Liberal scholars—left-of-center liberals, classical liberals, and small-government conservatives— who embrace openness, curiosity, ingenuity, and intellectual humility are not combatants in a culture war. The misplaced culture war metaphor feeds a vicious cycle in which illiberalism at one extreme justifies illiberal tactics on the other. This essay argues that college faculty must encourage, model, and stage deliberative conversations, knowing that when authoritarianism takes the reins it stifles the mind and smothers emergent ideas.

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