It's very interesting to look at the people I admire and then ask myself why I admire them. What did they do, or say, to put them in that column? Often it's because I think what they say is so eloquent, so much more intelligent than anything I could say, and that's how they win me over to their side.
And of course, that's probably it. Part of the way we strengthen our own convictions is by latching on to someone who shares them and saying, "Right on!" every time that person makes a good point for our side of the argument.
But too often, we lose sight of the other side. We start to brand our opponents "idiots" or "stupid" for arguing for the other side. We fail to acknowledge that many of those people are just as, if not sometimes more, intelligent as some of the people on our side.
I originally intended to make this a short list of people with whom I disagree on one issue or another but are nonetheless very smart. Ironically, I had trouble trying to come up with such a list. Those people exist, but I just can't bring them to mind right now. Who are some people who you think are pretty smart, even though they are on the other side of your debate?
Here's to keeping an open mind, and trying once and awhile to look at things from a different point of view. Here's to all the people out there who debate against me. :) You're pretty smart and all, but hey, I respectfully disagree.