From what I can see, most of the emotions backing the heated political debates have less to do with politics and more to do with cultural differences. True conservatives are all about cutting spending and limiting federal power, which I can respect but still disagree with; but the vast majority of RW voters turn out so as to deny a win to the caricature of liberals that they hate. Generally, our side is better informed about the consequences of political shifts, but there's plenty of that fear-mongering and caricaturing on our side too. The segregated "bubble" nature of our media is not helping and does not serve us.
Something that could help us get in the mindset of RW voters is to consider that they are willing to deny their self-interest and turn out for divisive social issues because they sincerely believe that they are doing the right thing. They think banning abortion and gay sex will grant the state divine blessings, that will lessen god's wrath during storms and economic downturns. Likewise, the fervor on our side to win is fueled by the belief that we are doing the right things, such as expanding health care to the poor and protecting women's right — not so much to placate a deity, but doing good for its own sake. So the voters on both sides believe they are doing the right thing, and that includes stopping people they see as doing the wrong things. If you can see both sides and understand your opponent's motivation, you're on your way to bridging the divide, and maybe you'll be able to see a solution.
I have to point out here that the RW voter is far different from the RW policymaker, which as we have seen is craven and willing to win at any cost; but the RW voters are looking for a way to do good as they see it. So perhaps we can find a way to offer both sides a seeming win, or frame the results of policy completely out of the realm of partisanship. McAuliffe is on his way to doing that if his pragmatic approach works.
namely telling them they've been lied to. That avoids the defense mechanism of denial and makes you an ally with them against those who have lied to them. This can work on an individual level, one-to-one, but I don't see it happening on a large scale; so I'd have to come down on the A side. But that is no reason not to use it on a small scale.
Our differences are more cultural than ideological. Sure, the leaders are ideologues, but average RW voters vote for people who look and talk like them. They choose their congregation over what they see as hippies on our side. And it is a war to them, with the other side embodying everything evil.
Why do they vote against their interests? Two reasons. One is that they don't see the economic argument. But the other reason is that they are driven by religious zealotry; they are willing to sacrifice even their own economic benefit if they can elect people they think are "pure." So they don't mind keeping their own wages stagnant as long as taxes don't rise and the evil "baby killers" are not in power.