-5

I have been participating on SE review queues since long before many users of this beta site. I am well aware of how to post a good question and answer.

I wrote what is being labeled a "controversial question". I am also being told it was a good question. The count of Up-votes v. Down-votes is a good indication of the polarization of the site.

All of that said, I am being accused of pushing an agenda. What I am seeing is older users pushing their agenda riding on my question.

The answers have little to do with my original question, which has been butchered out of recognition.

It now adheres to the answers, most of which did not address the original question.

I asked a political question: with possibly 2 exceptions, what I got were regurgitations of medical double-talk.

I am now dis-avowing the question: it has been bent so out of shape I do not recognize it.

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  • 1
    Now it is being closed as a "medical question". Do you see the problem here?
    – user14221
    Jul 15 at 18:57
  • 6
    Is there a question here?
    – Dan Scally
    Jul 15 at 19:19
  • @DanScally I edited...is this better?
    – user14221
    Jul 15 at 19:36
  • @DanScally meta is... different, questions aren’t always actually questions. Jul 15 at 20:20
  • 5 up, 8 down...even meta seems to be political.
    – user14221
    Jul 15 at 21:07
  • 7
    People downvoting a question doesn't mean it is political. It can be a simple sign of disagreement.
    – Joe W
    Jul 15 at 21:42
12

I wrote what is being labeled a "controversial question". I am also being told it was a good question. The count of Up-votes v. Down-votes is a good indication of the polarization of the site.

I added the controversial post notice. Note that this is not in any way meant as a way to bring the question into disrepute. Instead, it is merely an instruction to other users who may see the question as an opportunity to start a discussion in the comments. See also: Moderators marking answers as “controversial”? for context.


All of that said, I am being accused of pushing an agenda. What I am seeing is older users pushing their agenda riding on my question.

The reason for this appears to be because you quoted (or paraphrased? I'm not sure where the quote originated) a conservative pundit referring to a "weeding out" process. Those words may have seemed to put words into the mouths of conservatives. That's a dangerous thing to do for a number of reasons:

  • You may be quoting out of context

  • It may seem as though you're saying what conservatives are thinking even though this may be a fringe opinion


The answers have little to do with my original question, which has been butchered out of recognition.

As one of the answerers I took your original question to mean 'why does one party in power go through all these lengths to vaccinate people who are very reluctant to being vaccinated?'. I argue that that's still a political answer on the grounds that it's reasoned from a perspective.


It now adheres to the answers, most of which did not address the original question.

I asked a political question: with possibly 2 exceptions, what I got were regurgitations of medical double-talk.

I disagree. I would argue that your political question may be answered from a nonpartisan public health perspective. An apolitical public health official might give similar nonpartisan answers if the people in power would ask them why they should "fight so hard to vaccinate" those who are reluctant.


Why has my question been so butchered?

I think most of the edits are from well-meaning users trying to improve your question. A stated earlier, there were votes to close your question as pushing an agenda. That's not criticizing you personally, it's a criticism of the question and the way it is or was phrased.

See also Machavity's answer to A full and objective description of good faith?. Your question may contain opinionated assertions (depending on one's reading of the question) and that may cause users to be upset or close the question. Examples of such assertions:

  • anti-science Republicans

  • Many conservative news agencies are harping on vaccinations as a 'form of control' or even detrimental to the natural "weeding out " process..

Personally, I think the question is worth asking and answering because there's useful information to be given from a public health perspective. There may also be interesting political analyses. Nevertheless, I think it would be very helpful if there question could phrased in less inflammatory language. On the other hand, I also understand that you need some assertion as that's important context for your question.

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  • The links in the original question are still there...
    – user14221
    Jul 15 at 19:50
  • 3
    @Cascabel yea I'm not sure where that "weeding out" process is cited from. I followed the link but if I ctrl+F for 'weeding out' then I get no hits. Maybe there's a video that's not showing for me? In any case, I gather form earlier comments that it was just a lone reporter making that statement. As such, it may still be viewed as though you're putting words into the mouths of other users who identify as conservative. It's a tricky subject politics, and with hyper partisanship you can easily offend people even if you don't mean to.
    – JJJ Mod
    Jul 15 at 19:53
  • It was a para-phrasing. I will look for better language and quotes. It was actually there before the edits. This Q is really frustrating me.
    – user14221
    Jul 15 at 19:54
  • It no longer matters...I am resigning from the site.
    – user14221
    Jul 15 at 21:38
  • 1
    I find no inflammatory language in any version of the Q. Alas, the fun part of the original is the sarcastic/cynical angle of thinking through a 'modest (biologistic} proposal' . The biologising of mainly social problems & politics are usually indicative of a certain mindset/'philosophy' and political camp. (paraphrasng Swift, Nietzsche, Perverted (Pseudo) Darwin…). Too bad that neither that humor nor that very vaild angle can be dealt with without drama (& polarisation). A more tolerant reading of the 1st version would offer quite some opportunities for analysis… Jul 15 at 23:40
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(I might as well give my reasons since I am the primary guilty party here)

Your original formulation seemed quite judgmental towards conservatives and got a lot of pushback. Most objectionable, to my view, was the suggestion that Dems could just "let conservative voters die off".

To quote your exact words:

I know this is horrible to say, but wouldn't that "weeding out" process result in fewer Republicans voting in 2022? Or at least wiser and smarter constituents?

Rather than editing myself, which I avoid most of the time, I suggested a removal, but you did perfunctory edits at most, resulting in, at your last iteration:

I know this is horrible to say, but wouldn't that "weeding out" process possibly result in citizens voting left-wing in 2022? i.e. older, wiser and better-informed constituents?

The question got closed and I tried to salvage it. I did this by linking to a Fox article quoting Tucker Carlson rather than some Newsmaxx quack, and tried to remove your attempts at shifting blame to conservatives in your question. Attempts which probably caused all those downvotes and close votes.

Is this the best reformulation? Possibly not. And I apologize for changing the question's original intent, whether or not that intent was good or not. Like I said, I don't like editing people and, like you, I feel a strong sense of ownership towards my questions. I did not do this lightly and my profile has a very limited history of edits, I usually stick to VTC/VTD.

I got pushback on several of my edits. However my edits wouldn't have been necessary in the first place if you hadn't been so intent on politicizing a public health policy question. The fact that it is a governmental policy question makes it worthwhile for SE.Po, not the fact that you felt the need to blame Republicans and conservatives and phrased it accordingly.

Note also that, aside from myself, there were 3 other answers that explained policy rationale for pushing vaccinations to reluctant populations, without mentioning political parties, starting from your original formulation.

Last, to quote your meta question:

What I am seeing is older users pushing their agenda riding on my question.

Let's not play the naive 500 rep user game here. You have plenty of rep on other sites of this exchange, you know questions can get pushback if they show evidence of bias, it should not have to be explained to you.

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  • Are you kidding me??? Delete the question? Have you ever tried to delete a Q with 8+ answers? I am getting the impression you are not really aware of the process here.
    – user14221
    Jul 15 at 20:03
  • 1
    Yes, I forgot that is likely not possible. Well, you can always ask a mod. I'm ok for it on my end and I dont think many of the other answers fancy playing your political blame game. Jul 15 at 20:05
  • 1
    You do not seem to be very reliable as a commentator. I suggest that you acquaint yourself with site principles and guidelines.
    – user14221
    Jul 15 at 20:08
  • 7
    Sure, after, you learn not to write questions in a way that belittles particular groups? The "Machiavellian defense"??? Gimme a break. How are we to know what you meant and what do you think would have made it a good Q as written even if you had specifically mentioned M.? I'm done debating with you here, you can have the last word. Jul 15 at 20:09
  • Erm...It should not be necessary to ask you to read site guidelines...
    – user14221
    Jul 15 at 20:13
  • 7
    @Cascabel I think the same could be asked for you when you have a question that seems to imply that letting Republicans die off would be good for Democrats.
    – Joe W
    Jul 15 at 21:07
  • 2
    Honestly, I think just letting this question remain closed and be deleted would have been the better course of action. It was really a pretty terrible question. And now it's in HNQ. Yikes. And, for even more fun, we can't cast new close votes on it because someone put a bounty on it, even though it had already accumulated 2 more close votes before the bounty.
    – reirab
    Jul 16 at 21:21
  • @reirab Seems to me, after Azor Ahai -him-'s edit it's fairly solid and neutral, better than I left it in any case. Upon re-read another thing that bugged me with OPs original phrasing is that besides saying that letting Reps die would be for the best, it also implied they were stupid to start with. Jul 17 at 0:15
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For context, the original post read:

Why are Democrats fighting so hard to vaccinate anti-science Republicans?

Many conservative news agencies are harping on vaccinations as a 'form of control' or even detrimental to the natural "weeding out " process..

Why are Democrats fighting so hard to protect the health of the reluctant?

I know this is horrible to say, but wouldn't that "weeding out" process result in fewer Republicans voting in 2022? Or at least wiser and smarter constituents?

When this was posted, it read

Why are governments fighting so hard to vaccinate the reluctant?

Many conservative news agencies are harping on vaccinations as a 'form of social control' or even detrimental to the natural "weeding out " process..

Why is it so important to protect the health of the reluctant? What, if any, is the public interest in strongly promoting societal choices to adult individuals?

Without commenting on the other changes, I downvoted simply as the tooltip directs: "This question does not show any research effort," as why governments would want anyone to get a vaccine is quite easy to find.

I can also see why someone would have downvoted based on the suggestion that Democrats should just let their political rivals die.

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  • 1
    I posted research...this is a bogus objection. The question, as you well know, was based on Machiavellian principles.
    – user14221
    Jul 15 at 19:32
  • 1
    Just because answers are easy to find shouldn't be a reason to close or downvote a question if the answers are likely to be helpful to future visitors. Many answers on Stack Overflow are easy to find elsewhere too. The power of the Q&A model is that the answers (possibly addressing the question from different angles) are available here, without too much chit chat (or Ask questions, get answers, no distractions as the tour says).
    – JJJ Mod
    Jul 15 at 19:50
  • @JJJ If you like. Perhaps I wouldn't have voted either way if not for the tone. Jul 15 at 20:36
  • I like that rewording of the question and I think it would be a good one to have answered.
    – Joe W
    Jul 15 at 21:05
  • 1
    @JoeW There's still no need to give air time to far-right nonsense. I don't think it's off-topic, I think it's low quality. Jul 15 at 21:51
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This answer will only attempt to answer a portion of the question, as the rest is already covered. I will be attempting to answer:

The count of Up-votes v. Down-votes is a good indication of the polarization of the site.

Well... yes. Some people think your question is good, some people don’t. It’s really that simple. However, before saying this is a good indication of the polarization of this site, maybe consider that your question could have been really polarizing, and that perhaps you could have phrased it in a less polarizing way?

7
  • Well..."polarizing" for whom? That's the actual issue.
    – user14221
    Jul 15 at 20:49
  • 4
    @Cascabel For me it is trying to make it a Democrat versus Republican issue when it is mainly a Science versus Anti-Science issue. I don't think that they are trying to get them vaccinated because they are Republicans but because they are not vaccinated. The goal of a vaccine program is to get as many people vaccinated as possible in order achieve herd immunity and party affiliation doesn't matter for that.
    – Joe W
    Jul 15 at 21:03
  • @JoeW Please do not ping me...I have resigned the site.
    – user14221
    Jul 15 at 21:04
  • 4
    I am responding to the comment and as you are the only one to comment you will get a ping. And besides you can quickly ignore the ping if you want to and your continuing to comment says you are not resigning from it yet.
    – Joe W
    Jul 15 at 21:10
  • Please respect my privacy...
    – user14221
    Jul 15 at 21:37
  • 4
    @Cascabel : It's always a shame to see any user go, however if you truly want to resign you always have the option of simply deleting your account. The instructions to do so can be found here, the last time you said you were leaving the site.
    – Giter
    Jul 15 at 23:47
  • I've already done that thank you...the shame is that I felt this way twice in 2 years. @Giter
    – user14221
    Jul 15 at 23:50
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If you ask me, the problem with your original question is that you've conflated moral reasoning with political reasoning. In other words, if someone were to ask the basic question:

Why don't political leaders allow tens of thousands of people to die?

A moral answer will have nothing to do with the political orientation or party membership of the people potentially dying, while a purely political answer will be intractably anti-moral.

It may be a fact of life that mass deaths would tend to advantage one political interest over another. But only authoritarian nationalists and organized sociopaths think about leveraging that as an explicit political tactic, because it is inherently inhumane.

2

If you truly wish for your post to be dis-vowed, you can contact Stack Exchange and request for it to be anonymized, and they might do it if they believe that it is worthwhile. Another option (if you’re resigning from the site) is to delete your account.

2
1

I don't see the major difference between the original text and the current edition - a rogue edit that added some weird links which were rolled back aside.

The question began as and is currently asking about the motives behind efforts to raise vaccination rates over the objections of vaccine-opposed individuals.

To the extent that you feel the current version is irreconcilable to the original question, I would say it is because the intent of your original question was not apparent to people reading it.

I don't know the policy about trying again, but I'd give a long think about what the specific thing you're asking about is and re-write a question to isolate to that.

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  • Then you have not read the original very well. Calling my post "illegible" is unkind and uncalled for. The question is what it is.
    – user14221
    Jul 15 at 19:29
  • 5
    If you're not willing to clarify what the information you're trying to get at is, then I start to get REAL suspicious about the motives behind the question. Jul 15 at 19:29
  • 1
    Your suspicions are your own. I have seen many users here who are "suspicious".
    – user14221
    Jul 15 at 19:37
  • @Cascabel re: “Then you have not read the original very well. Calling my post "illegible" is unkind and uncalled for. The question is what it is” and if it is illegible, then it is illegible. Until kind volunteers using their time try to improve it, Jul 15 at 20:16
  • @Cascabel and what if it was illegible? Jul 15 at 20:18
  • @EkadhSingh I said it was MY POST that was being called illegible.
    – user14221
    Jul 15 at 20:24
  • @Cascabel YOUR POST could have been illegible in some peoples opinions. I looked at rev. one and while I don’t personally believe it’s illegible, it could definitely have been more clear Jul 15 at 20:25
  • 2
    Also, as a point of fact, I didn't call the post illegible. I said the question may have been illegible - as in, someone reads the post and comes away with a different question. Which is precisely what @Cascabel is claiming happened. Insofar as what I said was taken as an attack on Cascabel's use of English, that was not my intention and I apologize. But my point and question remain: If the question wasn't about what it's become about, then what was it about? Jul 15 at 20:26
  • Adjusted the language now that I understand @Cascabel's objections better. Jul 15 at 20:28
  • @WilliamWalkerIII No longer an issue...I have just formally resigned from the site.
    – user14221
    Jul 15 at 20:31
  • 3
    @Cascabel You do you, but may I suggest you also mute emails, because uhhh... participating here is the opposite of resignation. Jul 15 at 20:32
  • 2
    Personally I see a big difference between the original and the edit. The original was very specific about who it was talking about while the edit in generic.
    – Joe W
    Jul 15 at 21:09

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