Yesterday I banned an individual from commenting here at Politics Plus. This is the first time I have found that necessary in this nor the previous incarnation of this blog. The reason was quite simple. The individual refused to abide by the rules here. I have long said that Politics Plus has only one rule. In truth, it has two. The second is Thou shalt not SPAM! I don’t really count that one, because that’s a universal rule, virtually everywhere.
The one rule is in our header, where everyone can see it. All points of view are welcome, but personal attacks against me or anyone who comments here are forbidden. Trading insults never changes anyone's mind. This is not difficult. It simply means that we treat each other with respect. If you want to post an insult to a public figure, say Bush, that’s OK. I don’t like Bush either. If you want to insult Jeff Merkley, whom I fully support and worked to elect, that’s OK too. I defend your right to your opinion. But, even if Traitor Joe LIEberman ever posts a comment here (God forbid!), please treat him with respect in your replies.
The individual I banned insulted another commenter. Then he insulted the entire blog. I deleted his offending comments, and warned him. He protested that because the commenter and I had insulted public figures, he was being treated unfairly and insulted me . He ignored his warning, and I will delete all future comments from him. He then commented that he was being banned only because he disagrees with me. If he knew anything about this blog, he would know that these pages have multiple comments from people disagreeing with me from all sides of the political spectrum. Sometimes, they even inspire me to change my mind. The thread I linked is an excellent example, because it contains a disagreement that does violate the rule and one that does not.
So please don’t feed the trolls. They love drama, and if you get into an insult war with them, that’s exactly what they want. By all means, refute their arguments, but please don’t return their insults in kind. A few years back, a troll insulted another blogger, whom I considered a friend. He responded with insults back. The two had quite a little flame war. When I returned and found it, to be fair I had to delete the insulting comments from both and warn both. My friend deleted PP from his blogroll and had not been back since. He has also refused to reply to me on his and other blogs ever since.
I don’t want to lose any more friends. So please, demonstrate to trolls that you are better than they are by replying to them with respect. Leave the insults for me. I will deal with them. OK?