Second, the older I get the more I believe that the real divide in this country (I won't speak for the whole world, although I have my suspicions) is not between liberals and conservatives, the old and young, black and white, or any of the most common tropes. The divide in modern America is between people who think facts and knowledge are based on evidence and those who think that whatever one believes is true. The media is liberal because I think it is. Climate change and evolution are myths because I don't believe them. Tax cuts grow the economy because I think they do. This is what attacks on the NSF, and academia more broadly, are about. It's an easy target because a substantial portion of this country doesn't believe that science is a thing. To them, the scientific method begins with a conclusion and research is the process of manufacturing some kind of evidence to support it. The ice caps aren't melting because I say they aren't, and some oil companies wrote a paper proving it. What do we need the NSF or fancy-pants colleges for?
This fits pretty much hand in glove with the quote I posted last Thursday. You can't engage in rational discourse with someone to whom rational thought processes are unknown, or even worse, scorned impediments to scoring points.
Why be rational when you can win by bullying or shouting your opponent down?
And, of course, it is conservatives who operate in this way because they never have been swayed by rationality. Remember the pillars of conservative mental processes are ignorance, prejudice, magical thinking and denialism.
When first thinking about this, I had "false choice" in place of "denialism" in this quartet, but came to realize that all sort of falsity was used to support conservatism, so I generalized it as denial of reality.
Which is why Steven Colbert reported that reality has a well-known liberal bias.