Well, when it comes to this vox populi vox dei approach (...)
...it is something I have never mentioned. There's a difference between applauding people expressing themselves and applauding the things they are expressing.
Otherwise - I agree with the gist of your reasoning. It is simply unrelated to what has been said.
If any popular moral compass and standard of conduct is as good as the next one
That, coincidentally, is ALSO something I have never said. Hell - it's one of the things people here probably would be able to predict me disagreeing with.
Of course - your critique is quite valid... though, again - unrelated.
I admit the comparison to NSDP regime is bit of a hyperbole but relevant in terms of historic evidence - but besides, I quoted fully your response to a posting that pointed out that OP was merely requesting goodwill, yet that he might not be able to expect none, not dictating the rules of the fora.
My impression is that the up post / down post is more often about having similar opinion, than appreciating fellow fora members engaging nicely and arguing their point of view maybe firmly but politely. I cannot say I have always been perfect, unfortunately.
The smile at - frown upon approach is arguably more populistic, based on how a posting is liked or disliked. Let us just simply state vox populi, as original quote. But this surely implies validation of popular opinion?
This I think this is the difference between "goodwill" your counter posting as such supported, and "rules" implied in the posting you reacted to - or the moral compass, as in assessing popular and unpopular views at equal footing.
Edit: trying to figure out how to properly snippet this. But not succeeding, gääh! :'(