DRAFT: Extremism is the sad zeigeist of the moment. How do we get over it?

When I first arrived on this site I could talk to people who had different views in an intelligent manner. We could even find common ground and at least understand each other without coming to blows. There was respect. Apart from a couple of more extreme morons there was a community here. I even made friends with people who were of a different persuasion.


That has changed radically.


Every issue has now been politicised.


People who were friendly are now hostile. Every thread is peppered with abuse. There are two camps who will not interact under any circumstances. If someone is in the ‘other’ camp their articles are not even going to be considered. Instead they are met with a knee-jerk stream of rubbish that doesn’t even bother to pertain to the issue at hand.


Now abuse is not the province of a few loonies – it’s mainstream.


What has caused this division and intolerance?


What has empowered the more extreme and pushed the moderate to become extreme?


In the UK it is Brexit that has brought out the racists, fascists and violence out onto the streets which in turn elicited a counter response of extreme antifascists.


In the US it is Trump that has had the same effect.


So what does it take to get back to the more pleasant environment we once had? How do extremists of both sides begin to moderate their views?