Goodness gracious, I've gotten more readers and comments after my Regional Differences and Eddie Izzard posts than I have in weeks! Why is it that I never noticed that the big blogs are popular precisely because they will court controversy? I don't like it in general; I don't like making people angry, and I don't like the way they get when they are angry.
My brother-in-law has picked up on this tendency of mine over the years; he might be having a battle with Elder Sister in my presence, and I will blend into the furniture, or start chivvying the children to clean up or snap to... and B-I-L will turn to me and say something like "It's ok, you know; no one is in danger just because I'm angry!" Which I know, of course; but when you've learned to deal with an angry father over 13 years of childhood, you try and do whatever you can to alleviate anger, to placate, to pour oil on troubled waters. I will grow very quiet... I will start to tidy up... I will speak in a subdued fashion, to indicate my appreciation of the situation.
I have been fortunate to have friends who will disagree with me, and have spirited arguments over things like religion and politics... it has taken time, but it has allowed me at least some understanding that disagreement and argument do not mean someone will hate or hurt you when the debate is over. But even with all of that, I find myself adapting to the opinions of whomever I am with. I leap to find common ground, to express a sympathy and comprehension of their opinion.
This is why I cannot endure the rants of the Bill O'Reillys, the Ann Coulters and Rush Limbaughs. (I know they have liberal counterparts, but I don't know who any of them are, for some reason.) I might agree with some of their opinions, but their absolute inability to see any good in liberalism troubles me. I wish there was more of an appreciation in this country for the Moderate and the Centrist, and that they could be allowed to have their own voice in the media. I don't think it means that someone is any less compelling, just because they can see both sides of an argument... I mean, wouldn't you want to have that kind of respect in a discussion? Instead of just being lambasted as an idiot?