I have decided, for my part, to keep my rhetoric civil. "Civility," by the definition of the misinformed extremists who caused the "Civility Project" (GOP-founded, whose "civility promise" was signed by only four brave persons: two Republicans, one Independent, and one Democrat--who, unfortunately, currently lies in an ICU unable to express her civility) to close up shop, consists of weasel-words by we liberal wusses and morons who don't believe our tyrranical government is about to take all our liberties and we must equip and train ourselves to violently overthrow it.
(Point one: that latter sentiment is defined, in the U.S. Constitution, as treason. Just sayin'...)
The Civility Project was so overrun by people incensed at the very notion that they VOLUNTEER to refrain from using metaphors (and in some cases, literal suggestions) directing people to settle their political differences violently that a few days ago the Project ceased operations.
Sad, really. No VOLUNTARY ground rules for expressing differences without removing each other from the ranks of the living or breathing had a chance to be posited or tested. So I'll take on this task. IMHO, of course--your mileage may vary.
In general, ACCEPTABLE language includes not just reasoned, factual and rational utterances, but also (however abhorrent to polite, normal, sane people): playground and locker-room trash-talk, invective, repetitions of misinformations, disinformations or even outright lies; name-calling, even stupid and bigoted rhetoric. There are enough people in this nation, one hopes, who are patriotic enough to recognize a sacred Constitutional right to utter such stupid and hateful drivel ("stupid," "hateful, and "drivel" being examples of undesirable but acceptable words) but discerning enough to disbelieve, refuse to grant it credibility or stoop to its level, and even condemn and ridicule it. Just not exercise prior restraint upon, fine or imprison anyone for its use (though outright defamation, of course, should be vulnerable to tort liability).
UNACCEPTABLE language: any of the above that uses violence--especially ballistic violence--as a metaphor or instruction. Lawful, alas, but unacceptable nonetheless.
Examples? Okay. ACCEPTABLE: "(insert title and name of official or pundit) is a dangerous idiot, wants to ruin this country and steal your money and should be 'impeached, or voted out,' 'fired' (as in 'dismissed') and 'spend the rest of his/her pre-retirement years never rising above asking people if they want fries with that'."
UNACCEPTABLE: "(insert title, yada yada yada") is a Nazi, Commie or Socialist and is a tyrant or a traitor who should be "taken out," "shot," "targeted for removal."
ACCEPTABLE: "Ballots, not bullets." UNACCEPTABLE: "When ballots fail, bullets."
ACCEPTABLE: "First Amendment rights and remedies, Second Amendment rights." UNACCEPTABLE: "Second Amendment remedies."
ACCEPTABLE: "Vote the guy back to assistant county dog-catcher." UNACCEPTABLE: "Take him out."
ACCEPTABLE: "Don't retreat: reboot." UNACCEPTABLE: "Don't retreat: reload."
ACCEPTABLE: "Election is a battle, our votes are our weapons."
UNACCEPTABLE: "The hell with elections--time for battle; weapons are our votes."
Okay, I'm gonna go back and rehearse; and try not to reminisce about my days as the Dirty Harriet of the Brown's Point, WA town dump, who could wield a .357 or .44 Magnum with such precision that there are roosters on Kellogg's Corn Flakes boxes who got amateur radial keratotomies before eye doctors with lasers made a mint off Medicare. And discarded refrigerators that will never again be able to reproduce. If I get the urge to shoot, I'm going down to my local target range, load up my Sheaffer Snorkels with vintage Skrip or modern Noodler's ink, extend the cannula, pull back the filler knob and try to write a legible copy of the entire Constitution from 100 feet away.