There is no way for this to play out except for liberals to gloat, conservatives to be defensive and libertarians to go, "tsk, tsk, tsk."
The differences between liberals and conservatives may run deeper than how they feel about welfare reform or the progress of the Iraq war: Researchers reported Sunday that their brains may actually work differently.
In a study likely to raise the hackles of some conservatives, psychologist David Amodio and others found that a specific region of the brain's cortex is more sensitive in people who consider themselves liberals than in self-declared conservatives.
The brain region helps people shift gears when their usual response would be inappropriate, supporting the notion that liberals are more flexible in their thinking.
[. . .]
The work grew out of previous research suggesting that political orientation is linked to certain personality traits or styles of thinking. A review of that research published in 2003 found that conservatives tend to be more rigid and closed-minded, less tolerant of ambiguity, and less open to new experiences.
People aren't aware of their own blind spots, so it doesn't take a genius to figure out that the people who did all these studies, were they questioned about their beliefs, would be easy to classify as liberals. Another way to frame the "conservatives are rigid, liberals are more open to possibilities" story line is to say that conservatives think about the issues until they figure out what the truth is, then stick with it. Liberals go with their feelings instead of thinking about things. Slaves to their emotions, they flounder around, feeling more comfortable "being open" than having to make tough intellectual choices and actually having to stand for something.
Of course, the only right approach is to consider everything an open question that must be answered with the best evidence available, thoughtfully considered.
Tsk, tsk, tsk.