Beyond the normal stresses of such a discussion, on the Internet we have to deal with links to other websites that have opinions of their own. Some of the sites which have received exposure in recent discussions cause me great concern for various reasons. Rather than ask that political discussions end entirely I am going to ask that links to external sites be limited to:
- The candidate's own site.
Reports that provide voting results.
Reports that provide general campaign information (where the next primary is, debate schedules, etc.)
News reports of the candidate's statements (this would include transcripts of speeches/debates)
I intentionally want to eliminate links to:
- Sites who's primary purpose is to bash/denigrate/insult a candidate.
Sites that promote the views of groups that endorse intolerance, racism, etc. These are never really appropriate here for any reason.
Articles which are essentially op-ed pieces rather than news reports.
Because I want to be as clear as possible, I will give you an example. You are welcome to link to Barrack's Obama's website where he outlines his economic proposal, and to reports of comments he has made about those proposals, then give your opinion on its merits. What you should not do is link to a "Barrack is an Idiot" website that rips his proposal apart so you can agree with them. The idea here is that YOUR opinion is valid discussion, third party opinions on some other website is political propaganda. I hope that makes as much sense written down as it does in my own mind!
In a similar vein I am going to be more carefully editing posts that I feel unnecessarily attack or insult the candidate or the poster making the comment. The courtesy expected of all posters here is expected for every thread including sensitive ones like political topics.
I realize this may make it a little more difficult to support arguments you wish to make, but lets be honest: That someone else thinks something is true is just their opinion, not proof.
I hope this all makes sense and that everyone will respect my wishes so that we can continue to have interesting discussions that avoid the common pitfalls so often tied to difficult subjects like politics.