People on both sides simply don't accept the motives behind the people on the other side from them. What they're missing is that deep down, everyone wants basically the same things. Regardless of what side you're on of what issue, the "other side" just has a different set of fears, trusts and beliefs.
For example, liberal democrats have more faith in the government's altruism and ability to push a solution down from above. They have become cynical of the corporate corruption ever doing the right thing and they have lost all hope of peer pressure or the courts to correct bad behavior. Can you blame them on the latter? Their end goal motives are still to make the world a better place by ending tyranny (corporate first for them) and by raising the standard of living for the underprivileged.
As RP supporters, we chase the same goal from a different path and prioritize things in a different order. That's all. That's the whole difference between R & D, Lib and Cons, worldwide. What's the difference if the end goal is the same? Both sides would have to agree that we cannot take both paths at the same time. I'm willing to admit that 'it is completely possible' for their path to work. I just see the odds as having lots of zeros before any other number appears. I'm sure they feel the same of our way. The problem lies in the fact that neither side is willing to compromise enough to sit at the same table and begin fact checking each others standpoints. In essence, they've allowed the banker's trick of divide and conquer to set the agenda.
However, by discussing openly the basic ground between them, both sides will learn what drives the other and where priorities lie. This is where TED stands. It's an open forum for those ideas to shine through. I'm sure most don't realize this but there are many libertarian and even RP supporters giving speeches. They just don't get much attention because most of the TED audience is liberal.
Either way, we've got to stop this bickering between groups and nail down some hard problems we have in common so we can get organized enough to take them on. Even in your very words, you imply that TED is a negative to our cause because of Gates' words while you freely admit that it was a contextual faux paux of making a statement most here would agree with. Do you see how that is further separating the divide?
Want DP delivered to your inbox daily? Subscribe here: