While I was in the military I had tunnel vision of my beliefs. I was surrounded by a very conservative group and that greatly affected how I viewed the world. We were also restricted from truly speaking our minds, if you agreed with the leadership you could speak up but if you disagreed you had to walk a very fine line in voicing your opinion. Since I'm now free to decide and say what I want I'm taking second looks my beliefs are and how I truly stand. I've also purposely involved myself in political discussions and debates via on-line message boards, I would encourage everyone to do this because you can say you feel strongly about an issue all day long, but when you are forced to defend it you find out if it's real or not. A word of caution: the on-line community is harsh and if you are easily offended, this may not be your best outlet.
In the last election people heavily criticized John Kerry for being a "flip-flopper" and I'm guilty of it too, but the more I thought about it the more I came to see that as a good thing. You have to be careful to not just go with what's popular, but if you take time to do research and find as many facts as you can and then change your opinion on something, I have no problem with that. I was a big supporter of the current administration and I am not ashamed to say that I voted for it twice because that was who I believed represented me at the time. Now that I've done some research and read countless reports and just watched what they've done along the way I am no longer a supporter. With this coming election, John McCain doesn't represent what I believe in, Obama does. End of story. If the next election rolls around and the Republican is the one that I like, well then that's who I'll support.
The point again, folks, is think on your own, do research, listen to all sides, gather facts, and don't blindly follow party lines. The left can be just as dangerous as the right.