I was not as political when I was in college as I am now, and while I've always been a liberal, I was much more moderate when I was younger.
I actually get angry at times when speaking about politics with college-age kids. I was speaking with one once, a friend of my nephew, and I found out that while he's very conservative, his conservatism has no basis in anything. He's conservative because he was raised in a conservative environment and was attending an extremely conservative university. He has no clue what conservative ideals are in American politics, no idea why they think the way they think, and, most offensive of all to me, votes regularly but always votes straight party ticket, which I consider to be the lazy person's way of voting. In talking with him, I found that he looked down on me somewhat not for things which really might be issues (he is Mormon, and I left the Mormon Church as a teen because of great problems with their doctrine--I would understand if he thought I was a little lost lamb who refused to listen to reason), but because he's been taught to believe that all liberals are closet Commies, and we all know that they're just two steps away from being Satan's lapdogs.
In reality, I don't care much where a person fits on the political spectrum as long as they are there for a reason. In my mind, people have to earn their political affiliation, if they have one, by thinking out the issues and deciding what they believe in. It's maddening to me because I live in such a conservative place, and so many of the people I interact with are conservative not because they've given it much thought, but simply because those are the politics they inherited from their parents, like the texture of their hair, or the color of their eyes. To me, that's ridiculous. It is equally ridiculous when I meet someone who is a liberal simply because they want to be a rebel. They don't believe in much of anything, but they'll vote Democrat just so they can say they did. It's just stupid.
Okay, I'll hop of my soapbox now. Carry on!