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.

Emily Chamlee-Wright is president and CEO of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University.
Bradley Jackson formerly senior program officer at the Institute for Humane Studies, is vice president of policy at the American Council of Trustees and Alumni.
EducationHigher Education
Other Independent Review articles by Emily Chamlee-Wright
Fall 2007 The Long Road Back: Signal Noise in the Post-Katrina Context