Rumors are nearly as old as human history, but with the rise of the Internet, they have become ubiquitous. In fact we are now awash in them. False rumors are especially troublesome; they impose real damage on individuals and institutions, and they often resist correction. They can threaten careers, policies, public officials, and sometimes even democracy itself.
Groups become more extreme and entrenched in their beliefs and polarized from others when members only exchange information that reinforces their views and filter out all else or never learn of alternatives. Thus they narrow their options, and magnify each other's prejudices and misconceptions. This trend leads to blind spots in decision making and to extreme behavior, even terrorism.
I think it may be that the fans of your least-favorite political candidate, whoever it is, are much more likable and light-side types than you might think going in. One way to reach them is to talk about Star Wars.
Presumed consent preserves freedom of choice, but it is different from explicit consent because it shifts the default rule. Under this policy, all citizens would be presumed to be consenting donors, but they would have the opportunity to register their unwillingness to donate.
A well-functioning democracy has a culture of free speech, not simply legal protection of free speech. It encourages independence of mind. It imparts a willingness to challenge prevailing opinion through both words and deeds. Equally important, it encourages a certain set of attitudes in listeners, one that gives a respectful hearing to those who do not embrace the conventional wisdom. In a culture of free speech, the attitude of listeners is no less important than that of speakers.
The sky is always falling or the sky is always bright. In some ways, this is really morning in America and we don't see it. People are living longer, the economy is doing pretty well. On the other hand, there are some ways of thinking in the current situation that make it look not so good, including our Star Wars prequels - like legislature, meaning they're talking a lot, not doing a lot.