Needless to say, everyone was stunned by the tone, disrespect in her voice, and the insulting way that she demeaned and humiliated the other woman. Incivility is putting another person on the defensive when they have a difference of opinion. Everyone does have a right to their opinion and to be treated respectfully, though agreement is not always necessary.
Defensiveness is often shown in body language of the other person while they are nursing their wounds after a verbal attack. There is a boundary that limits self-expression and entitlement where there is uncontrolled rude behavior toward another. The question that one needs to ask oneself is whether it is important to be right or happy. Blame and disrespect toward others hinder the possibility of creating positive relationships.
Self-restraint is encouraged when there are possibilities of social discussions about religion, sex, salaries, and politics. Political discussions can be contentious because there are currently such strong differences in political thoughts. It is necessary and important that both parties are responsible in showing respect for these differences.
How does one encourage civility, tolerance, respect, and still maintain harmonious relationships? First, it is best not to assume that everyone's opinion is the same as yours. Freedom of speech is a constitutional right of all Americans. Though you may be limiting your own education if you are unable to be open and respectful, it is best not to encourage such a political discussion.
Listening respectfully, one can learn from someone who thinks and feels differently than you. While this may be a challenge, thoughtful analysis about the political situations can breed stimulating conversations, as long as others are willing to be open, considerate and respectful.