Maybe we’ve bought into the negative connotation that’s so frequently assigned to disagreement. Maybe the “You’re either with us or you’re against us” stance is making headway into our mores. Wherever the blame resides, our understanding of dissent is not accurate or healthy.
I also think mainstream communication has a lot to do with the dilution of conflict. We enjoy tools of passivity such as e-mail, cell phones, text messaging, etc. E-mail is a chickenshoot way of dealing with a disagreement. We don’t do a lot of face to face anymore.
Communication isn't always easy, and it shouldn't be. Disagreement is even harder to voice. But it's good pain, to fight right, and a worthy risk.