Vitriolic name-calling in political threads

I believe that the current administration has done more harm than good for this country, and I believe they need to be voted out of office in November. However, I refuse to read any thread that starts out talking about “Buscho”, “Bushistas”, or “the Repugs.” The use of such terms does not make me inclined to believe that there is going to be anything beyond hysterical ranting in the thread. They are clear flags that the thread is going to be no more than preaching to the choir.

Do you really want to make a difference? Lay out a reasoned and reasonable OP. If you resort to name-calling, you will persuade no one of the rightness of your cause. If anything, you will make your opponents look more reasonable than you are.

I realize this is the Pit, the place cordoned off for free reign of ire and profanity. And I don’t think that expressing outrage is necessarily a bad thing or counter-productive. But juvenile name-calling is.

Compare these two:

“Senator Smith is proposing that we charge people for voter registration. This is outrageous and illegal! It is clearly designed to disenfranchise the poor, whose right to vote must be protected.”

“Senator BigMeanieHead is proposing that we charge people for voter registration. This is outrageous and illegal! It is clearly designed to disenfranchise the poor, whose right to vote must be protected.”

How many people do you think will stop reading as soon as they reach “BigMeanieHead”?

Thank you, Mrklutz. I have been begging for some time now that people refrain from these infantile nit-pickings and childish third-grade plays on names and call Bush what he really is — an hegemonistic and imperialist tyrant who is determined to seize wealth and power for himself at the expense of our freedom.

Hey Lib, There’s no reason to call the OP MrKlutz…

oh, wait.

I don’t disagree with you, but that’s just too much to type out each time.

[li]Copy[/li][li]Paste[/li][li]Happy, happy, joy, joy[/li][/ol]

But isn’t that also name-calling, just more grandiloquent and verbose than the usual run of the outrage mill?

Not that there’s anything wrong with grandiloquent and verbose posts, no – otherwise I’d have to shut up, wouldn’t I? :wink:

I agree that the “Senator BigMeanieHead” comments do little for eradicating ignorance, although “President PoopyHead” is something I could get behind. :slight_smile:

On a serious note, the first impression is not always a good indicator of which direction a thread will take. There have been some suprisingly good threads which have been started by ad-hominem spewing dittoheads (of all persuasions). Don’t let the OP of a thread discourage you. Read a bit deeper and see where it goes. Hell, help steer them yourself if you’d like. It’s a big board, and there are lots of perfectly rational folks on all sides of any debate topic you choose.

How about if I call these criminals whatever the fuck I want, OK? This is the fucking Pit, not GD. It’s all about ranting not debating. I’m not going to censor myself in the Pit. If you don’t want to open my threads about “Benito Busholini” that’s fine with me. No skin off my dick.

Ah, the familiar “because I can” line of reasoning. But Dio, you’re not even getting a blow job out of it.

Well, you certainly seem to have the “rant” part down just fine. And yeah, I’d noticed it was the Pit. But if the best you can do for a rant is whiny, grade-school name-calling, you’re coming off worse than the people you’re pitting. You don’t care about that? Fine, rant on.

There’s a quote out there somewhere from someone much more articulate than me, to the effect that there’s always someone on your side who you wish were on the other side. I think about it every time I see the name-calling.

No need to invoke JackDeanTaylor :wink:

My personal preference is to refer to him as “Bush” or “the Administration”. It neatly avoids sounding childish while allowing myself the comfort of never referring to him with the title.

Unfortunately, ranting is all they can do when they don’t have any facts to support their arguments.

And then there’s KidCharlemagne, whose misanthropic posts make me glad he’s on his side.

Namecalling might be a hallmark of The Pit, but lately, it’s taken on a disturbing likeness to “showing the colors.” And in this game of Political Dozens, the Crips are definitely winning.

Some of the names are just plain infantile. Shrub is possibly the worst, but Bushivik is so thoroughly wrong on so many levels, that any time a leftist uses it, I don’t know whether to laugh, sneer or click Ignore.

In contrast, (and in the right hands) BushCo is a pointed, synecdochical jab. Repugnican is pretty neat, too, especially the way it walks the line between “pugnacious” and “repugnant.” No doubt, though, my favorite is Bushista, but I can’t think of a time when that mutation’s actually been used correctly.

Above all, the worst of it is not the namecalling itself, but rather the currency; when colorful barbs get slathered indiscriminately all over The Pit, they’re little more than an ego stroke, the gang graffiti on a freeway underpass. And that, as they say, is pretty whack.

For the record, I’d rather be in a debate with someone like Dio, who, while using those terms does actually make valid points, than read a bunch of posts like KidCharlemagne’s, which don’t contribute at all.

Turned around, if Sam Stone had referred to Clinton as “President Fellatee” in some of his debates, the fact that he had valid points would have made it more valuable contribution than some lefty with a drive-by post.

Dammit, stop picking on Reeder!

Part of the problem, of course, is that there has been a dearth of pet names applied by the GOPistas towards the opposite camp.
Out of sheer public-spiritedness (since I plan to vote for the Dems), here’s a label that can be applied to those followers of the Democratic Presidential candidate who want to stamp out the things that make life worthwhile (like guns and SUVs): Kerry Nation*.

*Remember, I am entitled to royalties every time this is used.

I guess the name-calling is a useful indicator – if someone starts out a thread with a “Look what the Repugs are doing now” or similar phrases, you can pretty much interpret it as:

  "Don't bother arguing with this person.    Wrestling with a pig just gets you muddy and amuses the pig."     So unless you feel like tilting at windmills, you can just move on to the next thread while all the people who share the OP's political views get together for mass mutual fellatio.

But on the whole, I find the name calling distasteful. If your arguments can’t hold up on their own merit, then the stupid names aren’t going to help any.

The worst part of the name calling is that the persons doing it apparently perceive themselves to be immensely clever.    When in truth, it's like the "B-Flats" -- it starts out sounding clever and rapidly becomes less so everytime you hear it.     So by the fifth or sixth time, you hear "Repug" or "The Usual Suspects"[sup]1[/sup], you want to shake the person and say "Dude, you're not being clever!   You're being trite!  And twee!  And very much a prat!".

[sup]1[/sup] I apologize for only using the liberal cliches here – I’m sure the conservatives use them as well, but I seem to run across the anti-Administration ones much more frequently on the boards.

I just see the Pit as a place for venting rather than convincing. In GD, I would agree that the OP has a point. If you’re genuinely trying to make a point or persuade someone to come to your side, then the name-calling doesn’t really help much.

Also, if the conservatives are going to let me know that something like “Shrub” drives them crazy then they’re almost begging to hear it all the more.

Maybe the problem is that we need to come up with some fresh epithets. For instances, the Bushies’ heavy handed attempts to shield Bush/Cheney from dissent could be referred to as “Bushtappo” tactics. Pretty good huh? Any other ideas?

How about “those lousy bastards.”

Well, there are a few problems with this viewpoint. One is that we actually have a number of decent debates in the Pit, often of better quality and more civil than in GD. This is because Great Debates is primarily where one goes to hear the sound of one’s own sweet reasoning wafting on the breeze. I would guess that no one has actually been persuaded by anything in Great Debates since the time before which the memory of man declaimeth not to the contrary.

The second problem is that posting something primarily in order to generate a strong negative emotional response from other posters is known as trolling and it’s as forbidden in the Pit as it is anywhere else.

And third, “Bushstappo” is lame, wildly hyperbolic, and immediately invokes Godwin’s Law which is that the moment someone compares someone else to the Nazis, intelligent debate is now terminated. Although when you’re trying to argue with someone who thinks “Bushstappo” is clever, it’s questionable whether intelligent debate was possible in the first place.