I find it interesting you think he's a troll with a consistent persona. I rarely if ever see a crack in the persona, and I get a strong vibe he means what he says. If he is purely trolling, then he's the best on site. If not, he's a despicable human being from my point of view.
I know exactly what you mean, this is why I don't call myself a troll. Even though I often say things to get a response, it's 100% what I believe. The difference with him is HOW he says it.
Gbaji can say the same exact thing, but the way it is presented is in a discussion type manner. Varus, on the other hand, says things in a very immature, negative and insulting way. It may just be me, but I take it as very provocative ("Haha, I just insulted your president, now what!"). Although, I believe he supports his political stances, I don't believe a large percentage of the stuff he says in general responses. May be that isn't the definition of a troll, but that's how I see it.
Sorry. I have to laugh. You know that's not true, right? The whole "pro arguments for your side work better than con arguments against the other side" is unfortunately simply false. Don't get me wrong, I'd love for people to be more swayed by arguments in which you simply say what your side will or is doing and why it's better, but the reality is that people aren't that reasonable as a whole. There's a reason why negative ads work in politics. It's usually much much easier to get someone to vote "against" someone than to get them to vote "for" your guy. Sad, but true.
That simply isn't true. It just often follows the "Good Guys Always Finish Last" concept. I compare this to the people who go around pitching their religion. That's not the best solution. It's much more effective to "lead by example." Think about it, society idolizes celebrities mainly because of their success and their ways of success are often studied.
The same concept applies here. Results speaks for themselves. I use the same concept at work. You can say whatever you want about me and/or my leadership, but the results speak for themselves. Is the mission complete? Yes? Then what's the problem? The only reason why you would have to do negative ads, is if your work isn't as good as it should be.
I hate to make so many cross references, but take R. Kelly for example. People were wondering why when M.J. got accused for child molestation (and other celebrities with other negative charges) their careers took a dump, but R. Kelly's didn't? The answer is, he was continually making good music and that's what people want him for. So, he can screw up in other areas, but as long as he's getting the job done, that is all that matters.
You can see the same with Chris Brown.
Having said that, it's also a reasonable opener to criticize the other guy first and *then* say how your guy would do it better. Even if you aren't playing rhetoric games, it's nearly impossible to argue a "better" alternative method if you don't first establish what's wrong with the current method. I agree 100% that arguments that stop at just attacking the other side are (or should be) considered weak. I've often argued against the idea of effectively comparing the other guy to perfection, which is what you're doing if all you do is point out the flaws in the other guys position. You have to show what's wrong with the other guys approach, and then show that some alternative approach is better.
I agree with that, but it's all about class. You can address current problems without directly attacking a person. Just like when the commercials say "against the leading brand". You don't have to show your opponents face in black and while slowly fading in the background with horror music playing.
I can see how there might be situations where it might be difficult to avoid directly referring to someone, but if your argument has been clean most of the way, I think people generally understand that.