I am saddened by the prominence PAW awarded the political rebuke of a distinguished Princeton alumnus and United States Senator, when the motivation is clearly visceral and hardly intellectual. In President Eisgruber’s June 2017 essay, “Free Speech at Princeton,” he purposefully committed to “all members of the University community, the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn.”
Now comes a cross-section of the Classes of ’86 and ’92 to trash this orthogonal sentiment, calling for Ted Cruz ’92 to resign his Senate seat and fellow classmates to condemn his actions. A current junior at Princeton went further, recommending “Princeton … consider rescinding his degree.”
What was his heinous crime? Expressing his opinion.
What unleashed such rank intolerance? Challenging political orthodoxy.
Sen. Cruz, also a former Solicitor General from Texas, had planned to present an argument on Jan. 10 for the applicability of Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution to the tabulation of Electoral College votes to a joint session of Congress. But these activists see no purpose to Cruz’s existence: He must be silenced and, if possible, made to simply go away.
What part of Eisgruber’s call for civility do we need to study, to be wary of those that ennoble themselves as proponents of “the spirit and aspirations of Princetonians and Princeton University to make positive contributions to society” but are the non-thinking obstacles to our free speech? Have these zealots no self-awareness about the world they seek to create?