I’m a political junkie! I study politics, write about politics, and inevitably get into discussions about politics. Political discussions have a tendency to get heated. The deeper you get into the discussion, the likelier to be fact free. I’ve decided to establish some rules that will govern my interactions. These will apply to my blog posts, discussions, and most of all the comments section for articles I write. If I’m commenting on your blog, feel free to establish your own rules. Here we go:
- Use your words! For clarity, memes are not words, links to someone else’s site are not your words. If you can’t express yourself in your own words, your opinion is not required.
- Be civil. In the words of the late Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?” I know that losing an argument is frustrating but refrain from personal attacks, especially on other commenters on my blog. I don’t believe in censorship but bad behavior will get you booted. It won’t be your “conservative views” but asshole tendencies.
- I won’t argue with my friends. I don’t mean the Internet only friends that I have no interaction with outside of social media. If you’re a real friend and our views are diametrically opposed. I’ll grant you the right to your opinion, I won’t even insist you grant that right to me. My friendships don’t require agreement.
- Be prepared to document your beliefs. We all process a lot of information and unfortunately a lot of what we see/hear/feel isn’t true. You (or even me) repeating something you heard doesn’t make it true. I have no problem documenting what I say, as long as it’s a reasonable request and you ask nice. You should be prepared to do the same.
- I won’t debate someone without a prerequisite level of knowledge. If you have no sense of history. If you don’t understand our election system or the Constitution. If you can’t use your own words (See Rule #1). We don’t have any business conversing. Go read some books.
- Stay calm. It’s still just a discussion. If you can’t keep from devolving into personal insults, you’re doing something wrong. It’s okay to be wrong and admit it. I’m wrong sometimes and try to learn from the experience. If you have no desire to learn anything, what’s the point in engaging?
That’s it. Six simple rules to abide by and we’re good. Be sure to vote as well, talking and not voting is time wasted.