This appears to be the age of factions. Everybody belongs to one and these factions spend all their time attacking each other. You can see this politically- Democrats, Blue Dog Democrats, Tea Partiers, Republicans. You can see this in religions- Sunni v. Shiite, Protestant v. Catholic, Wiccan v. Neo-Pagan. You can even see it pop culture (Team Jacob, Team Edward). Lifestyle- vegan v. vegetarian v. omnivores. Seriously, it's all getting out of hand and frequently, the divisions are simply asinine.
If you are interested in promoting the narrow view of your faction/fraction of the public, you are diminishing the choices of others and reducing complex situations to yes or no questions. It merely makes space for people to be alienated. You make it easy to be distracted from the bigger picture.
So, my advice is this: next time you're tempted to identify with a faction, stop and think about who or what you might be alienating by choosing a side. Think about all the middle ground, all the compromise solutions you are negating, then, make your choices. Factions only serve to prevent people from embracing wholeness and community. If we all start making the conscious decision to reject faction politics, factional fights (like the ridiculous debt ceiling "negotiations and the de-funding of social net services) will not be such valuable weapons to those who who would inflict their narrow black and white views on those of us who live their lives in color. Hate speech and fear mongering would lose their sharp, shiny edges and we could move on to actually solving real problems.
Okay, I'm stepping off my soap box now. Thanks to Delphi for ranting yesterday, so I could write this.