You are exactly on point. We have to think chess not checkers. In other words, we have to think several moves ahead and you just demonstrated exactly what that looks like. So thank you.
The best way to fight free speech we disagree with is with free speech. A lot of people in society don't feel heard by the mainstream or by the educated or by those they disagree with. So where do they go? Well what happens when you can't find someone to date by going to your local library, grocery store, etc.? People use the internet. And by using the internet you are almost guaranteed to find people that think just like you and are looking for what you're looking for. And so this creates echo chambers where we are preaching to our choir and they to theirs. I personally enjoy engaging in respectful disagreement and debate because I think that there is a certain kind of conflict that allows positive growth and change.
It's also true that everyone isn't going to listen and some agents will simply ignore all reason and simply post their agenda. But I think each one of them should be given an opportunity to see how well they can go back and forth. The agents who can't be reached will ignore any argument they can't deal with and quickly go on the offense or simply change the subject or distract in some other way. Try to get them to talk about themselves like a normal person. If the agent is here to do a job and not actually engage then talking to them will be more like talking to Alexa or Siri. You won't really get anywhere because they won't let you talk to THEM, only the mask they are wearing. And it might expose them faster by trying to have real conversations with them that explore their life and personality than challenging them on their political aims and alignments.
Do I care that someone is a white republican? Not really. Republicans have 'some' ideas I can agree with. So does everyone else. The problem is usually when you combine certain groups: like a person being both white and republican... it doesn't guarantee anything but does make it more likely that if they're here they are probably on the more extreme end of the spectrum because republicans are conservatives and for many white people what they are trying to conserve is white culture and white power. A black republican is simply unwittingly helping them. But is a person somehow wrong for being republican? No. But after they make it obvious that they are, let's probe deeper. Let's talk about WHY they are republican, not why other people should be republicans. Let them feel heard. Let them feel like their thoughts and feelings matter. Some people let a gun be their voice because no one will hear them otherwise. I will listen to anyone, at least until I get bored. Even the devil has a story and it might be better than you think.
They want to talk about how "liberals are pedophiles". But do they say much positive about republicans? No. And that reveals their strategy. So what I'm suggesting is that we start being more strategic, as a community, and not coddle anyone but engage them in specific threads, not letting them take over every conversation, but keeping those conversations quarantined so that reasoning in other threads can continue. And anything they say in the wrong topic GA can just hide it until they are trained to stop doing that. And maybe there's a new rule that if they make X number of attempts to derail a topic that has nothing to do with what they're adding THEN they get banned. Because we also do want to put too much work on GA to constantly police these agents.