In this this week's science discussion, science writer John Horgan is speaking with a science writer who has a book about the nature of tribalism in modern society, US and Them. Horgan earlier noted hat one should make an exception for Sarah Palin, because she is an idiot! Horgan notes he's tired of being part of a liberal team that is always nice (they never say anything really mean about Republicans), and a guy who wrote a book about getting along notes that when he sees McCain/Palin supporters he looks at them and thinks 'it's not your country, it's mine'.
I think all progress in talking stops when one side assumes the other side to be either stupid or dishonest, as if their opponent's view is so patently untenable that this can be the only explanation. But the evidence and arguments for and against capital punishment, late term abortions, high taxes, tort reform, is hardly like observing that 2 is greater than zero. Anyone who thinks their opponents are all lying morons, does not understand their argument, because any popular argument has something to it, some shred of plausibility. That dispassionate men like these think conservatives are lying morons, highlights that there are lots of people who are tired of thinking about issues, and just want to retreat to their echo-chambers, where they don't have to persuade anyone.