I have a suggestion for both my fellow "Liberals" and my "Conservative" friends (and, yes, I do have them.) Stop listening -- don't listen to Limbaugh, Hannity, Alex Jones, Ed : Schultz, Thom Hartmann or any of the dozens of voices squawking their one sided diatribes. Switch off FOX News, CNN, MSNBC and the other thinly veiled heavily spun sources of party propaganda. I have a unique suggestion... don't listen -- don't watch.... READ!!!
Policy discussion really should have no party affiliation. There are many intelligent ways of viewing the world. None of these viewpoints can be arrived at by name calling, paranoid conspiracy theories, fear, and illusion.
For those who identiby as Liberal (Progressive or just plain Democrat), I want to suggestion these sources to better understand the intelligent Conservative Viewpoint:
1. Outside the Beltway: Self described as "...an online journal of politics and foreign affairs analysis. For the most part, our views are Classical Liberal (Jim's Note: libertarian, that is): a strong belief in free trade, limited government, and respect for human rights. We aim to have informed, polite conversation about the issues we find interesting."
2. The National Review: Granted, I most often disagree with their basic premises, but their articles are well written, coherently argued and respectful.
For those who identify as Conservative (Libertarian or Republican), I heartily recommend:
1. Harper's Magazine: As described on their website, "... the oldest general-interest monthly in America, explores the issues that drive our national conversation, through long-form narrative journalism and essays." Harper's includes not only political commentary, but poetry, short fiction, book reviews, and possibly the hardest crossword type puzzle on the planet!
2. The Nation: Offered on the web as, "... the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the United States, and the most widely read weekly journal of progressive political and cultural news, opinion, and analysis." Disambiguation -- Harper's is "general-interest" and The Nation is primarily commentary... both are the oldest in some sense of the word.
For both Lib-Pro-Dem and Con-Liber-Rep:
1. The Atlantic: If you lean Liberal, you'll think The Atlantic is conservative. If you're conservative, you'll think The Atlantic has a liberal bias. I've subscribed to this magazine for the better part of 40 years when I could afford magazine subscriptions. This magazine shares with Harper's the honor of the hardest crossword on the planet.
2. The Economist: "The Economist considers itself the enemy of privilege, pomposity and predictability. It has backed conservatives such as Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. It has supported the Americans in Vietnam. But it has also endorsed Harold Wilson and Bill Clinton, and espoused a variety of liberal causes: opposing capital punishment from its earliest days, while favouring penal reform and decolonisation, as well as—more recently—gun control and gay marriage." Whether you perceive the articles in The Economist as left or right leaning, will tell you more about your own bias than that of the magazine.
As a general guide, if your source of political news spends more time talking about what the "other side" thinks, you are falling for the "straw man" rhetorical fallacy and your source is trying to manipulate you. If your source of political news make the opposing side sound scary, they're using appeal to fear, and again, just trying to manipulate you. There is no absolute truth and there are many paths to happiness and prosperity. There's one sure path to chaos, and that's failure to communicate.
This Wikipedia page is a good guide to perceived bias in media. Check out your favorite sites.