Comment Guidelines

The Libertarian Party of Maryland owns this website and we fully intend to exercise all our rights of property.  Because we are dedicated to learning from intellectual exchange with others, we may choose to permit many comments with which we do not agree.  But certain kinds of comments (irrespective of viewpoint) frustrate that central aim, and therefore as owners and editors we may also choose to delete, truncate, or otherwise edit comments submitted for publication.  We certainly hope that this will rarely, if ever, be necessary; and toward that end we hereby ask all commenters to read and abide by the following guidelines:

1.  Please keep yourself acutely aware that you are responsible for what you write here in every possible sense.  You are responsible for preserving honesty, accuracy, mutual respect, and intellectual rigor.  You are responsible for confronting opposing views without taking offense, just as you are responsible for not giving offense unnecessarily.  You are responsible for accepting well-meaning criticism with grace.  And you are most definitely responsible for anything that gets us sued.

2.  Our bloggers are using their real names; if you choose to comment, please use yours (or better yet, log in with a free WordPress ID).  There may be occasions on which a conversation can be improved by an anonymous or pseudonymous contribution; in particular, the temporary and tactical use of a pseudonym may be useful where satire is involved, or where the speaker wishes to advance an argument that would probably be received differently (or might not be received at all) if the speaker’s identity were known.  However, anonymity and pseudonymity must not be abused to evade responsibility for incivility, falsehood, or personal attack.  Anonymous and pseudonymous comments will not automatically be removed, but we definitely reserve the right to apply our editorial standards more strictly to such comments.

3.  Please refrain from any personal attacks, whether on other participants in the conversation here, or on others mentioned in the course of the discussion.  Personal attacks will almost always be removed, or at the very least “disemvoweled.”  (Dsmvwlng xprsss r dtrl dspprvl wtht cmplt spprssn, whch prmts rdrs to dcphr  cmmnt f thy wnt t wrk hrd ngh t t.)  Threats of any kind will not be tolerated, and those who make such threats are extremely likely to be blocked from further participation in the conversation.

4.  Please try to exercise “hermeneutical generosity” whenever possible.  That is, in any exchange, please try to understand the contributions of other participants in the way most favorable to them, and pause to notice points of agreement instead of focusing exclusively on what divides us.  If someone else’s comment convinces you that your position is untenable, say so.  Please cultivate enough intellectual humility that you remain educable, but not so much that you refrain from expressing your opinion.

5.  Please don’t underestimate the diversity of the libertarian movement or the Libertarian Party.  Our readership includes men and women from all walks of life, from teenagers to nonagenarians.  There are immigrants as well as natural-born citizens.  There are Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, and independents.  There are Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, and atheists.  There are gay and straight couples, ex-couples, and singles.  There are some who have children, some who wish they could have had children, and some who have buried children.  There are some who have been tested by trials from which most of us have been spared.  Their lives are their business.  Please don’t be gratuitously offensive to anyone.

6.  Please don’t drop any F bombs, or use any language that could be thought more offensive than that.  Generally speaking, we will try to redact comments that violate this guideline rather than deleting them entirely.

7.  Please mind the spam filters, which typically intercept comments with more than two hyperlinks unless the author of the comment is signed in with a WordPress ID.  If you’re using a lot of hyperlinks because they’re essential to your point, and you don’t want to get a WordPress ID, you may have to wait a while for your comment to be fished out of the spam filter.  On the other hand, if you’re using a lot of hyperlinks because you’re a spammer, please leave us alone.