I've got a bone to pick and it's a big one. First, I want to be crystal clear as to where I am starting from and what my beef is about or not about.
What it's not about:
- Political Advantage
- Personal Grudges
- A call for whine with my cheese
What it IS about:
- Freedom to express opinions
- The ability to debate openly
- Feeling free to invite others here.
Where I figure I have the right to say something:
End the Political Trolling
Now there has been a trend here and recently it's gotten worse than I've seen it here. Names aren't a part of this and there are too many to go
into in a general way, anyway. If we're to be 100% honest, I'm among the problems, at times, as much as I'm here now seeking a solution. Fair is
Fair and I debate too aggressively and too forcefully to even play at saying I haven't crossed the lines myself. I have and need to work on it.
All that being said. The hateful crap has to stop. There is a pretty clear line between very aggressively and even viciously sometimes, pursuing a
debate topic and turning that aggressive and vicious approach on the *PEOPLE*, not the topic. Last night, there were a couple different threads where
the target of opportunity became the GOP. Not specifically Republican Politicians, let alone any single politician. In more than one post, it was
blanket condemnation of all Republicans, as a whole.
Now, I could sit here and note that Dr. Michael Savage is someone I agree with on at least a few points. I could note that Liberalism being a
*IS* among what I agree with him on. That absolutely carries as far and wide as it might sound, and if it offends.... *GOOD*. It
might give some idea how how it feels to see multiple, established and respected users here categorize a whole block of people as hateful, bigoted, of
low intelligence or simply backward to the point of somehow forfeiting the right to express opinions.
I COULD say all that. However, outside of a Rant, like this, saying all that would be outright hateful and combative with no purpose other than to
hurt, anger or intimidate others into shutting up, depending on how I read the person I was directing it to. I DO NOT say such things in such general
and broad ways though, for that reason.
THERE IS NOTHING BUT HATE AND ATTACK behind it, let alone to be gained by it.
If I were new here and say, just arrived yesterday.....the scene last night may well have caused me to rethink my choice of coming to ATS. In fact, I
absolutely won't invite people from college to join ATS right now, as much as I'd love them here and I believe they could contribute. It's not the
"Tin Foil Hat" stuff, because the average person I know would be fascinated by much, even if they don't agree. It's the petty, cheap shot attacks
that come and go to anyone who dares post a contradictory opinion in a thread where the direction and ideology has been established.
I see exceptions to that but generally only when there are multiple people coming onto a thread. This is absurd and ridiculous. It's almost like, in
some topic areas, we'd better travel in little ideological packs for mutual support! These are all FIGHTING terms and combat tactics. Literally. Are
we a site of debate or are we a ring to step into and go to war?
I know the answer to the above, and it's in the link I opened this with. It's just crazy it even needs to be cited.
If one thing could be said or taken from this and my effort to write it, it would simply be this.
Ask yourself.... Is what I'm about to say aggressive to the topic and subject or to people? If it's to the topic, why that defines debate. If it's
to a PERSON who isn't the SUBJECT of the story or topic, it's trolling at best.....and gutter attack at worst.
It takes almost no effort and loses nothing to be decent to each other and debate with SOME baseline of respect. It'll cost us all what we love most,
ATS as a site to enjoy, if the fighting and gutter sniping keeps up as a regular thing. Many have already left....more talk about it or up and leave
all the time. Is it all really worth this just to put other people down and feel like a specific point or thread was a victory?
I'll close on that....and just hope things mellow some. Right now, I feel like I'm off to war more often than not when entering several forums here
these days....and that's just not right.