Carl Jung wrote that when the emotionality of a subject reached beyond a certain level, people then resorted to slogans and catch phrases and lost the ability for reason. I see this happening all the time in political discussions. Especially in political forums on the internet.
I think there is another aspect to what Jung wrote that we see all the time on the web. People only seem to be interested in proving themselves out to be right. I don't think I have ever seen anyone admit they were wrong or say that they changed their mind on an issue. At best, I've seen people say, "well, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree." It's more that people want to confirm their beliefs than find new ones.
It also reminds me of what Dale Carnegie wrote in his How To Win Friends and Influence People. He said in the beginning of that book that the WORST thing you can say to another person is that they are WRONG. He quoted several interviews with murderers, rapists, and mobsters saying they thought they were basically good people. His point was - if murders and such think they are decent people, then what about ordinary people? Most everyone thinks very highly of themselves - in their own mind.
In most political discussions the goal is to prove the other person out to be WRONG. That goal is the problem.
I've tried, in some cases, to show how both sides are really after the same things. But, it seems hopeless.
I was a government major before switching and that wasn't too enjoyable once there were political arguments. i'm not very good at arguing in a civilized manner for stuff i believe in, but more specifically i just argue rarely at all