One common theme I see that IMO really inhibits speaking rationally about subjects is the concept that it is okay to say something ignorant or disrespectful just because the other side has said something of the same sort. I am reminded of the saying, "2 wrongs do not make a right." A perfect example is the Rush/Maher diatribe. If Rush says something wrong, it is not okay to defend it by saying that Maher is equally wrong, nor is the reverse true, that Maher should be defended because Rush says idiotic things all the time. For goodness sakes, if someone says something wrong, condemn it, and if you can't, then at least don't defend it. Perhaps our political discussions in this country, as well as this forum, would be more productive if we in general did not resond to deliberately inflammatory remarks.