From Robert Reich, here is the clearest explanation I've seen yet about the nature of American politics and the profound cultural differences between the two major parties.
I'm particularly intrigued by the notion that Republicans tend to be cynical about politics while Democrats are idealists.
Unlike being gay or straight (a topic much discussed these days by people who haven't the faintest notion what they're talking about), having an attitude is a choice. As citizens, we choose to be cynical, idealistic, or apathetic.
More than just intellectual positions, these are fundamental moral choices with—in this day and age—global consequences.