Lies, Character Assassination, and Disagreeing on the Daily PaulSubmitted by SanePaulFan on Tue, 04/16/2013 - 07:20
[Short version: We have our disagreements here. Lively debate is OK. But those who lie, defame, and distort are true cancers and should be called out.]
We have our fair share of disagreements here on the Daily Paul. We may disagree on tactics, on policy, on preferred candidates, or even on interpretations of reality. While we can disagree in a constructive and even civil manner, far too often on the Daily Paul folks resort to defamation, lying, and asinine character assassination.
Some of the "liveliest" discussions seem to combine two areas of disagreement: how we see events around the world and how we prefer to communicate in order to grow the movement.
I would be oversimplifying if I said that everyone on the Daily Paul falls neatly into one of two groups, but I think it's fair to suggest a continuum with two "poles" on the extremes.
On one extreme, you have folks who believe the dominant narratives of the world and are primarily focused on trying to get new people into the movement by appearing relatively "normal" (a problematic word, but I'll use it for the purposes of brevity) and nonthreatening. This group tends to follow Occam's razor, rejects (or is otherwise disinterested) in conspiracy theories, and rolls their eyes (or even objects) when issues they do not see as central to the cause are brought to the fore.
On the other extreme, you have those who question everything, reject the dominant view of the world, and who don't really care if their style is off-putting (or feel that "waking people up" is the imperative and that aggressive and blunt messaging are therefore appropriate).
When discussing 9/11 "truth" and other conspiracies, the debates can be testy. They used to be more lively, before the balance of power here tipped in favor of the second end of the continuum and many folks leaning in the other direction packed up and left.
It's OK to be lively. It's OK to state your opinion. It's even OK to say "what you're doing is stupid and will hurt us." I think those debates CAN be productive (though they are not always so).
What is not OK is lying. What is not OK is simply putting out unfounded claims and making up facts, especially making up facts about other people. This sort of thing happens from time to time, but I'll use a fresh example from this morning to illustrate.
When discussing the "reporter" who questioned Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick over whether the bombings in Boston were "false flags," I gave my opinion that such talk--at THIS point in time--is counterproductive. Questioning is good. Skepticism is good. Being insensitive and crude without evidence won't win you any support, and hurts prospects down the line.
Some agreed. Many disagreed. But a few people go too far. Rather than engaging in serious discussion, they lie, engage in defamation, and flat out make crap up. User "sharkhearted," who had quite a busy evening cursing people out and acting like an all-around tough guy, had this to say:
Even though he is funded and paid for by the US government, he is still just a person. Nothing significant.
Time to pull back the curtains and show what they are really doing.
When disagreements rise to the level of making accusations that fellow DP members are paid government agents, we've crossed a line and devolved into madness.
On a specific note, I'm calling for a formal apology and reprimand of this user. On a more general one, I think we all--those who agree with me, those who disagree with me, and even me--need to question ourselves from time to time. Is what I'm saying true? Am I being reasonable? Am I crossing a line?
If we can't even get along with ourselves, how will we ever grow this movement and achieve the political successes we deserve?