A message for all "TRUE" Democrats

On another thread, I pointed out to somebody that they were engaged in the "No True Scotsman" fallacy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Sco tsman

Usually, this fallacy is the province of religious zealots, but there has been a lot of it around MyDD. I thought it would get better after the primary ended, but it just seems to come up in diary after diary, especially from certain commenters.

The basic pattern (which I have repeated multiple times with different interlocutors) goes like this:

Person 1) [insert incendiary comment]
Person 2) You are a troll.
Person 1) I am not a troll, you are.
Person 2) You are not a real Democrat. I know because [insert random flimsy reasoning]
Itsthemedia) You are committing a fallacy. You want person 1 to not be a real Democrat because you disagree; you are not reaching that conclusion from any real evidence.
Person 2) Whatever. [perhaps some more flimsy reasoning]

So by "whatever", does person 2 mean s/he knows s/he is indulging in a fallacy and does not care, or s/he does not think s/he is indulging in that fallacy? I will assume the latter, because if it is the former, there is no way for us to have a rational discussion.

Lots of Dems say "DEMS" for short. Plenty even say "Democrat Party", especially in the south, where the use of the term has been most ubiquitous since Newt Gingrich recommended its use about two decades ago. Sadly, there are Democrats who vote for the Republican candidate in every cycle, and this year will be no exception. The way to minimize it is to try to engage those voters, not reject them and tell them they are not welcome. Lastly, taking issue with the candidate on some issue is not the same as trashing him. Likewise, hating on those who have more faith in Obama and are willing to cut him slack on certain issues is the other side of the ideological purity trolling coin. Dissent is not treason, either to the country or the party. There are millions of Democrats whose first choice was not Obama. That does not make this cycle unique by any stretch, but the challenge before us is unity, not purification.

My message to the "TRUE" Democrats out there:
You do not get to say who is a "real" Democrat. You just don't. The fact is that anyone who is legally entitled to vote can register as a Democrat, and that registration is the only criterion that may be legitimately used to classify who is a Democrat and who is not. If you can't handle a party with a big tent, you can't handle being in the Democratic Party, because that is the ONLY way the Democrats have ever won, and they are not going to change to satisfy your notions of ideological purity.

Tags: trolls, unity (all tags)

Comments

34 Comments

A fair argument.

This mess would not exist if this websites administrators would actually deal with trolls.  They generally do not.  As such, we're left having to deal with it, and in our zeal to do so sometimes good and honest Democrats get trampled.  That's uncool, obviously.

What else can we do?  We can't magically know who's trolling us and who's just unhappy, without error, 24x7.  If somebody like Rankles goes off and does his thing, what would you suggest?  If somebody smears our nominee and uses this website as a vehicle to hurt our party, what would you suggest?

I'm not blind to the problem and I'm not happy its happened.  However, good moderation or the ability to hide diaries could fix much of this.

by Reaper0Bot0 2008-08-03 01:55PM | 0 recs
Re: A fair argument.

"If somebody smears our nominee and uses this website as a vehicle to hurt our party, what would you suggest?"

I would suggest that we don't vote for him in the general.

by dtaylor2 2008-08-03 03:16PM | 0 recs
Re: A fair argument.

I'll take your suggestion under advisement.  I don't expect it will somehow overcome my entire political identity and the dire straights our country is in, but I'm sure that assuaging the feelings of trolls and the embittered is well worth damning this country to four more years of this hell.

by Reaper0Bot0 2008-08-03 03:42PM | 0 recs
Re: A fair argument.

Are you still here?

Poor booby...do you want some milk?

by rankles 2008-08-04 02:42AM | 0 recs
Re: A fair argument.

the sad part here is how you are incapable of grasping that you are one of those they would need to "deal" with...

by zerosumgame 2008-08-03 05:59PM | 0 recs
Re: A fair argument.

I think zeal is not the right word for it.

I think it's more of a rush to stifle or trample anyone who may disagree or even not think Obama is doing the right thing, and the attempt to squash any kind of dissent is not only troubling but emblematic of becoming what we have detested.

What else can we do?  You act like a Democrat.  You don't (not you, I'm speaking in general) immediately attack, you allow an airing of points of view.  You realize that the Democratic Party is the 'Big Tent' party because we do encompass much of America, but the 'with us or against us' mentality is making that tent smaller and smaller.  It didn't work for Bush in the world opinion, and it won't work here.

If someone is outright smearing Obama, there are more than ample ways to silence them.  A 0-hide rating is the vehicle and method that the moderators have set-up in order to do just that.

However, what has to happen is the definition of 'smear' has to be looked up by some, and spelled out to others.

This website or any one website, despite the popularity of it, will not hurt the Party.  If that were the case,then the Party is in bad shape as it is, and we all ought to shit can it, and start over.

by TxDem08 2008-08-04 04:53AM | 0 recs
Re: A fair argument.

Yes!!  I firmly believe that if we can achieve rational discourse, the liberal viewpoint will win just about every time. The fact that conservatives have to shut their opponents microphones down (sometimes literally) to win an argument is proof of the bankruptcy of their philosophy. By adopting their methods, we validate a key part of their ideology - that some ideas must not be allowed a hearing.

But just to be clear, my diary was meant to cut both ways. If we want the Obama loyalists to "act like Democrats", we have to insist that the Clinton loyalists do the same.

by itsthemedia 2008-08-04 09:42PM | 0 recs
I'm answering this comment

Reaper, because of the GBCW diary you have on the Rec list right now. I have a lot of trouble understanding why some posters label somebody as a troll, and then proceed to post 50 comments in that diary. It just doesn't make any sense to me. If somebody truly is a troll, then giving them the attention that they seek is probably the worst strategy for stopping them. I see diaries and comments all over the place bemoaning the failings of the admins. Why would they want to ban somebody who has a diary with 200 comments? The only explanation that I can come up with is that those self-appointed diary police like to argue as much or more than the people that they are calling trolls. And when you have a handful of people who call everybody that disagrees with them a troll, the accusation quickly loses it's punch.

by georgiapeach 2008-08-04 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: I'm answering this comment

Jerome needs to make money.

We are trying to organize an exodous of members who want the DEmocrats to win this fall.

This site does ZERO to help Democrats win.

by DemsLandslide2008 2008-08-04 10:23AM | 0 recs
Re: I'm answering this comment

I like Jerome. I do not always agree with him, but his posts always give me food for thought.

by itsthemedia 2008-08-04 09:31PM | 0 recs
Re: A fair argument.

Do not know if you will read this, as I think you posted a GBCW diary today. But I usually just ignore people who appear to be posting for no reason other than to piss somebody off. That applies to PUMA trolls, Repub trolls, purity trolls, and meta-trolls (the ones who spend their whole time accusing others of being trolls). It is not a perfect system, but it keeps me relatively sane to only respond to posts that have some content or thought in them.

by itsthemedia 2008-08-04 09:27PM | 0 recs
Rec'd for the following reason....

You do not get to say who is a "real" Democrat. You just don't.

by soyousay 2008-08-03 02:09PM | 0 recs
Re: A message for all "TRUE" Democrats

Completely hypothetical.

by QTG 2008-08-03 02:22PM | 0 recs
Re: A message for all "TRUE" Democrats

I had decided to leave names out of it, but you, of all people, should know that the scenario I laid out is not completely hypothetical. In fact, the "Whatever" part is a direct quote.

by itsthemedia 2008-08-04 09:46PM | 0 recs
So you're saying

No true Democrat tells other Democrats that they aren't true Democrats?

by JJE 2008-08-03 02:59PM | 0 recs
Re: So you're saying

:-) Something like that.

by itsthemedia 2008-08-04 09:49PM | 0 recs
For clarity

Let me flesh out just what it is you are defending as 'True Democrat' speech:


So Sad. Obama is doing a terrible job.

Obama really seems to think that he can argue his way to the White House.  If he calls the McCain camp cynical enough, the voters will be reassured and like him, as if the voters know what the word means.

He's the God-awful, terrible choice I always assumed he would be. The diary in its entirety:

Vain.  Smug.  So politics as usual.  FISA? Flip-flop.  New drilling?  Flip-flop.  I understand the need for compromise, but his flip-flops have the stink of desperation all over them.  Its kind of sad.

All I can say, really, is that Hillary Clinton would not have stood around, staring at herself in the mirror and let the McCain camp plot, plan, and execute as they wished.  

Is it too late for her, seriously?

For more mainstream Rel Life died in the wool Democratic talking points, you might check out such recent diaries as  "The Obama Sellout" or "Democrats should have a plan to save Marriage"

by QTG 2008-08-03 03:18PM | 0 recs
Re: For clarity

and you prove the point of the diary

by zerosumgame 2008-08-03 06:00PM | 0 recs
Re: For clarity

you defend Republican speech for merely being spoken from the keyboard of a self-described "Democrat for Life" or some variation on that label. I prefer to decide whether I believe the self description based on a consideration of that which spews forth from the source. Perhaps I should stop short of describing what I see as "Not a Democrat" and therefore be less annoying.

I'll consider that approach, as most people can draw the same conclusion without my pointing out the obvious.

by QTG 2008-08-03 09:22PM | 0 recs
Re: For clarity

ding!

And the light goes on.  We are all relatively smart people here.  We will easily be able to see who is really who, and what their motives are w/out having to attempt to define who is who for them.

Remember Big Tent mentality means we may disagree in the details, but overall we agree in the main process and theme of the Party.  Attempting to force compliance on any sub-sect of that, only leads to a closing of the tent and singularity of identity.  Then we might as well be Republicans.

by TxDem08 2008-08-04 04:59AM | 0 recs
Re: For clarity

If, as you assert, "Attempting to force compliance on any sub-sect of that, only leads to a closing of the tent and singularity of identity." Then why am I getting told what I can and cannot say?

Don't bother explaining. I'm smart enough to get it.

by QTG 2008-08-04 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: For clarity

Who's telling you what you can and can't say?

I'm saying you finally saw the light with this:

I'll consider that approach, as most people can draw the same conclusion without my pointing out the obvious.

I know you're smarter than the average bear, so I don't need to explain anything.  You have already figured it out.

by TxDem08 2008-08-04 12:14PM | 0 recs
Re: For clarity

I am not defending it. I am certainly not agreeing with it. I am simply saying that it is possible for a person to feel that way and still be a Democrat. Also that it is possible to disagree with that person without resorting to some sort of Democratic purity test.

Mojo for offering a substantive argument.

by itsthemedia 2008-08-04 09:53PM | 0 recs
Re: A message for all "TRUE" Democrats

If Obama were a true Democrat interested in Democratic unity he would have put HRC on his ticket already--you know the one who got more votes than any other Democrat in history during the nomination process.

by handsomegent 2008-08-03 05:12PM | 0 recs
try harder

You just said in another diary that you weren't voting for him anyway. So...what's the point?

by upstate girl 2008-08-03 06:16PM | 0 recs
Re: try harder

I said or implied that I might vote for him if he picks Hillary but that would be the only reason.

by handsomegent 2008-08-04 01:26AM | 0 recs
Re: A message for all "TRUE" Democrats

Mojo for:

1) Demonstrating that Clinton supporters are just as capable of the "No true Scotsman" fallacy as Obama supporters. Really? if Obama does not nominate Hillary, you think his party registration is invalid?

2) At least seeming to be interested in Unity.

3) Clinton for VP. I think it may be the only way we get past the split that was (IMHO) about 80% caused by the media stirring the pot and inventing controversies.

by itsthemedia 2008-08-04 10:05PM | 0 recs
Re: A message for all "TRUE" Democrats

Like flies.

by BobzCat 2008-08-03 06:26PM | 0 recs
hot damn!

to this diary i say amen!!!

by canadian gal 2008-08-03 07:43PM | 0 recs
Re: hot damn!

Strange, as he's talking about you.

by rankles 2008-08-04 02:44AM | 0 recs
Re: hot damn!

are you kidding me - look at your sig line rankles!

by canadian gal 2008-08-04 05:57AM | 0 recs
Re: hot damn!

I was most definitely not talking about you.

by itsthemedia 2008-08-04 10:08PM | 0 recs
ADVICE

Leave MYDD if you dont want the guilt of being part of a blog that does almost nothing to help our party.

Josh did good with the blue60 fund, but before that Jerome had turned against all Dem fundraising.      

by DemsLandslide2008 2008-08-04 10:24AM | 0 recs
Re: ADVICE

If you have the capacity to feel guilty about what blogs you frequent, you have led a very sheltered life so far.  ;-)

by itsthemedia 2008-08-04 10:10PM | 0 recs

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