don't make believing you're standing up for me or anyone else a reason to enable his destruction of discourse here...
If I want to I'll stand up for myself
Actually I wasn't standing up for you. I was simply pointing out to Hawkeye the hypocrisy of what he was saying. If he'd like people to be more "civilized", and less insulting to each other, then why isn't he doing that?
You continue to engage with his personal bullshit because you and other doubtless well intentioned enablers want to.
My belief is that the best way of engaging him, if you wish to,is to ignore the crap and stick to the alleged argument
If you look back in this thread, you'll see that, on the very first page, people got caught up with his use of "we" and that continued on the second page, so almost immediately, the actual topic was being somewhat disregarded and Hawkeye was becoming the focus. I was a little puzzled about why that was going on in this instance, and I don't know that the people involved with that were "well intentioned enablers". I came to the conclusion that, after so much exposure to it, people just have a low tolerance for Hawkeye's ability to irritate so that even his use of "we" will result in a diversion that will focus on him.
I don't actively seek to engage with his personal bullshit as much as I find it impossible to sidestep at times. I do persist in trying to focus on the topic, and on responding to the topic-related content of his posts, but when my tolerance for his personal bullshit reaches it's limit, I do react to it, as do many other people. If that gets other people upset, I'm sorry, but if I want to express myself, that's what I'm going to do.
But I'm not even sure that's what results in the destructive take-over of threads that probably bothers me as much as it does you and others. That take-over occurs with such regularity that I don't think it's ascribable to just people feeding and encouraging it. The other factor is that Hawkeye is quite adept at manipulating that take-over and focusing threads on himself and he does this by both the provocative nature of his topic comments and by engaging others more personally, generally with insults, and he persists until he has center stage.
His provocative comments are fine when they stimulate the topic discussion, but they are generally followed, on his part, by his veering off-topic to begin ranting/preaching about his general anti-government feelings, or something of that nature, and that alone will derail a discussion because he becomes determined to commandeer a thread to use as his personal soapbox to focus on his issues. That sort of thing I find easier to ignore, but it will also cause me to leave a thread rather than listen to it, and since others often do the same thing, topic discussion ends and it leaves him using the thread for his own purposes.
His provocative personal insults are sometimes harder to ignore. For instance, I am tired of his regularly calling me "a liar" and the gratuitous nature of such an insult, since he has never actually demonstrated any instance of actual lying in my topic comments--he couldn't, since I really don't lie or intentionally distort when I'm discussing an issue--and it is something he throws out simply because he enjoys insult for the sake of insult and he can't come up with anything else. I really don't care what he personally thinks of me, but, when I get fed up with his crap, I react to it, get it off my chest, and then move on. When I can ignore the crap I do, and, at other times, I choose to react.
At this point, I'm not sure what the solution is. I do feel, as you do, that there is a destruction of discourse going on with these thread take-overs, and that does cause people, including me, to leave or avoid threads, but I'm unwilling to take any large share of the blame for that, and I don't think blame should fall on anyone but the person trying to take-over the thread. To respond to him at all is to feed him. I don't think the nature of the response to him makes any difference. He's going to take the thread, any thread, where he wants it to go because basically he has no interest in discussing anything, he's interested only in expressing his own opinions and not in incorporating or seriously considering anything anyone else says. And, as true discussion dwindles down, and it becomes all about him, people get bored or disgusted and leave the thread.
And, before I get accused of yet another post that's all about him, I am really trying to reflect my own sense of frustration about trying to have a topic discussion when he becomes involved. And I am tired of being blamed for feeding him because most of the time I am trying to work around him in order to continue discussing the topic, and I also don't see anyone else having great success in preventing the thread take-overs.
I don't know whether the situation is getting worse, but I know I avoid some threads because of it, and it detracts from the enjoyment of posting in those where I'd really like to discuss the topic. I like provocative views, but not the needless atmosphere of unpleasantness that's being generated.
Just saying, "ignore the crap and stick to the alleged argument" is sometimes easier said than done, because there are times when the crap overwhelms and obscures the discussion to such an extent it is hard to ignore, and I don't think that's the solution that will alter much. So far, I haven't seen any solutions working well and there are numerous threads with evidence of that.