There are many ways to persuade individuals to see one side or the other in a debate or that the issues between conservatives and liberals have definitive sides and allow a person to choose the one he/she most believes in. The worst way to do this, of course, is to force a decision based on the actions and reactions of your 'side'. My wife, when I first met her, was so conservative that it made me look like Ted Kennedy. Through very tumultuous times and discussions we were able to come to compromises on almost everything we believed in politically even though we didn't much care for the compromise. Still, in all, it worked out for the most part. When I first came to this board in Oct of last year, the groans from my wife were very audible, 'not another message board, geeeez'. It took me a long time to get her to garner any interest in even reading some of the posts. Once I actually got her interested enough to partake in it, with no small help from jimnyc , she really took off in trying to find out enough information for herself. Today, you've helped her decide to be a liberal. Was it that she didn't agree with your points of view? no. Was it because she felt that the liberal side offered her a more american way of life and freedom of opportunity? no. It wasn't that either. It was the constant onslaught of liberal bashing that finally made her decide that she didn't want to be anything like most of the 'conservatives' on the board. Thats certainly not what I had in mind for her in order to allow her to choose what she wants. She simply chose what she didn't want to be. While it is sometimes fun to throw a little mud at the other side, provided its done in fun, and even though things do get heated sometimes because someone pisses us off with a stupid ass comment, it shouldn't have to come down to choosing NOT to be like that side or this side. I've tried very hard to be the smart liberal on the board. One that is reminiscent of the democrats of the reagan era. Believe me, its not easy considering some of the other 'liberals' on the board that allow the grouping of liberals to be easily accomplished. With the exception of the yahoo boards, I've never seen a group more happily inclined to just throw out slander towards the liberal side, simply because they want to. It makes it very easy to want to not be involved politically because of the trash that gets thrown from both sides of the fence, so I'm flaming most of the liberals at this point as well. The extremism and partisanship is whats going to divide this country in half and COULD eventually lead to all out civil war. Some of you may think thats ridiculous but look around you, see whats going on. The hatred that exists right now between liberals and conservatives has never been more pronounced. Who cares who's to blame at this point, fixing it is more important, and its not going to be fixed by demanding everyone choose one side or the other, lest you forget all the independent thinkers out there that don't play the game but still believe in things. Just food for thought guys, you've probably blown your best chance ever at honestly turning someone, who admittedly didn't know a whole lot about politics, into a true conservative but failed to do so because you couldn't get over your dislike for liberalism.