One Left wing site's idea of tolerance and respect for divergent opinions.
October 19, 2002 8:12 PM   Subscribe

One Left wing site's idea of tolerance and respect for divergent opinions. Truly hysterical (in all meanings of the word) post from the administrator of the Democratic Underground's message board announcing that from now you're only allowed to post messages that they agree with. No pro-Green Party points of view allowed, and certainly no Republicans. After all, they're evil. Not mistaken, mind you, nor misguided. Nope, anyone who's to the right of the Democratic party is evil. This sort of moral absolutism reminds me of, well, the Taliban.
posted by mojohand (43 comments total)
well, they are evil.
posted by quonsar at 8:32 PM on October 19, 2002

It is their site, they pay for it. They control the content. Metafilter does the same thing by deleting pancake posts...
posted by sciatica at 8:32 PM on October 19, 2002

This proves what, exactly?

That some leftists are humorless, facist-minded idealogues? I knew that.

So are some republicans, some libertarians, some communists, some greens whatever, as I'm sure people will provide proof of.

But first of all it's not a court of law or a public space. It some jackasses private message board, which he can run whatever way he wants(and of course which we can ridicule mercilessly).

Second of all, pointing at the actions of extreme or just plain stupid members of a given groups just gets us into the game of "your asshole is worse than our asshole' which distracts from getting anything useful done. For the life of me, I will never understand why some politically active types feel the need to defend idiots just because they happen to be roughly on the same side of the fence.
posted by jonmc at 8:32 PM on October 19, 2002

I feel better now..
posted by jonmc at 8:32 PM on October 19, 2002

It's just like Stalin and Trotsky fighting.

DU, what a crew of fucking morons, the Democratic party just betrayed their POV on the War vote, AND THEY GO BACK TO THEM?

posted by RobbieFal at 8:35 PM on October 19, 2002

...pointing at the actions of extreme or just plain stupid members of a given groups...distracts from getting anything useful done.'re saying that there are also some conservative folk who believe that their political opponents are "...evil. Not mistaken, mind you, nor misguided" and 'moral absolutists'?

Huh. Never knew.
posted by goethean at 8:37 PM on October 19, 2002

And this is different from the Free Republic (whose members regularly shout down libertarians and McCain supporters for example) how? Political constipation--of any stripe--isn't my thing, but I assure you, the left by no means has a monopoly on intolerance, snarkiness, and juvenile behavior.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:38 PM on October 19, 2002

What I'm trying to figure out is when Tweedledum and Tweedledee started hating each other so much. Must be one of those sibling rivalry things.

"We've got to stop their forces of evil from holding power so our forces of evil can ..."
posted by pyramid termite at 8:40 PM on October 19, 2002're saying that there are also some conservative folk who believe that their political opponents are "...evil

Ummm, yeah, gothean, that's exactly what I'm saying, and I think it's relevant. What are you saying with your "Huh Never knew" exactly?
posted by jonmc at 8:44 PM on October 19, 2002

Clearly that message board is a critical part of the overall campaign. God, I found one post that had 18 replies. Forget T.V ads, this is where the real action is.
posted by RobertLoch at 8:46 PM on October 19, 2002

Your stand on principle will have dire consequences, and you will share the blame when the Republicans in the House, Senate, White House, and Federal Courts undo a half century of progress.

[/evil laugh]
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 8:48 PM on October 19, 2002

I used to post regularly to Slashdot ( another web site that, allegedly, encourages discussion ) and pure frustration with terrible grammar, spelling, content checking and so on led me to often moan about the competence of their Editors ( as part of salient comments, naturally ).

Result: I got banned from posting.

Action: Leave it. It's their sandbox, and if they want to make up arbitrary, unannounced rules, then they can - and will - use them to have you thrown out.

Mock them from the outside, accept that it's very hard to do so from within, and just hope that, eventually, enough others will agree and move with you.

Also, know that it's like arguments in school:
when you are part of the bigger world, you see that it's nothing to get excited about, really.
posted by godidog at 8:50 PM on October 19, 2002

Ooooo... I hope this is the beginning of a board war. Shall I wrangle up some Mefis to get logins to DU and troll their boards?

Bah, I hope this thread is deleted.
posted by Stan Chin at 8:53 PM on October 19, 2002

pyramid termite, if they become more similar, then they must expend more and more effort to make sure that the voting public can remember which one they're voting for.

(Actually, I don't think the parties are that similar. Any sufficiently large group will have its share of fanatics.)
posted by hattifattener at 9:45 PM on October 19, 2002

Funny, this is written in a Democratic message board that few people see and it's a big deal, yet everyone is so used to Ann Coulter throwing it in the other direction in national publications that no one even blinks.
posted by BenNewman at 9:46 PM on October 19, 2002

The Democratic Underground is a commercial entity, private and fully within it's rights to control what goes on in their forums.

I don't think having a strict, annoying online forum policy can be compared to a murderous, oppressive governmental regime.
posted by glenwood at 9:58 PM on October 19, 2002

It's astonishing how craftily the Bush administration has inspired feelings of powerlessness in otherwise intelligent people, beginning with the 2000 "election." People who feel powerless often act like bullies. A bully will always stoop to petty tyranny, rather than the real work of communication. And look how effectively all this helps Bush consolidate power.
posted by divrsional at 10:16 PM on October 19, 2002

I'm with the majority on this,, Semi-Leftwing Morons spouting with their arbitrary rules (and this coming from a Rabid left-winger myself who has known to rant) Doubt, this will help them or change anyone's opinion and probably push folks away, to the left or right, so all power to them.
posted by Elim at 10:20 PM on October 19, 2002

I, for one, welcome our new democratic underground overlords.
posted by filchyboy at 10:21 PM on October 19, 2002

It's always sad when a few people have the bad manners to disrupt a civilized discussion on a public messageboard.

(coughs, clears throat)
posted by RylandDotNet at 10:26 PM on October 19, 2002

I, for one, welcome our new democratic underground overlords.

Damn, Beat me to it, Damn my slowing mind!!!!!
posted by Elim at 10:29 PM on October 19, 2002

What's up with all this YR to dittohead PMS tonight?

& what jonmc and BenNewman said.
posted by y2karl at 10:30 PM on October 19, 2002

I, for one, welcome our new democratic underground overlords

and Chairman Mao smiles


posted by RobbieFal at 10:42 PM on October 19, 2002

moral absolutism! *gasp*
posted by aaronshaf at 10:43 PM on October 19, 2002

I don't tend to have any particular allegiance to the Democratic party (voted for Green, Republican, Democrat, and independent candidates in the 2000 elections), but I can see their underyling point: for this election, pragmatism isn't just about voting for a viable candidate, pragmatism is about keeping the entire federal government from becoming GOP.

That's their goal, and they make it very clear, and it's one worth considering (evil or not, GOP monoculture seems bad). Now, whether or not they're going to accomplish it by shutting out all people with other points of view is another question. : )

And godidog: I've managed to post to slashdot for three years, sometimes taking issue with editors' points of view, but never got banned...
posted by namespan at 11:25 PM on October 19, 2002

their site, their rules. who cares?
posted by David Dark at 12:25 AM on October 20, 2002

godidog, you got banned from slashdot?

I'm a big slashdot commenter, and I always thought their biggest threat was the bitchslap. I mean, even the page widener is still there...

Hell, I even taunted CmdrTaco by email once about the horrible moderation that was being done a couple of years ago.

The only post I thought they ever deleted was the Xenu post...
posted by shepd at 12:31 AM on October 20, 2002

Yeah so! Iit doesnt seem to me nearly as egregious as this move by the Republicans to censor or halt the 2000 Presidential vote count.
posted by thedailygrowl at 12:46 AM on October 20, 2002

their site, their rules. who cares?

Spot bloody on.

Why do people post shit like this?
posted by robcorr at 2:04 AM on October 20, 2002

Those god dam liberals, their pure evil!
posted by JonnyX at 3:05 AM on October 20, 2002

Cmdrtaco kicked Sig11 off Slashdot. If it's not that pointless social scientist I wouldn't know who it could be.
posted by holloway at 3:18 AM on October 20, 2002

Is it better to be banned (I have been from Lefty site I used to post to) or to submit yourself to the many insults a poster all often gets at this site?

My solution: get email addresses and forward all your spam.
posted by Postroad at 5:18 AM on October 20, 2002

hattifattener, your comment may explain the increase in campaign expenditures we've seen in the last few years - not to mention the increase in scandal mongering and mud-slinging. As the two parties get more similar, they concentrate more on rhetoric and mud and spend a lot more money so some people will at least feel they have something to vote about.
posted by pyramid termite at 6:38 AM on October 20, 2002

RobertLoch made me laugh. Here, in return, is Tom Tomorrow's take on the same point.
posted by languagehat at 7:56 AM on October 20, 2002

DU may seem intolerant to diverging points of view, but much less so than Mediawhores, where Dems who voted for Nader are treated as moral lepers and assigned full responsibility for the current mess. The truth is that I find the tone of the DU forum too often to be strident and hysterical, almost the mirror image of the Freepers. But it is a good place to catch breaking news links of interest to us "lefties". (God, I hate that left/right bullshit.)

It would be nice to have a place where political discussion was open to all and remained thoughtful and considerate. Thought I had found a site like that once, but I was mistaken.
posted by norm29 at 8:37 AM on October 20, 2002

It's called *Democratic* Underground - I think they can justifiably argue that it's a place for capital-D Democrats ? Let them have their corner and go and find/make your own.

Yes shepd, Slashdot ban posters and I am one of The Banned - just comment on the Editors' prowess at editing, and Join Us!
posted by godidog at 9:36 AM on October 20, 2002

Moral Relativism: moral standards are grounded in social tradition.

Pure Relativism: all points of view from different societies are valid.

Moral Absolutism: actions as inherently "good" or "bad."

N.B. Please use these scare terms carefully when baiting liberals or conservatives in the future. Words still do have meaning.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 10:27 AM on October 20, 2002

How does this matter? Metafilter deletes posts all the time, but yet you're not parading asking for Matt's head on a pike.

Rush Limbaugh screens out opposing viewpoints, except for when he mutes them and tongue lashes them never actually addressing their point. Bill O'Reilly does the exact same thing, yelling over them like a child if necessary. Though I admit watching a grown man in a suit on television repeated yelling "oh come on, oh come on neener neener" is amusing.

Our Friend Ann (tm) almost literally sticks her fingers in her ears and screams if someone asks her a question that is off-script.

The 3-hour daily Rush-a-thon, FoxNews, and MSNBC all have audiences several orders of magnitude larger than this site I would imagine.

You do get extra points for absurdness for trying to relate a liberal site to that most-hated of conservative groups. Yes, someone clearing the hate speech off their board is the same as publicly whipping women for inappropriate clothing. Glad you made that connection. *rolls eyes*

One of the new guidelines is not to use DU "to organize protests or other actions against members of the Democratic Party." This hardly sounds absurd.

From the site:
There is no viable third option. Choosing not to vote (or to vote for a third party) is a morally bankrupt decision during this time of crisis when the potential harm to our country is so great.

Funny, I happen to agree with him.
posted by Ynoxas at 11:11 AM on October 20, 2002

entire thread in a nutshell:

"Your asshole is worse than our asshole!"
posted by jonmc at 11:32 AM on October 20, 2002

holloway, I was there when signal 11 left slashdot. It's a long story as to why my UID is so much higher on slashdot though. Let's just say I started posting when there were no slashdot userids, and you could input your own on the fly. :)

At the time his bio said he was basically trolling for karma. Eventually, when he hit some outrageous amount (250-300) he got bored and went to kuro5hin, which he thought was better at the time. He left his slashdot account with someone who would purposely use it irresponsibly because with that much karma he could post 100s of trolls with the +1 bonus.

Or so it is said...

[Yes, I have been called Rainman before for remembering the most inane things. Don't think this translates into an ability to remember anything that's actually important though.]
posted by shepd at 12:27 PM on October 20, 2002

I used to post regularly to Slashdot ... and pure frustration with terrible grammar, spelling, content checking and so on led me to often moan about the competence of their Editors

-1 Troll
posted by inpHilltr8r at 1:27 PM on October 21, 2002

Ynoxas, your "a vote for Green is a vote for Bush" link made me a little depressed.

a liberal's decision to vote for a third party is most definitely not the same as a vote for the Republicans. in fact, it's practically the same as not voting at all, which is a shame, but not the same as voting for or even "assisting" your "polar opposite," unless the same perjorative applies to those who choose not to vote at all (though i have a feeling you believe it does).

i chose to vote for a non-major-party candidate for president in 2000, and i will continue to do so as long as i still have the opportunity to vote (or until one of the major-party candidates better represents my political beliefs).

the fact is that the political views of many americans ("left" or "right") are not represented by either of the two major parties. for us to vote for one of the major candidates simply for reasons of short-term political expediency makes us a complicit partner in an unfair system of political representation.

since we have no sense of proportional representation (yet!) the Greens may not have "won" anything with their 5% showing (or whatever the actual percentage was), but they certainly increased their visibility and brought up some interesting political discussions.

a vote for a minor-party candidate is not a wasted vote. it's a supportive effort towards a more just voting system. anyone who casts such a vote shouldn't feel ashamed for "helping" a Rep/Dem candidate win; he/she should be proud for remaining true to the spirit of democracy.

to say, "this is the way it works. make the best of it," is far too depressing and defeatist for me to handle. my votes generally go to the socialists, peace and freedomers (if any are still around) and the greens. i occasionally do vote for Dem candidates (controllers, insurance commissioners, etc), but that's b/c i think they're the best candidates, not b/c i don't want the Republican candidates to win.

sorry for responding to a post from almost 3 mo. ago, but i felt a need to vocally support the minor-party movement.

btw, if anyone has the "courage" on Nov. 5 to skip that "Friends" rerun on TBS and make a 30-minute trip to cast your ballot for a candidate who has no chance of winning, i'd appreciate i
posted by mrgrimm at 1:56 PM on October 21, 2002

Just now saw your post mrgrimm.

I'm not sure how to say it in a way that greens don't immediately discount... here's a short attempt.

A green vote is more valuable than a no-vote. That green voter actually went to the polls, and made their voice heard.

Basically what I get from your post above, you want to make a statement, regardless of if you influence things or not. And that's fine. If it's a landslide, on either side, go right ahead and make your statement.

But if it is a very close race... it is simply more responsible to vote for one of the candidates THAT HAS A CHANCE OF WINNING that best represents your opinions.

If only a few % of those thousands upon thousands of Greens in Florida had showed up at the polls as they did, but instead realized how close the race was in FL, and chose the candidate more similar to their platform, Gore would have won.

Why choose Gore?

It's mind-achingly simple. Gore is more similar to their platform than Bush. I don't know how else to say it.

The Greens made a "statement" at the cost of electing the wrong man.

I just cannot get my mind around how the Greens helped themselves by assisting the LESS SIMILAR candidate take office. I just can't get past that. Maybe it's a flaw in my reasoning abilities.

But what I know happened is the "less Green" candidate won.

I think the term I used is perfect. It is a question of political maturity.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:06 PM on October 22, 2002

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