If ever there were an oxymoron, “polite
politics” would seem to be it. In an age when each side of the
political spectrum views the other as the embodiment of all that is evil,
polite discourse is exceedingly rare (actually, in this age or any other).
Depending on your political persuasion, the other party has never put
forth, or passed, legislation that was anything but self-serving, politically
driven, or just plain stupid.
How, then, is it possible to have a civil exchange of ideas with a
friend, family member, or acquaintance of the opposite political persuasion?
First, YOU have to make the commitment to be civil. This means avoiding
statements that are proclamations of personal opinion (for example: President
Schmoe is an idiot). Open with this statement and whomever you are speaking
with will tune you out faster than the Plastic Ono Band. Even if the
conversation continues for another hour, it is, at this point, effectively
over. Your pal will never hear another word you speak.