It has become increasingly obvious to me that one of the biggest problems with people today is that they are not intellectually honest. You may ask, "What do you mean?" Well telling people what you actually are thinking. Not having an aggenda. Not trying to discredit or distract someone whose aggenda does not agree with yours.
How do we fix it? First you must care about the truth yourself. You will find that we have even learned to become guarded about our motives and aggendas. So if you are thinking about something you want to do. Be honest about it and your reasons for wanting to do. Example: "I want and iPhone because people will think I'm cool because owning one is cool." Just because you keep it inside doesn't mean you are anyless shallow or superficial. This way you can encourage other people to be honest too.
Any intellecual discussion aimed at solving a problem must have the committment of both sides to be intellectually honest or you just have arguing of aggendas... If you can't get your fellow debater to commit don't waste your time in debating the core issue.
Most people spew talking points in politics and aren't worried about the preservation of our freedom but rather the success of their party or ideology... When inside they may agree they won't say it out loud.
Encourage your friends to seek and speak the truth.