The Los Angeles Times ran a series today called "Why Liberals Can't Talk to Conservatives" and "Why Conservatives Can't Talk to Liberals."
My mother had Republican friends. She was a lifelong Democrat, worked with the Adlai Stevenson for president campaign and was a precinct chairman for Hubert Humphrey. She was ashamed of Richard Nixon and thought Ronald Reagan was misguided. Still, she didn't hate Republicans. She disagreed with their politics and they with hers, but she believed people, no matter how they vote, are basically all the same.
I don't agree. I don't want to be friends with someone who is a member of the tea party or is a Newt Gingrich Republican. We are not the same. I equate their political views with thoughtlessness, intolerance and narcissism. I think they are not kind or empathetic. And my neighbor made it clear that he does not respect my opinions or me.
Tell a liberal that you hope President Obama will be defeated in the upcoming election, and you'll be branded a racist. Voice your opposition to same-sex marriage, and you're a homophobe. Express outrage at the idea of building a mosque on the spot where one of the planes' fuselages fell in the 9/11 massacre, and you're an Islamophobe. If you support the tea party, or Rick Santorum for president, or defunding Planned Parenthood, or setting up credible border enforcement, you could be all of the above plus more: anti-woman, anti-poor-people, anti-tolerance and a "fascist" to boot.
The irony of all of this, I suppose, is that I've had no trouble conversing with many liberal and conservative friends over the years at all about politics. Nevertheless, it seems that most people are well advised to converse mostly about their health and the weather.
--- Stag Staff
ps. See about 2:15 on this video for a more civilized way for settling our differences.