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The smartest among us don't ascribe to partisan policy choices. I attempt to evaluate every position in which I have an interest based on its merits. This means that I disagree with the left on approximately half the issues, and disagree with the right on approximately the other half (that's a rough estimate, in reality, I think I disagree with either party far more than half).

That said, it's hard to be informed and not develop some loyalty to any particular politician. In all likelihood, you'll develop an affinity towards whichever politician you find agrees with you the most, and it's hard to say that "In general, I like so and so, but for his opinions on x and y."

Jonathan Haidt has done some fantastic research on the subject, specifically in the area of political psychology, and I would encourage you to read "The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion".

In practice though, most people are happy to swallow whatever their party tells them is true, even when it provably isn't.

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