When I was in middle school, several of us argued religion on the playground.  The object of our contentious discussions was 

a) be right (superior subjectively and objectively)
b) be distinguished (different from and opposed to someone)
c) win (prevail at the expense of the other denominational viewpoint).

Sixty years later I regard that display of combative ignorance as childish and unproductive.  It was shared entertainment, but other games and sports would have had more positive personal and social impact.

Is adult discourse any different from that childhood activity?  Do contentious political discussions shed any light on our adult topics?  Do political camps focus on winning instead of listening to and uplifting other people?  Are we missing positive exercises that increase happiness? 

Are we prepared to grow up?