I admire the people that say that they're not interested in politics and generally stay out of the subject. I remember presenting my side of the argument to some that did not engage in our daily political arguments, to see if I was too far to the left. Usually they were genuinely uninterested. I could get the religious people to give me their opinion, but those types of arguments were few and in between. I usually stayed out of those arguments because it's pretty easy to see that I suck at it. I'm very uncomfortable discussing the subject.
I don't know what inspires me to get into daily arguments on our forum. I have to think legion357 is right. I'm beginning to miss the daily jousting, I had at work. If I did that at home, my wife would very likely tell me that I'm interrupting her soap operas. She would probably encourage me to call up an old friend, but it wouldn't be inappropriate to call my old friends and say hey," let's go to Ramsey's and argue politics." In that situation, we would spend the first hour so catching up and an hour or so of trying to remember names. Oh if I had a nickel for every time we said, " I got his or hers name on a tip of my tongue" and what's bad is when we're trying to remember a friend's name that has recently died or is in the hospital. I guess that I can put all that stuff in my iPad but my friends would have to do, likewise, and that takes the spirit out of catching up. It would be like watching that scroll across the bottom your TV screen.
Politics and blogs are my hobbies now, because I'm always seeking information rather than enjoying life. When I was at work, the hour or so of arguing satisfied me, so I only watched an hour of the news or politics, the rest was for family and leisure television programing. On our forum, a number posters shoot from the hip and assume they are right, but it's something that I have not gotten used to. My old compadres were very knowledgeable, so I had to bring my "A" game, every single day. If the posters on the forum would simply admit their bias and present their case, we could have a decent discussion. Over 70% of the time I'm having to post links merely to add a little credibility to the discussion. If both parties understand the subject, they are arguing about, then quoting a source should not matter. Most of the sources come from AP, hence you can read the same article in the Washington Times and the Washington Post. It's when the opinionated journalist writes their viewpoint that the facts take a left or right turn.
I would be willing to bet that if we actually had a gathering, the hot rhetoric at the VA would subside tremendously. I'm not worried about BigJ, Pilot, Sugar Magnolia,EA,Rebecca,Legion or a few others because, if we haven't offended one another after all these years, the likelihood of that happening is small. It's like the saying they had for the flamboyant baseball player named Manny Ramirez,"that's just Manny being Manny." We have occasional disagreements(as all humans do) but nothing earth shaking. Every single person that I mentioned in the above paragraph has admitted where they stand at one time or another, and they all have above-average intelligence. They have all defined themselves instead of letting others define them.