David Brooks, a columnist who increasingly aspires beyond punditry to a role as public philosopher, argues that the roots of political incivility today lie in a deep-seated and widespread lack of humility. One can only demonize others when one feels that one cannot possibly be mistaken. When one feels that one cannot learn from another, that the other has nothing meaningful to contribute to the debate, then connection suffers. The same kind of rigid certitude characterizes paranoia. To decry incivility openly is obviously self-defeating, generating defensiveness and accentuating battle lines. All one can do is to patiently present alternative possibilities and to try to model more modest, nuanced, and flexible ways of thinking.
The problem I had with Dr. Scheurich's post was in deciding which paragraph to quote. All of it is worth reading, so do take a look.