The other day I met up with a friend who works in public affairs and so deals with politicians quite a bit. He said something that rang very true with me which was that a lot of people in the political world lacked the ability (or desire?) to see another point of view, and that perhaps this was part of what made them successful. I think that might be bang on the money. A failure to appreciate another point of view allows single-mindedness and conviction (arguably it's also a sign of being a psychopath, but we'll let that one go). It enables clear decision-making.
In contrast, accepting other perspectives can lead to the realisation that a) there are other ways of addressing an issue b) your existing viewpoint is simply ...err... wrong. Unfortunately once you allow other perspectives it also, in my opinion, makes decision-making harder. And in this context making decisions makes many of us anxious - what someone called the 'dizziness of freedom'. You realise that often there isn't an obviously right/good option.
Our desire for an obvious correct option can been seen in all sorts of politics. On the Left we love idea of past betrayals, or sell-out leaderships. It would have worked out fine if the leadership hadn't turned to the Right/called off the strike. We can 'know' the right answer with the benefit of hindsight, and with no chance that our own solution will be put to the test. For right-wingers their desire for an obvious answer is surely most clearly demonstrated by the way so many of them reinvent the relatively recent past as a much better time. For anyone it's a very seductive way of thinking.
This reminds me that whilst I unfortunately still have some kind of pavlovian emotional response to red-blooded socialist rhetoric and imagery, intellectually and on a practical level I am Mr Moderate. I can't accept that defining yourself as a socialist/social democrat/lefty automatically also defines your policy outlook. My politics are basically a set of internal values and perspectives, not a programme. I don't think there is really an alternative to addressing each issue in turn and deciding an appropriate response given the balance of forces.
Unfortunately that means I am really bad at making decisions. Ho hum.