To whom it may concern on the Left:
By the definition of the Left, I may be an extremist, or an economic terrorist, or an extortionist, or a kidnapper, or willing to watch the US go down in flames. By their lights I guess I am in the pocket of the Koch Brothers, or Big Oil, or Big Finance. It seems, in their view, I'm stupid, insane, nuts, a neanderthal (that's my favorite. Thanks Mr. Vice-President) and given the smirks, and shrugs I see when they are on TV, I'm beyond condescension. And, let's not forget, because I disagree with the President on policy issues, I am almost certainly racist in their eyes.
And yes, I do recognize the Right is guilty of this as well. But those I read on the right, or listen to, don't talk that way. Simply because when they do talk that way, I stop listening. But sure, I'm certain there are those on the right just as guilty of this lack of civility.
I just have two points to make regarding this rhetoric.
First, it is highly unlikely you'll will convince me of anything if first you call me stupid, or evil. If you accuse me of all sorts of malevolent behavior, berate me and try to discredit me and my views, and then demand I agree with you, the chances of you achieving your objective, are low.
Second, and this is the more important one. I vote, and my vote counts just as much as yours. Evil though I may be, my vote counts just as much as yours. Calling me a neanderthal, an extortionist, a terrorist, a tea bagger, a hostage taker, and stupid may make you feel better, but it won't result in me changing my vote or withholding my vote. Rather, it makes it more likely I work to persuade others (not berate others) into seeing what I see.