Getting people to think
That really is what I want also: regular people should be able to respect other people's opinions about politics. I find the polarization going on now in the U.S. more than a little disturbing. I would hope that a liberal and a conservative could sit down and discuss mutually interesting issues like:
- Benefits and drawbacks of tax cuts
- Pros and cons of strong environmental laws
- How to fight crime - effects of longer prison terms vs. community outreach, etc. (what makes our families the safest?)
- Advantages and drawbacks of military operations in other countries
The political bosses might want people to feel polarized, but after talking with a (more) conservative friend a week ago, I started thinking about how much common ground there is between so-called liberals and conservatives. I also think that is it simply good manners to respect other people's opinions even if they differ from our own. Fear can literally be a killer. Try not to fear people who may think differently than you on a few issues. People who are afraid are generally not thinking straight.