I had an interesting conversation with my mom's primary care physician. He had gone to one of President Obama's appearances at a Texas university and was dismayed and puzzled by the "viciousness" of the conservatives. After a moment, he mentioned that he saw the same behavior exhibited by some of the liberals. (I apologize for the use of the misleading labels "conservative" and "liberal".)
The doctor admires and supports Obama. I do not. This did not stop us from pleasantly exchanging ideas.
I suggested that the viciousness he saw is the result of the poor education most Americans have. We do not know how to think, nor do we care to. We rely on emotion to communicate politically. We are encouraged to believe that this is legitimate by the television and radio talk shows who specialize in this form of distraction.