1). Being critical is absolutely acceptable, warranted and expected. Calling someone a traitor is pretty damn serious and certainly not derived from a critical observation but derision.
They were joking. And again, the Trump people would say the same of anti-Trump comments, and those are serious accusations of treason.
2). And how well is that working out for us? We are all in here to discuss our candidates. OUR candidates. But when we insult our own candidates, we bring about discord among ourselves. Candidate directed vitriol does not help us. Look at how often you hear about people liking Bernie but not the "Bernie Bros". Infighting derails the positive discourse we have, casts suspicion upon who we support and challenges our ability to unify when the time comes to do so.
I've certainly been one to complain that some people are too passionate about Bernie, even though he's by far and away my first choice. People have gone too far, including Bernie fans, and it is very possible to do so, to go beyond snarky comments into cringey echo chamber hater comments. Most of the anti-Gabbard comments have been about her using authoritarian talking points and defending authoritarian regimes, which isn't an insult, it's a factual observation. A little quip in the title of a tier of a joke "tier list" is not vitriol. Being cynical when candidates get friendly with big business isn't vitriol. Repeating anti-socialist talking points and saying the progressives will ruin the economy isn't vitriol. Snark. Isn't. Vitriol. His response was vitriol. And again, if snarky comments are vitriol, then what are we doing to Trump in the US Politics thread?
3). That's a deeper issue that can be handled by the moderators as those are actual forum rule violations. Report them as needed but I'm only publicly bringing up matters that don't require moderator intervention.
Okay, sure, what I said about Darth could warrant a report (though I chose not to, precisely because you've now legitimized him, so I responded to you instead) but what about what I said after that? I said I don't call the moderates trolls, or uncivil, just because they disagree with me, because they're not trolls, or being uncivil. When Moren had a really, REALLY, strong opinion about Sanders over the Bolivia issue, that maybe bordered on vitriol, I was annoyed, but it was an emotionally charged issue that he felt really strongly about, so I let it slide. There has to be a place for snark and even strongly worded opinions. We can handle the nuance between that and vitriol. If you're going to address the times where things have gone too far, don't use a guy going too far as your "HE'S RIGHT GUYS" ambassador for your point. It doesn't look good.
4). Then what happens when it's not valid? Or who determines that validity? The person calling Gabbard a traitor would say it's valid. Her supporters would say it's not. Now instead of debating the merits of her positions, we debate the merits of calling her a traitor.
Well it's hard to determine, but there's definitely a line that can be drawn. As I've said several times already, we draw that line with Trump all the time. There has to be room for snark in the realm of the civil.
Again, I'm calling for more positive dialog in here because of the necessity to positively unify come election day. The right would love nothing more than to see us call our own candidates traitors.
And I agree, we definitely need our dialogue to be more positive. I've noted that several times in this thread, and things do get nasty enough that I leave for long periods at a time. But directing the criticism of the negativity at the snark is misguided. Aside from the personal attacks, it's the hyper-cynical, unbacked opinions of people that refuse to debate in good faith that really get to me.