Imagine if Red and Blue Discussed Differences Civilly

Are you sick of all the rancor around elections? 
Are your own fists clinched and teeth gnashing in battle against "them?" 
Are you frustrated with government gridlock because each side is so busy blocking the others ideas that little gets negotiated? 
Do you know that negotiation is part of the original democratic process?

Back in the early days of democracy, guys like Aristotle and Plato, and later, Hegel, said that there were skills that a citizen must have to participate in a democracy. They were called "the arts of liberty" (and are where the term "liberal arts" came from.) One of them was the art of the dialectic or discourse, negotiation.

To do this, one person posits his idea, or thesis. Then the other her idea or "anti-thesis." Then they LISTEN, REASON, and weigh one another's ideas to find a third "synthesis" of the best of both of their ideas for the good of the COMMON WEAL(TH) (not the lobbyist's). The idea is they are civil and acknowledge that the other might actually have something worthwhile to say. They don't argue and debate; they negotiate.

At the core of this is the liberal art of listening. Do we all need some lessons in how to be citizens in a democracy? Let's change our ways so we don't suffer through another 18 months of competitive ugliness!