I'm a conservative. On every issue I can think of, my opinion is conservative. I don't, however, consider myself an extremist.
I think that the term extremist should be reserved for the people who think those with whom they disagree on issues are somehow either less intelligent, or evil. Too often the tone of our debates gets out of hand.
I think it is time people of all political leanings put their foot down and say to those who would make personal attacks against those with whom they disagree that enough is enough. Disagree, and argue the points. I'm not saying that getting into a heated discussion is bad, as long as it's not personal.
I used to love getting into political debates, but in the last few years I've found that if I express my views on more and more issues I get attacked personally. I recently had to end a friendship with a person I'd known for most of my life because I couldn't convince her to stop calling me a "homophobe" because I disagree with Gay Marriage. I understand that others disagree with me.
I see why people are intense about the issue, because it concerns how gay people live their lives in a fundamental way. That being said, my opinion is what it is. I understand that in general most progressives probably disagree with me, and if it were possible to discuss this issue with them on the merits, that could be an interesting discussion.
However, it seems that more and more I find that progressives just say I'm a homophobe and don't listen to what I have to say. My hope is that as a society we can push back against personal attacks on those with whom we disagree. We should be willing to argue or debate political issues of the day without being unkind. It is the people who personally attack those with whom they disagree that are the extremists. I think if everyone tries to stop personally attacking others in their debates, and stands up to those who resort to personal attacks, we can have more productive dialog in this country. What do you think?