Know what you believe...seems like a simple thing,right? Wrong. Many people never take the time to figure this out. They are raised by (mostly) well meaning parents who try to communicate their values/manners/beliefs to prepare their children to face the world. They communicate what they know and believe in order to spare their kids the task of having to figure things out that they (the parents) have already figured out...at least so that they can get a good start in life.
This is good at first - no need to reinvent the wheel - but at some point children need to foray out on their own and establish their own identity and be able to function on their own ,without their parents' help...because parents never last forever.:( This includes internalizing beliefs, making them personal, stuggling through doubt to stronger belief -and sometimes discarding things that don't fit or make sense. It is a lifelong task, which some have short-circuited by deciding to act without thinking -often taking up someone else's prescribed lists of acceptable behaviour and beliefs. We call it indoctrination - whether self-induced or dictated - either way it is destructive. We see it in politics, religion, business,etc.
The antidote is to examine oneself , our actions and attitudes, to find what we really believe and whether that is at odds with what we say we believe. What you believe will determine your actions, so take the time to find out what you really believe, not just what you say you do. For example, what do you think is our responsiblity toward those in this nation and in our world who are poor and powerless? Does your faith tradition/scripture have anything to say about that?
If so, what actions should you and we be taking to do about it?
For my own self I have increasingly become convinced that helping the "least of these" is a moral obligation, a societal responsibility and it greatly affects my outlook on social and political policy. But that's just me. You have to determine for yourself what your viewpoint is, because it is your belief.