A politician will always tip off his true belief by stating the opposite at the beginning of the sentence. For maximum comprehension, do not start listening until the first clause is concluded. Begin instead at the word but which begins the second, or active, clause. This is the way to tell a liberal from a conservative — before they tell you. Thus: I have always believed in a strong national defense, second to none, but … (a liberal, about to propose a $20 billion defense cut).