Thursday, November 3, 2011

Code of Conduct

Markos Moulitsas Zúniga, Founder and Publisher of Daily Kos

The members of our armed services are governed by a Code of Conduct. It is a document that begins, “I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.”

It is meant to provide guidance to our soldiers in the event they are captured by an enemy force. It is the document that requires them to provide only “name, rank, service number and date of birth” when questioned in captivity, and to “evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability.”

I’ve wondered if the Democratic Party is governed by a Code of Conduct. It seems that one exists, even though it is unwritten.

Why bring this up? Over the weekend, the Daily Kos had a post from a Diarist that was a spoof on the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement (h/t Glenn Reynolds). Here is the title:

The text of the post describes how the Tea Party is engaging in bad behavior. The idea is to entice viewers to read the post, and then have them be surprised by the examples that are linked. Each of the hotlinks connects to coverage of a protest action in the OWS movement, not the Tea Party.

I read the post and then went to the Comments section. That’s where the drama unfolds. The comments range from a simple “WTF?” to a spirited defense of Communism. (One is led to believe that Communism is misunderstood because it has not been implemented properly as yet.)

There is also a sense of violation. The remarks are animalistic in tone. The diarist is characterized as a troll who has defiled the content of the Daily Kos. The intimation is that the person who contributed this post must be either ignorant or terribly naïve. The submission is ridiculed with the intent to intimidate.

If there is a Code of Conduct associated with the Kos Kids, the first paragraph of "The Code" might look like this:
“I am an American with a (D) after my name. I will never accuse another member of the Democratic Party of being a racist. I will never refer to a fellow Democrat as being homophobic or bigoted. I will forever strive to increase the power and authority of the Democratic Party.”
I think that most readers of The Daily Kos are aligned with the Democratic Party. Their solidarity of spirit is their strength.  They have a single-mindedness and devotion that is inspiring.

Unfortunately, that may not be in our best interest.

Refer back to the comments in the highlighted post and the defense of Communism. Wouldn’t an interesting debate question be, “Is Communism a ruse for placing large groups of people under authoritarian regimes?”

Things are getting interesting out there, and the people at the Daily Kos are convinced they know what is best for the rest of us.

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