I think the ability to enjoy a debate, even spirited debates, without resorting to personal attacks is becoming a lost art. I suspect that's because most people don't have a very good reason for their beliefs so they have to belittle the other person in an attempt to make themselves feel superior. This isn't a very effective method of educating or enlightening others about your message, but it does seem to be the way that most people engage in political discourse on-line.
I'm not a master debater (heh!) though I do enjoy hearing other viewpoints and sharing my own. Calling the other person names does nothing to strengthen your position and it often only serves to make you sound immature and inarticulate. Sure, sometimes we all get hot under the collar and call the other person a big poopy-pants, but this is a poor way to debate.
I feel this rude style is far more common when debating over the internet and I suspect that it's because we enjoy relative anonymity while on-line. Do you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts below!