I have something that I have to get off my chest. It’s about the impressions I’ve gotten when debating with republicans and democrats both, and also the things I hear on news channels. This isn’t anything related to specific individuals, particularly not on this forum, as I haven’t debated here much yet. When discussing presidential campaigns, discussion tends to migrate away from real issues, and more towards a set of talking points that are swirling around either party. Usually these talking points are incredibly extreme, such as “I would never support Hillary Clinton, because she is a liar, a cheat. Email servers! Benghazi! Need I say more?” The democrats are guilty of this as well though. People who dislike Trump tend to say “I would never support Trump, because he’s a blow-hard, racist, sexist bigot who hates women. Need I say more?” It’s as if the party as a whole gets together, decides not to like the candidate, and comes up with their own concise summary of why they will never support that candidate. Whenever you try to debate someone who listens to enough of their party’s media, they will always bring up the pre-arranged talking point as a wall to protect them from the real issues that they are uncertain on. No progress can be made at all, because it’s extremely hard to prove someone isn’t a liar, and extremely hard to prove someone isn’t a sexist. This is particularly difficult because, most of the time, there is a kernel of truth to the complaint. Every single person alive is, to some extent, a liar, a cheat, and a bigot. We all harbor our own internal prejudices, even if we don’t let them show. Quite often, the people who are most adamant that they don’t have a particular prejudice are the ones who have to deal with it the most; they deny it because of their own insecurities, rather than accepting that everyone is human and has faults. If you put me in front of a camera all day, every day, then you could find enough scandals to fill a dozen issues of the New York Times, because I’m human. The same applies to our leaders. Why do we look at their human faults so easily, rather than analyzing their beliefs on a deeper level? This concerns me in particular because some people that I know very well are consumed by this strong dislike of the other party. On some level, I think it’s unhealthy to harbor these views about the other side of the aisle, particularly if they are the ones that end up winning the election. The bitterness of every presidential campaign drives a wedge between the 50% of us who won and the 50% of us who lost, and the strength of that wedge is determined by how much personal hatred is stirred up by each party about the other party’s candidate. I can understand that the media is only slinging personal attacks because they feel that the other side would do it if they didn’t, but that doesn’t mean that Americans should buy into the rhetoric as much as we do. We need to learn to take every extreme statement said on the media with a grain of salt, and examine the candidates based on their views, not personal attacks. And that said: a lot of us aren’t effected by this so much. But a lot of us are. By us, I don’t mean the people on this forum necessarily, but people in general. I meet a lot of people who can’t look past the Clinton emails or Trump’s more bravado-driven comments and consider the actual issues they support or are against. And while all of the examples I used were American, I imagine the same applies to other nations, and across history as well. If you've observed a similar effect in another country's politics, feel free to add in your viewpoint from that country's perspective. Which brings us to the point of discussion: Do you agree? If so, why is it that people can buy into this type of hatred so easily? Is there anything that can be done to look past the long-beaten-down talking points, and examine the real issues when debating who should be president?