Sullivan strikes me as particularly incisive here:
Conservatives I’ve met who adhere to their beliefs because they have intellectually thought them through never bother me. I may disagree, but when they have a reasoned argument for their beliefs, and are willing to consider (even if they ultimately reject) alternative/additional/restructuring perspectives, well, I can understand that. Conservatives who hold their beliefs without any desire or even inclination to ever acknowledge anything else terrify me (the same holds true for mindless liberals, but I have encountered relatively fewer of them, anecdotally speaking). Faith (and the subsequent certainty), whether it be religious or doctrinal or personal, has completely dominated political and social discourse over the past decade, and while that makes for easy slogans and appealing soundbites, it also makes for a country-wide (one could even argue world-wide) division and deadlock. Want to know what is killing America? The refusal to listen and adapt.