! Now the argument has turned to censorship! I give up, I've said my
Edited on Tue Nov-18-03 02:14 PM by KoKo01
last on this. It's getting ridiculous. No one sees how much "Clutter" there is and as one poster said here, "Nonsense!" :nuke:
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in_cog_ni_to Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 01:51 PM
Response to Original message
16. I thought that was why
Edited on Tue Nov-18-03 01:53 PM by in_cog_ni_to
we are here? To discuss the issues. Discuss the candidates and to get the squatter out of the WH? This IS an election year, you know? THIS is the year we have ALL been waiting for. I disagree with you. We need to discuss candidates. It helps undecideds, decide.


Therefore, I suggest: there should be far fewer candidate threads. Fewer polls, far fewer low-quality bullshit threads. If you have nothing worth saying, wait until you get a genuine thought, rather than just polluting the board with a cheap commercial for your guy.

I wholeheartedly disagree!
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 01:53 PM
Response to Original message
20. There won't be anymore candidate threads on Nov. 3, 2004. 25/37
Edited on Tue Nov-18-03 02:06 PM by Bleachers7
25/37 threads have nothing to do with the primaries when I checked. The primaries are the most important thing going on. I don't agree. Besides that, your argument belongs in Ask the Admins.
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RetroLounge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 01:56 PM
Response to Original message
23. Uh, thanks for your suggestion
but no...

"If you have nothing worth saying, wait until you get a genuine thought, rather than just polluting the board with a cheap commercial for your guy."

and thanks for being condescending...


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CWebster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
27. Who is your candidate! Who are you supporting!
;-)

Well, I agree with you, I am inclined to bash Kerry for his obvious cloddishness, but Clark, beyond his slick exterior represents far more sinister forces--both from the MIC and the party establishment and I am likely to stand my ground.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
29. "Strawman" arguments here! Instead of discussing the post, attacking the
poster as an "operative" for a candidate instead of discussing what the poster said about the clutter. Making an argument about the posters "so called agenda" and turning it into a food fight is exactly what the original poster was talking about...
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #29
33. WTF, who do you support
j/k :evilgrin:
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #33
35. The fact that you don't know says that I'm in this argument honestly...
I'm not here all the time bashing anyone. If there's a candidate I know something about from personal experience (like Edwards) I will occasionally post in a thread something that adds to peoples knowledge about him. But, I don't jump up and down or throw rocks at other candidates because I'm still interested in all the candidates who are running.

I'm undecided between Dean and Kucinich. I've given to both of them. But I don't need to run around yelling about it every day. And, none of you who even have ever seen a post of mine or remember one could say that I am one of the "suspects" for Candidate posts.
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. I was kidding
I hope you know that.
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DemExpat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
37. I think the candidate threads are fine......
nothing wrong with cheerleading, arguments, discussion, leading up to a nomination.....

This gives lurkers a good idea of the different viewpoints that abound here at DU - if they can read past all the purely bashing/denigrating posts that come up in ALL the candidate's threads....

I DO think that these sometimes passionate threads will attract newcomers to DU as well.

DemEx
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Rowdyboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 02:13 PM
Response to Original message
38. How subtle of you....
I shall look forward to voluntary implementation from all posters immediately.
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EarlG ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
40. If you have a question about DU policy
You know what to do. Otherwise this is just inflammatory.

EG
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welshTerrier2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
41. A Home of Their Own
While I would not like to see heavy-handed censorship of "candidate ra ra" threads, I have wondered why the moderators don't move them to the "Politics and Campaigns" forum ...

There's a fine line between a thread that discusses a candidate's views on the issues versus a candidate's campaign tactics ...

so, a statement like "Kerry criticizes Dean on Flag Issue" becomes a matter of judgment ... my judgment is that it doesn't belong in General Discussion ... the issue relates to the campaign and discusses the best political strategy about how to win in the South ...

Now, if someone posted a thread analyzing voting trends in the South or the demographic composition of southern voters, and mentioned the "confederate flag flap" only to enhance the broader discussion, then that's different ... a post like that does belong in the GDF ...

I completely agree that there is nothing to be gained by these constant, inane, cheerleading discussions and polls ... there are other forums provided for these things ... and I do think they detract from the quality and the integrity of DU ...
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Kosmos Mariner Donating Member (276 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-18-03 04:18 PM
Response to Original message
42. I disagree...
These threads are very important. They provide great information and disinformation on all the candidates. Of course there is arguing, but that is the vitality of the democratic process. The free flow of ideas is essential, and I enjoy them all. By the way, you should work on your persuasive argument technique. You sound like an political snob in your argument. That is pretty bad when you are trying to make a case to a group of people who are probably considered by many to be lefty, elitist, ivory tower, pointy head, snobs, myself included. Just something to think about. :think:


:dem:
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