Cinnamon Stillwell relates how 9/11 turned her from a liberal to a conservative, or at least a Republican. Back in the old days, she says
"I wrote off all Republicans as ignorant, intolerant yahoos. It
didn't matter that I knew none personally; it was simply de rigueur to look down
on such people. The fact that I was being a bigot never occurred to me, because
I was certain that I inhabited the moral high ground."
I'm embarassed to say I have some familiarity with that scenario.