On another thread in BC Politics there's a discussion about whether we should rebuke each other when it comes to inappropriate language and insults. I think the discussion is important enough to deserve its own thread.
The main thrust of my point is this: if we GIVE those we oppose the courtesy and respect that we would expect in a serious discussion, then we will (generally) GET that same respect in return. Conversely, if we give disrespect in the form of profanity and insults, we will certainly get disrespect in return and there will be NO chance of convincing anyone of anything...other than most conservatives' preconceived notions of what kind of people liberals are.
Remember why most of us dwell here on BC Politics. Some of us are here because we like to stir up people we don't like, but the great majority of us (from every side) are here because we want to stand up for what we believe in, and hopefully to change a mind or two. Now of course it's an adult's right to swear and insult as they will, but just because it's our right doesn't make it the right thing to do! As a retired Navy man, there's precious few cusswords or insults I haven't heard or used. I do understand both sides of the story.
If we refrain from profanity and insults and maintain a professional air, then we sound more professional...and we will be given respect (even if grudgingly) for that. That modicum of mutual respect is the foot in the door, the moment in which the other guy's actually having to LISTEN to what you're saying instead of searching for an insulting rejoinder.
You get what you give. What goes around comes around. Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you. Courtesy and respect towards your opponents will generally get you the same in return, but disrespect slams the door in opportunity's face.
Let's keep the door open - otherwise, no one can ever come through.