@Marco there are three problems I think.
#1 is what you’ve mentioned, that people need to understand that there are other perspectives that have merit.
#2 is that people need to realize and be honest about what is influencing the opinions they express.
I struggle when I talk to people who express talking points but don’t seem to be inclined to evaluate why they are expressing them or if they are logical. In these circumstances it is hard to maintain discourse.
#3 people must be allowed to change. Our ideas around hypocrisy in this country cast a false negative stigma on changing ones perspective. Also we see debates as verbal combat and not knowledge sharing and joint exploration. We should actively identify what biases we are advocating for or rejecting and realize that the case we make for or against biases does not define us in perpetuity, those opinions are simply the surfaces that we present to others at any given time.
The change happens within us first, in our molten core, and the surface opinions may appear static for a time; they are not in fact static, nor should they be. If they are the same as they were last week or last month or last year, that should be because we have reevaluated our thoughts and they still pass muster.
When someone is not willing or able to take in more information and evolve their opinions, and their stated opinions are the same positions championed by special interests, this is a disappointment. It’s not really dialogue between two individuals at that point. At that point, it’s hard to find merit in discussion, as it would seem that at least one party is not really interested in talking meaningfully. It also feels as though one is arguing more against the agency that has possessed the person with whom they are speaking rather that the person themself. This is a demoralizing and dehumanizing feeling. I wish it werent so.
However, there can be some optimism that all stated opinions aren’t really what people believe. They’re just the expressed opinion of the person at the time, with varying degrees of personal investment and ingenuity.