The shootings in Arizona have brought the concept of civility in political discussion to the front of message boards, pundit blogs, and all of the mainstream media formats. While sides can debate and scream over who is to blame, and who's rhetoric is the cause of all the hostility seen poltical disagreements, my impression is that the current state has nothing to do with a persons beliefs, but how they sees the other sides proponents, and the motivations applied to the people on the "other side of the bench" Listening or reading a person's position on a given topic, and thier opinion on the validity of the opposing postion on the same topic, one more often than not gets the feeling that said person not only thinks their opposites position is wrong, but they are "wrong" as a person in general. That those holding an opposing viewpoint are not just wrong on said point, but have something wrong with themselves at a basic level. The idea that a person just as rational and understanding as you are can hold an opposite position on some topic seems beyond the grasp of some people. It almost gets to the point that in order to justify your own position, some fatal flaw must be found in the person supporting the opposite, that there is no longer the concept of being "wrong" on a topic, but that there has to be some sinister underlying reason for someone to have an opinion differing from yours. Now as I am not 250 years old, I do not know if this is the same way it always was in our political environment, that this is basically the status quo over 2 and a half centuries of bilateral politics. Maybe the internet has allowed for a more anonymous and vicous type of political commentator to flourish, and this has had an influence on more mainstream media types. Has our political arena gotten meaner? Are we as a people incapable of seeing someone holding a differing opinion than ours as holding a valid, albeit wrong, point? This brings us to the question; Do you think that the people on the other side of the aisle can have an opinion and not be stupid/evil/greedy/facist/communist/sheeple/goverment agents? I know on some topics there are easily defined right sides and wrong sides, but most of our political discourse is on far greyer areas. Punishing murders is something everyone can agree on, but how to punish is anothering thing entirely. As an example, can reasonable people be on both sides of a debate on the death penalty?