One thing I know about, other then Marvel Comics or cool sci-fi books is Politics.
I started my political life a Liberal Democrat (with Social Libertarian leanings), now I am a Conservative Republican (with the same Libertarian streak). Add in the fact that I am Jewish, Goth and someone who understands Policy, well, that makes me very knowledgeable about a world most people visit occasionally.
I love the 'net and its free-for-all, wild west atmosphere, but one thing I DESPISE are people who venture onto a realm I have traveled on since I was 15 years old and disregard the basic rule of Politics:
PLAY WELL WITH OTHERS
To win elections, you need coalitions; To get Bills passed, the same rule applies. (I will write the story of Wisconsin Mobs on the Ides of March -- that will be fitting).
Now, when debating (be it sports, fashion, TV shows, etc.) online some basic rules apply:
1) If you start a debate with a "How long have you beat your wife?" question?" i.e. someone who does something stupid or wrong on one side of the political line is held up as an example of ALL of that partisan line, expect to be attacked.
1A) If you promote yourself as smarter then anyone who disagrees with you, or kinder, or etc., then, again, expect to be called out on it.
These two on top are the beginning examples of what I call "Hate-gasms," not as nice as the other -gasms we know.
2) If you do not know the policies of other Americans whose policies differ from yourself, STOP WRITING OR BLOGGING ABOUT POLITICS! Ignorance of the opposite side means you will lose in the long run. Read Sun Tzu to understand this rule.
Anyone who does not know the policies of their local tea party or their local anti-war activist cannot claim to be a political genius (or genius at anything else). These are your fellow Americans. If you Hate them, you hate yourself. And if you continue to be angry and hateful to Americans whose views differ, go to Anger Management immediately!
3) If you bring an assertion, bring up the relevant facts from a neutral source. If you are debating a Conservative, quoting the New York Times will hold no water since they have never endorsed a Republican for President since 1960 (Yes, 1960 -- ten years before I was born). Find sources that your opposition will use. Hence, when I debate Lefties, I use Lefty Blogs, magazines or radio to make my point. Their words on a subject being debated.
3a) As an example, I can say "Democrats don't believe in Democracy Overseas," Here is a link. Point proved. Assert, then offer proof. This is not rocket science.
4) Starting the debate with Ad Homs gains you an Amen Corner, but no actual debate. If you damn someone for not following your views, don't expect points when you say something Right. How about you treat your debate opponent as you wish to be treated? Unfortunately, I see too much of the Left finding one excuse after another find a reason NOT to do this.
If someone can tell me why, I would like to know.
5) Also, in Politico debates, only Hitler and the Nazis are Hitler and Nazis, not your debate opponent or the elected official you dislike. See Godwin and Zombietime for more.
6) Never destroy friendships or family relationships over policy differences, that's just stupid. If we all thought the same, that would be very boring. Everyone is allowed their views, to deny that would be to deny someones humanity. Policy differences are not personal differences. mature adults understand that, children don't.
7) If you have an Emmanuel Goldstein in your life, find something about the individual and a policy or two to like. If you can't, it makes you look like a Hater. And Americans Hate haters.
My question: What rules should be added to this?