Being a blue dot in a red state is no picnic either. If the two sides can’t learn to communicate and work together, I’m really starting to fear Kimye running for president in 2020. I really enjoyed reading this, and for what it’s worth, from a liberal Texan (who was born in rural Arkansas), I think you have this right. You and I may not agree on the best way to pay for social safety-net programs, or even whether or not they should exist in the first place, but I think we can both agree that the knee-jerk “you’re wrong” reaction and shutting someone down instead of putting forth even a modest effort to understand a different point of view is hindering us right now in a big way. Please just know that people on the left feel just as strongly about that as people on the right. As a liberal atheist living in one of the most conservative states in the union, I know exactly how it feels to be ostracized for the way you think.