I don't consider myself very political, and I tend to avoid "political" interactions whenever I can. I've found that people who are too eager to start a political conversation are basically wanting to stand on a soapbox. There is very little concern with trying to accurately define the problem a proposed action is trying to solve. Even less effort goes into realistic projections of how effective the measure will be. Balanced assessment of the costs and side effects are actively suppressed as people compare the negatives of their enemy's approach to the positives of their own, filtering out everything which does not help them sell their cause. The conversation quickly becomes emotional, because there is very little reason or substance involved.
I have observed that partisan politics is not a Washington, DC problem. Everyone does it, and to get to Washington, DC, representatives have to win the votes of people who themselves are extremely partisan. In a country where "We the People" give consent to be governed, the buck stops with us. If it is ever to change, we need to lead by changing ourselves and setting different expectations of our representatives.
We currently opt for an extremely divisive and inefficient method of governance. At the individual level and in DC, each person or party seeks to dominate and impose their beliefs on the entire nation. Those who do not believe likewise are beneath contempt, evil, or idiots. Not a single thought is given to persuasion, education or working out something we can all get behind. Hence as the composition of congress ebbs and flows we scramble to undo other people's unenlightened errors just as fervently as we scramble to make new unenlightened errors for a future session to undo. It's job security for politicians, but not a good way to live together with those who do not believe as we do. With every single election, half of America is guaranteed to lose, vow revenge, and redouble their efforts to take back "their" country by making it inhospitable to their oppressors. It's just a feud--and like that Star Trek episode where war was made palatable and clean, there's little incentive to bring it to an end.
If we're going to get nowhere, we don't have to work as hard at it. Deciding to only do the things we can all get behind should promote a transition from imposing dominion to persuasion. Say we seek a President who would veto everything except those bills which passed by the margin required to overturn the veto. Or we raised the bar for passing a bill in Congress. When we don't have the option of demonizing the opposition because we need their support, conversations may start to have more substance.
What's it going to take to up our game?