Here's how I see it.
For any given stance or view or opinion there are generally 25% who are always going to take one side and another 25% who are always going to take the opposite side.
Every leader will generally have 25% who love him/her and 25% who hate him/her.
Those people don't matter much. Of course, they matter as humans but they don't matter as to what you or I are trying to do.
There is another 50%, though, that read, that learn, that listen, and that change their mind and try to make (as best they can) unbiased decisions based on reasonable, generous, helpful opinions, including yours.
Those are the 50% that matter to what you are trying to do.
Ignore the extremes - they will always be there and they always have been. They do not change your world and you do not change theirs. It's that other 50% that have punch though.
This has some practical applications.
1. You are the ignored 25% for some. They aren't going to listen to you and you are not going to change their mind. The sooner you stop trying, the better.
2. Don't give up hope on them. There is a 50% for them. It's just not you.
3. Don't get suckered into arrogance by focusing on the 25% that loves you.
4. Don't get suckered into hopelessness by focusing on the 25% that doesn't.
5. Don't think a nation is run by either 25%. Or a world. Often, it's the 25% in the extremes who get all the attention. Don't fall into the trap of believing they are the majority. Even combined with their fellow extremists (of completely opposite belief), they aren't the majority.
6. Correct, you won't convince them.
7. Correct, you can have important conversations with them though.
8. Of course, people love him or her or that or this. They always do. That's not an argument for anything.
9. Of course, people hate him or her or that or this. They always do. That's not an argument for anything.
10. Find your 50%. Listen to them. Be persuaded by them. Be a 50% to as many people as possible. Let them listen to you. Persuade them.
11. Yes, you and I are extreme somewhere with something. We refuse to listen to the other side on that issue or we will never listen to that person. We will try to see it as best we can but it'll always be there in some way or another. Have empathy for other 25 percenters - we share something in common with them.
12. This is all very fluid and intertwined. Just because they won't listen to you about gun control, they might about recycling. You might want to hear them out on a trip to Thailand even if you do despise their views on the anthem.
13. Right. Search out 50 percenters. Stuff happens there. Everything happens there.
14. If you disagree with this entire post, it's fine. I know about 25% of you will. : ) (Just kidding. Or am I?"
15. When someone says "you made me think" that's a sure sign they are part of the 50%. When someone makes you think, it's a sure sign you are part of their 50%.