One little word about discourse between the right and the left
I hang out at both right-wing and left-wing sites as I enjoy seeing a broad range of opinion and having reasoned discourse not only with people with whom I agree (at both types of sites) but also people with whom I disagree (again, at both types of sites). And frequently the latter discussions are more fun, not to mention more interesting.
And one thing I've noticed recently is the fact that all too often, when a poster is trying to discuss a position, they tend to overgeneralize.
People on the right post "Liberals think this" and people on the left say, "Conservatives think that". Republicans post "Democrats say this" and Democrats post "Republicans say that". And both of them say "Libertarians say the other".
Do you see what's wrong here? When we make generalizations about our opponents, of whatever stripe, well, that's what's called bigotry, plain and simple. It tends to raise the hackles of the members of the group that is being discussed, and leads to a deterioration not only the quality of the discussion, but of the civility of that discussion as well.
I'm going to suggest one word that not only get past this this problem, but could also lead to a difference in the way that people think. And that word is SOME.
If you say "Libertarians are closet anarchists", well, you probably just irritated the heck out of all Libertarians, whether Big-L or small-L, orthodox or economic. If you say Republicans are anti-feminist, well, you've just created a whole lot of "women scorned". And some men "scorned", too.
When you paint with too broad a brush, you become a sloppy painter.
Remember the old tongue-in-cheek quip that "All generalizations are false".
I hope I've made my point.
To SOME of you, anyway.