I remember in seventh grade when my teacher made us argue the "other side."
This was not the last time that a teacher would make me look at others view and made me argue for them. I hated this. It made me feel like I was learning to argue just for the sake of arguing, not because I truly believed a given way.
Yet now many years later how grateful I am for being forced to see the "other side." The truth is, this can be used to improve your ability to argue, but what it is far more useful is to improve ones ability to understand.
I am very disappointed that we are surrounded by pundits who make it seem like most policy decisions are black and white, truth and error. They refuse to acknowledge or even give credence to the fact that the, "other side" has any idea what they are talking about or even understand their own views.
Recently our city council had to decide if we would change our voting cycle. (I wrote about the pros and cons here). I have my opinion but it is just that. If we are ever going to get beyond partisan politics we need to realize that both sides have valid points and there is more common ground then we realize.