Why so hateful? Where did civil disagreement go?

Ever since the Republican and Democratic conventions, you can't help but notice the uptick in partisan rhetoric and political separatism. And while I'm sure there are plenty from the liberal left who are coming out shooting, I'm personally appalled at the vicious vitriol (say that four times fast?) from the far right.

So far, I've blocked 22 people on The Twitter and 13 folks on The Facebook who were less than impressed with my #ObamaTranslations. I won't share all the nastiness - just a few highlights. One called me a baboon, one sent a picture (poorly photoshopped) of the 44th President with male genitalia in his mouth, another called me a "black comi biyatch with 12 babies" and on it went.

@CarolynEdgar and I were talking about how some dude told her this election was the "White Man's Last Chance" - if they don't win this election apparently the country is going to hell in a hand basket. (I recall feeling this exact same way when Baby Bush jacked the country in 2000) At any rate, White Man Salvation Dude kept spiraling downward and really, life is too damn short so... 


But this got me to thinking about society on the whole. Whatever happened to agreeing to disagree and retreating to your corners to battle it out another day? Why does a disagreement have to escalate to disrespect, hateration and worse case scenario - shots fired? Is this what breakdown of the nuclear family, 24/7 news cycles and ratchetass reality television has brought us to? Instead of having polite discourse, we hurl insults and flee? Or come back with a gun?

Since when did disagreement equal hate? I can violently disagree for everything a person stands for and believes in without hating them as a person. When someone makes a statement I believe to be misguided and poorly informed I don't automatically assume that person is a complete idiot. 

Even something as innocent as a football game seems to set people off. I tweeted my surprise and pleasure that the Cowboys won their first game last week and O.M.G! You would think I doused myself in pig blood and announced I was the bride of Lucifer. The hatespeak people! It's a game! One that very few of us get paid to participate in. Chill out.

The "stans" on social media. Goodness gracious. I may have mentioned that I believe Bey's "Halo" does too much for me. I prefer her less dramatical songs. I feared I might have to go into The Twitness Protection program, the Bey stans were gunning for me. Seriously? We can't agree that the woman is talented but I don't love every breath she takes without folks threatening to behead me?

How did it come to this? What's the answer? How do we teach people to be civil and rational even in disagreement? Have you noticed the rampant hatespeak? Thoughts, comments, insights?