US Politics Mega-thread
Original OP by farvacola
In keeping with the spirit of the now defunct US Presidential Election thread, this shall be a common ground for the discussion of issues of US political interest. From economics to political philosophy to mere current event/news interpretation, everything is fair game, given that standards of productive discourse are upheld. The guiding backbone of the thread will be current events posting, and I will do my best to keep this OP updated with information pertinent to the matters at hand. In short, this thread is very ambitious in scope and in breadth, so here are a number of thread guidelines I've devised with expedient and efficient dialogue in mind. Many of these sound similar; however, I've found that when it comes to nurturing effective communication, one cannot be redundant enough
Message from the Moderators
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The moderation team and wider staff came to a consensus that things need to change in this thread so that it aligns closer to the values of the rest of TLnet. We’re going to introduce more subjective moderation in the thread. What this means is that if we feel that your posting in this thread is to the detriment of the thread then we’re going to slap you with a thread ban (temporary or permanent). Attempts to ban dodge will result in site-wide bans as usual. The ban list will be maintained at the bottom of this post. The reason why we’ve opted for a thread ban approach is that you all seem to be pretty normal outside of this thread, so we’re giving people the benefit of the doubt that they’ll continue to behave this way once this system is in place.
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List of banned users from the USPMT
Original OP by farvacola
1. Show, don't tell, and listen.
This one sounds simple enough, but political discussions on TL suffer from an ignorance of this cliché and oftentimes devolve accordingly. There is a huge difference between saying “Iran is a bloodthirsty despotic state” and showing how Iran could be considered bloodthirsty given particular evidence. If you can't tell the difference, don't bother posting. Furthermore, if you are here to simply pontificate, please do so elsewhere. The entire point of a forum such as TL is to foster communication, and posters who seek only to talk at others instead of with them will be ignored.
2. No arguments in absentia.
In other words, do not argue using language that presumes conclusions that not everyone might share. If you think religion is hogwash, then intelligently and deliberately point out how you have come to this conclusion. Do not simply say “religion is garbage”, for it makes you look like a presumptuous fool and it degrades the entire conversation. If every poster attempted to be less unequivocal and more expository, the world of TL would be a better place.
3. Sources: A common sense approach.
We all know that the strictures of an online text based communication platform make certain sorts of evidential back and forth rather difficult to perform correctly. In keeping with this, I would ask that everyone simply use their heads. Wikipedia, contrary to some belief, is a good source for most things, though feel free to dispute Wiki's page specific sourcing rigor if you find error. Feel free to cite both standard and non-standard news sites and op-ed journalism; be ready, though, for challenges and be prepared to put the ideas of your source material into your own words. We don't need or want Fox News or Huff Post parrots.
4. Keep the hyperbole to a dull roar.
Because I just love how that was originally worded.
5. Be evocative, not mean.
Bashing will not be tolerated; well conceived arguments that reveal the error in your opposition's ways will be.