Is there something wrong with open dialogue?

Perhaps the problem people have today is that too many of us become polarized in our viewpoints. We are so certain of our own righteousness that those who disagree with us become nothing more than annoying idiots who "don't get it." This happens in everyday life all the time, but it becomes more apparent in times when major world events call on us to "take a side." Yet, do they really call upon us to do that, or do they ask us to find a way to work together towards solutions and understandings?

War is the great polarizer of opinions and points of view, especially controversial wars fought for controversial reasons. Are any of them not controversial? Does it matter? What happens when we polarize our point of view to the point where we've finished listening to what people have to say who have opposing points of view? We start fighting our own war, because it is the nature of war to stand your ground and take down the enemy before he takes us down.

If you aren't going to bother listening to what people have to say unless they agree with you, then you might as well stop talking. Sit with the group of people who agree with you and jerk each other off, because that is all you are interested in. I'm not talking specifically about either side in the war of words that is happening everywhere in this country and the world at large. I'm not talking specifically about either "side" in the war of words that has been happening here. I'm talking about "both sides."

Polarization produces anger and hatred. It causes us to lash out and attack. "You're an asshole for supporting this war" is as useless as "You're an asshole for opposing this war." Why even bother? Nothing is accomplished by the systematic targeting of your "opponents" and bashing them. Nothing is resolved without open and honest dialogue. The willingness to listen without anger, hatred or an attack mentality is the only way to find resolution to problems and differences of opinion. When you attack someone for their beliefs and their point of view, nothing is achieved except further stirring of the cauldron of hatred.

I've listened to people who have made coherent presentations of why they support the present war and people who have made coherent presentations against it. I've also sat through people spitting venom senselessly, going on the attack to the point where they don't even realize what they are saying.

Both "sides" are guilty. Both "sides" are responsible. Perhaps they could both agree that sitting down for coffee, for lunch, for a few beers, or for whatever you like to enjoy while entertaining real dialogue, would be in their best interests. If they can't agree on that, then the real war has already been lost.