It's easier to treat the other guy as a stereotype
Easier, but mentally lazy, and self-deceiving.
Using myself as an example - started out D, shifted over to R, but mostly consider myself an independent. If I hadn't needed to select a party in order to vote in primaries in my previous home state, I'd have just gone with independent.
Defense policy wise, I'm center right, and believe in a strong defense policy. At the same time, I think military might should be a last resort, not an opening gambit.
L&CR wise, I personally think we should decriminalize marijuana, and instead of deficit spending on a War on Drugs we should actually turn a profit by taxation and regulation. I don't think marijuana is any more harmful than tobacco or alcohol, and I think we all agree that Prohibition was a hideously bad idea and a failed experiment - so I can't figure out why they keep on with the ban on marijuana.
I'd like to see the small time dealers and the couriers out of prison sooner, so the violent offenders could be put in with more frequency and for longer duration.
I'm anti-death penalty, but not because I think it's cruel and unusual. I just think that our system is imperfect and arbitrary (it's far better than most, but anything run by man is inherently fallible), and I think the execution of one innocent man is too high a price for the claimed deterrent value the death penalty is claimed to offer.
I'm extremely pro-2A, but at the same time I'm also extremely pro-1A, and it bothers me no end to see the mainstream media stand up for one but not the other.
I do think this country was built on the premise of individual effort and achievement, and not on the premise of government providing for everybody's basic survival needs.
At the same time, I thought Dukakis actually had some good ideas with regard to welfare, IE devising a system that rewarded people for getting jobs and weaning themselves off government support, instead of taking away dollar for dollar immediately after the people found jobs.
I spent 20 years, between active and reserve time, guarding the rights of people in the US to do and say things that I consider stupid, or worse. I despise flag-burners, but feel that if they aren't allowed to burn the flag, that the flag loses all meaning. I think that the fact those idiots are allowed to desecrate Old Glory may be one of the greatest strengths of Old Glory as a symbol - if that doesn't symbolize freedom of political expression, I don't know what does.
So, I don't want government to stop such protests, even though I'd like to personally punch out the lights of some of those folks...
I have absolutely no issues with homosexuals. I'm not one, so what they do does not impact me. I have friends who are gay. They don't hit on me, they don't make me uncomfortable, and I am not threatened by them.
Then again, I figure since I started flirting with girls as a toddler, that sexuality is kind of hard-wired biologically. I'm pretty sure my environs didn't teach me to be straight by age 1.
I currently work as a defense contractor, and am preparing to head to Afghanistan next week. I fully support the effort there, but can understand the Obama administration's hesitation. It's not exactly a simple problem, and gaining the support of US voters - who are notorious for both short attention spans and a lack of geopolitical awareness - isn't just a one-time challenge. The support of the voters has to be constantly won anew - so I don't blame the guy for being leery of sending over more troops without being sure the public will not balk, and worse.
But I still think he should send the troops that GEN McChrystal thinks he needs.
So, stereotype my politics, if you can.