... and since you and Baldur went out of your way for the better part of a year to convince me both of you are jerks, now I am indeed convinced. Congrats on that.
Sorry, but if you consider it more important to go tooth and nail with me endlessly about a topic you both know we will never agree on to the point where you ignore important things also going on at the board that could unify us rather than divide us, and which are far more on-topic and supportive of the community than arguing about politics and economics, sorry, but that's being a jerk. Above that, it's being a jerk to someone who is supposed to be a long-time friend and ally of yours, and antagonizing him to the point where he wants nothing to do with either of you any more. It's not about your beliefs/opinions, it's about your behavior.
And you continued to start and prolong those off-topic fights with me despite being well aware of the pattern that such heated verbal brawls invariably result in, which starts with heated disagreements and ultimately descends into the usual insults (e.g., "Dissy, you know I love you and all, but..."), the intellectual dishonesty that forces me to lose more respect for both of you (e.g., Baldur's continued deceptive claims that what I support is the system that the Soviet Union had, despite my making it clear over and over again through the years that it's not; i.e., it may not walk, look, or sound like a duck in any way, but if people call it a duck, then it assuredly can be considered a duck, right?), and then you and him tag-teaming me. And then you having the unmitigated gall to complain my inevitable response, once I respond in kind, has hurt your feelings!
Oh, really? Then consider trying to do what I do, and what you and Baldur used to generally do in the past, that helped us become friends and stay friends and allies on the relevant matters over the years: avoid broaching that off-topic topic as much as possible with me and try to simply agree to disagree with those differences, rather than constantly brawling with me about it, thus leading to the above pattern I described repeating itself over and over again.
You will never convince me to like or change my mind about this system and you're both smart enough to know that, so that most certainly cannot be the goal of starting these arguments with me so often over the past year, and then prolonging them like you have. If venting on me because you dislike my opinions on the matter so deeply is your goal, then shame on you; in that case, I have no regrets with losing respect for you, because it's very rude to vent on friends (or people that are supposed to be) in that manner. If the purpose was to make a case for your opinions to the others on this board, then I should inform you that they do not seem to care overly much about those off-topic arguments, they do not come here to discuss them, and I'm certain they would much prefer us offering them on-topic support and unifying together in the on-topic debates that Ethan and others all-too often engage us with.
The strategy of simply agreeing to disagree and not slam someone over the head with something you have profound disagreements on, repeatedly and in prolonged fashion, thus leading to all the insults, hurt feelings, and et al. I described above, has allowed me and my various offline and online conservative, Libertarian, atheist, and Christian fundamentalist friends to remain friends, some of them for many years. That same stratagem used to work for you and Baldur as well. Now that you and him chose to abandon it, I choose to abandon the two of you as friends. Not because we disagree on these matters, but because you and him have been constantly shoving these disagreements in my face, and that combined with the insults and intellectual dishonesty et al. that comes with it really frays on a person's patience, good will, and respect after a while.
Add to that the other things you have started supporting recently, and which he chose to defend you on (as usual), made things edgy enough between us to begin with, so throwing another jug of fuel on the flames only resulted in a flame war of inferno proportions.
Now, I'm going to try to peaceably avoid you and Baldur on the board and in chat from now on, because that is the spirit of the board, the rules correctly forbid needless hostility, I love the community, and I want to help people here who are in need, exchange advice and on-topic & relevant opinions, and keep & maintain the friendships here that I value. Keep up the antagonism, and I will continue to respond in kind. If either of the two of you are in need of support, then I will break my silence and offer it, as I wish no ill will on the two of you, nor do I believe you and him deserve anything less than the happiness I wish for myself and everyone else in our community.
I'm glad I got that out since it's been stewing inside of me for a while now, and I tried to do it without being overly abrasive or shouting insults. That is all.