There are lots of reports of extreme nastiness and violent hatred over political opinion. Rationally this is difficult to comprehend since politics is such a fluid every changing concept and these are opinions, however strongly held that are only opinions. History is the only real judgment on any political policy and even then we have to be cautious since “history is written by the victor.” Judgement on the merit of a future policy has to be an opinion.
Left-wing activists seem to be the most violent but that is an opinion and anyway, both sides are capable of going over reasonable boundaries.
Left-wing activists do seem to believe their anger, at right wing beliefs, is always justified because they can not consider any criticism of their own beliefs, they are right by definition in their own thoughts. They also consider the right-wing political thinkers, are wrong by definition and so cannot consider any suggestion or idea that comes from the right; however practical and pragmatic this idea is.
As with so much of life, the truth is between the two extremes.
Democracies are basically intended to be, government by the people for the people. The problems arise from the manner of selecting who represents those people. The right of the political center, in modern times, that is the last 60 years, have become dependant on finance from wealthy people and business, while in the same period the left has largely been financed from union funds. These are claimed to be donations from “the workers” this is not a claim that bears too much scrutiny since union funds are often collected from an entire workforce with no regard to the range of political beliefs within that workforce; nor does any claim the right make, that the money comes from individuals who believe in freedom for the individual, bear much examination.
If it could be agreed and if it could be honestly applied; both very unlikely, an election should be contested by parties equally funded and this funding from the state or personal donations only. It is worth noting that since elections became media events, they have become far more contentious and the language and lies become far more extreme. Oddly they have also become far more trivial, the appearance of a contenders hair more important than their proposed policies. Over the last 60 years electioneering has moved from town halls and market square hustings, between local candidates, to nationwide TV advertising and stage, managed scripted and choreographed shows, and they are media shows not honest debates. The media events cost huge amounts of money, which ends up being paid to the media companies. The amount of money spent becomes a greater factor than the policies. It also ensures confrontation, since the media need newspaper sales and audience figures and these get increased if sensation, scandal or confrontation are exploited.
This combination of trivialisation combined with grotesque sensationalising of scandals has destroyed rational debate; deliberately so; since very few main contenders actually have rational and constructive policies to improve the wealth, health and happiness of the majority of the people.
It has also led to the misinformed and ignorant being recruited by political extremes and these people have then been led into violence by being persuaded they have right of their side. Much like the middle ages persuaded thousands to commit acts of barbarity because the leaders claimed “God” was on their side. In both ancient and modern versions of these misleading claims, it never seems to enter the consciousness, of those committing acts of violence, that they should test the validity of the leaders' claims. Is it that some “humans” are predisposed to committing atrocities and so they choose to believe anyone who allows them to do so?
So much modern political reporting is done around matters that have no bearing on the ability of candidates to lead us all to peace and prosperity, so much is about their appearance, who slept with who 20 years ago, a memory lapse or even the candidate's diet. These all end up being presented to the electorate as if they have a bearing on the capacity to understand global economics or what it is like to be on the front line in armed conflict. Even socialist candidates come from middle class, university educations and have no actual real experience, despite some of their claims, to know what it is like to live day in year out fearing a call from debt collectors. Which is how a great many of the people socialists claim to represent, actually live.