Though we all occasionally lose our cool here, I just don't get the point of insults and name calling. The moment a thread turns into personal attacks, it seems to me no one can win the argument. It's a lot easier to respond to insults than it is facts and conclusions based on those facts. While I'm as aware as anyone, the words "You're right; I'm wrong" have almost never appeared in this forum, there have a been a number of cases where one side or the other has stopped arguing a point or avoided a question, which in my view is a form of concession. Those victories can add up and soften positions. Though most of us won't admit it, it's obvious that on social issues, global warming, Bush, Iraq, and on other issues, most of our views have evolved, at least intellectually. For instance, though I still believe 100% that we have to address global warming, I'm more aware now that addressing it does not mean only addressing the human contribution. On our troops and Christianity, I'm far more sensitive to issues of prejudice directed at them. On the issue of the flat tax, which I still oppose, I now appreciate how part of that issue stems from a deep distrust of the IRS, and the issue is not just one of tax fairness. In an old thread, I referred to an article that said conservatives tend to be authoritarian, e.g., a strong father who knows what's "best," while liberals tend to be nurturing, i.e., put people in a position to discover the "truth." In political discussion, I don't see the benefit of authoritarianism. If you corner someone or beat them up, their own pride will get in the way of them listening to your point of view. However, if you present your points with honesty and respect, and don't try to make them concede, then they have the opportunity to listen, and some of your points may actually filter through. I may be as guilty as anyone else, but the fact is personal attacks feed on themselves. When I'm called a troop killer, a defender of child molesters, a Holocaust denier, anti-Christian, etc., I don't always respond in the best way. When I don't, I reduce any chance I have of convincing someone of my point of view. Isn't one point of politics to change the world? We can't do it by alienating and insulting each other.