I don’t think the Rogerian method stands a chance in our culture, and we have our politicians and the certain mainstream media to thank for that. When it comes to the issues, the name of the game has pretty much become arrogantly asserting your position as the obvious truth and labeling the other side as either dumb or having selfish intentions; just watch Sean Hannity, or Bill Maher, or listen to Rush Limbaugh. One can’t even openly have a humble position on a topic without being labeled and categorized. If you believe in environmental causes, then to Hannity you’re a hippie tree-hugging liberal that doesn’t care about other people’s livelihoods or the economy. If you believe marijuana should be legalized, then to Limbaugh you’re either some latte-sipping yuppie college student who’s still too young and inexperienced to know how the world works or a pot-head that doesn’t appreciate the value of hard work. If you are pro-life, then to Maher you’re a right-winger who doesn’t respect women’s rights and who believes in a bunch of ridiculous superstitions. These people are paid to be loud and obnoxious.
Even if you try to be as objective as possible and your relaying of facts and reasoning is making one side sound not so good, then they will label you as biased. Therefore, the idea of unbiased is starting to mutate into this idea that both sides have to be addressed in just as flattering terms. The problem though is that there is such a thing as absolute truth, and it’s becoming easier and easier to deny and find facts or lines of reasoning that suit your own principles, instead of reconsidering them in light of new found truths.
People also need to realize that EVERYBODY is an idealist. You might think that you’re not an idealist, but I can tell you that you are. If you’re against gay marriage, then you’re an idealist; if you’re against government regulating this or that or telling you to do this or that because you don’t like being told what to do, then you’re also an idealist. Idealism isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, not always. Supporting laws against animal cruelty is idealist, but that’s certainly a good thing. Sometimes idealism is on both sides, like for example whether or not government should ban junk food companies from advertising on children’s tv shows.
I think a big step in the right direction would be for everybody to realize that we’re ALL idealists, and that the ideal picture in our head of how the world ought to be is never going to come to full fruition. We need to start thinking about everybody’s needs and not just what we want, and then maybe, just maybe we can find a common goal.