before we eat each other raw. Or not...
Is DU a place where liberals of every stripe can be a family, tangle with each other respectfully, share our thoughts and inspirations, and learn from others who share as well, or is it not?
I've been here - in one incarnation or another - since 2002-ish. I've seen some pretty nasty infighting, but the great majority of it was always couched in a "my candidate is better than your candidate" context. In the end, we were always able to unite under the common goal of defeating Republicans. Even our worst conflicts were based on who we thought was best able to achieve that goal.
Today, not so much. We can't even agree on women's rights anymore, or on what the definition of a Democrat should be. Much worse than that (or perhaps, "because" of that), we can't seem to keep ourselves from being disgustingly insensitive to each other, sometimes over amazingly innocents posts.
I don't want to spend any time reliving the Top 10 Worst Moments of DU, that's not what this post is about. Beside, if you visit DU regularly, you've seen the types of posts I'm referring to. They are characterized as trollish, mean spirited, completely devoid of empathy and compassion, and insidiously on the increase. These posts are not yet in the majority, but if we come to see them as normal, or as the standard behavior for a liberal internet forum, then these posts will one day define DU.
In my opinion, the jury system has contributed to the spread of such behavior, and has done more to hurt DU than it has to help DU. Today I alerted a post. The alert failed, and one of the responses I got back from a juror dismissed the offending post as a mere generalization, and reflected that if we hid every such generalization, there wouldn't anything left to read.
Should DU be a place where seekers find posts of a high quality (even if the post count is low), or merely a place where you find a high quantity of a trash?
Let's be clear - if you want to read volumes of negative crap, go check out Yahoo News Comments. There's plenty to read there so you'll never be bored, and there's much opportunity for incendiary bullshit.
Maybe DU does need an election pretty damned quick. It helps us focus on our real opponents - the Republicans, Tea Partyists, and Economic Libertarians. In other words, conservatives of every stripe. The problem is that we just had such an election, and the subsequent glow of DU unity faded too quickly. Can we rely on national elections every 2 years to get us through? Not when we're back to reflecting our anger inward in just a few months.
What DU really needs is a little reform. Perhaps a way to hold jurors accountable for upholding the DU terms of service? I'm not sure what the answer is, but the current process just doesn't seem to be making this place a better place.
The slow, advancing creep of the asshats will kill DU eventually, unless DUers do something to stop it.
Dated (No Bush 2 or Obama), but still fun
Saturday, February 22nd, at noon. He'll be signing copies of his book "The Party's Over."
This will probably be a small, low security, low media event, so if anyone wants to ask Charlie a question up-close and personal, this is the time to do it!
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