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Mon Jun 20, 2016, 01:20 PM

Welcome to General Election Season 2016 [View all]

As promised, General Election season on Democratic Underground starts today. Hillary Clinton is the presumptive Democratic nominee, the Democratic primary voting ended last Tuesday, and you've had nearly a week since then to take your last-minute pot-shots at each other (if you felt so inclined). Whether you like it or not, the time has come to put the acrimonious primary behind us and start looking forward to the General Election fight against Donald Trump.

The good news is that most DU members have already started the transition to General Election season on their own. The tone of discussions has improved significantly over the last couple weeks without any new software or admin intervention. This should come as no surprise -- we have been through two contested primaries on DU before, and each time the members of DU were able to come together for General Election season. Most people understand that this is now a battle between Democrats and Republicans for control of the White House, Congress, and local governments across the country. And most people understand the importance of joining together to support our presidential nominee -- Hillary Clinton -- and defeat their presidential nominee -- Donald Trump. (If you don't understand this, then you weren't supposed to be here in the first place.)

Still, there are likely to be a few people on both sides of the former Clinton-Sanders divide who want to keep fighting the primaries. To ensure that this website does not play host to a never-ending rehash of the 2016 Democratic primaries, we have made some pretty big changes to the way we run it. I posted some useful information about these changes in a previous post here. Here's what you need to know:

DU now has clear posting rules
The biggest change is that the site now has clear posting rules about civility and content, and we will insist that all of our members follow those rules. If you want to know whether something is permitted, check the rules to find out. It is the job of jurors to make sure the rules are followed.

Our focus is on encouraging civility
Most of the discussion on DU about general election season has been focused on what people can say about Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. But the admins feel a much more important issue is what people can say about other DU members. The civility standards during primary season were awful, and it seemed like most of the discussions were aimed at vilifying other DU members rather than discussing issues. This needs to change. The new rules have a very strong focus on civility.

Your expectations are probably wrong
Judging from some of the discussions among members here, it seems that many people on both sides of the former Clinton-Sanders divide have unrealistic expectations about what is going to be permitted during general election season. In particular, many people seem to be under the mistaken impression that members will not be permitted to criticize Hillary Clinton. This is simply wrong. Constructive criticism of Democratic public figures is always welcome on Democratic Underground, and our rules still permit that. As I said in a previous post: "If you are criticizing Hillary Clinton because you want to help her succeed, then you'll be fine. But if you are criticizing Hillary Clinton because you want to tear her down, then you won't be fine."

We want people to stop bashing Hillary Clinton and also Bernie Sanders
It is going to be much harder for the members of this website to come together if we keep bashing former primary candidates or their supporters. We are Democrats and we are all Clinton supporters now. Our opponents are Donald Trump and the Republican Party. So starting threads to attack Clinton supporters or Sanders supporters makes no sense, and it is also counter-productive.

You are permitted to support Bernie Sanders' efforts to influence the platform and the party
Everyone, including Bernie Sanders, knows that Hillary Clinton has clinched the Democratic nomination for president. But Bernie Sanders has made clear that he intends to use the leverage he has gained in the primaries in order to effect reforms he supports. This is entirely appropriate for him to do, and DU members are of course permitted to support his efforts. But everyone needs to understand that Bernie Sanders is not going to be the Democratic nominee, and those who support his reform efforts must do so without bashing Hillary Clinton or trying to undermine her candidacy against Donald Trump. The primary contest is over.

There will be some hiccups during this transition
The transition from primary season to general election season is a pretty big change that includes both software changes and rule changes. We have made every effort to smooth the transition, but we fully expect there to be some unexpected problems along the way -- software bugs, rule changes, confusion about expectations, or whatever. We'll be keeping a very close eye on things to make sure that everything is working as it should, so please bear with us as we make this transition, and try to be flexible and understanding.

Thanks again for being here at Democratic Underground as we move forward into an exciting general election campaign and hopefully landslide victories everywhere this November!

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Reply Welcome to General Election Season 2016 [View all]
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