Brad Delong, an economist at Berkeley, has an interesting post on the value of neoclassical (read orthodox) economics here . In one sentence he believes that neoclassical economics is of value to everyone from the center on left since it tempers the lefts radicalism while it is poison to anyone on the right since it radicalizes their views.
Bryan Caplan suggests that the data says otherwise. I would have to agree. Personally, I believe that economics makes you think harder about your political leanings and de-radicalizes your beliefs. For instance, people on the right who have studied economics are more likely to support more immigration than those who do not (with exceptions of course). Meanwhile, leftists who study economics are less likely to support nationalization of key industries and are less likely to see impending doom to driving cars. This does not suggest that either side abandons their beliefs, but their views are more reasoned and easier to accept to the opposing side.