Purported revocation of Sen. Ted Cruz’s diploma (Princetonians, February issue) would be unfair and unjust. Someone earned and paid for Cruz’s education, and no university can be free to actually revoke a diploma based on later conduct even if reprehensible. Cruz did the work and earned his diploma. If someone wants to peacefully express one’s displeasure with a public servant, that is within the First Amendment. Do students truly want their diplomas — or their admission to Princeton — to hinge on whether they have followed whatever intellectual party line that may be in fashion at the current moment?
Why should Princeton or any other university have a party line at all? From robust debate comes truth. Justice Brandeis believed this, and Proverbs 27:17 reminds us that “iron sharpens iron; so one person sharpens another.” Without free and open debate there will be bloody repression and tragedy. Robespierre, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, and Fidel Castro all illustrate this, and there are many others. Why not invite Ted Cruz to a fair and open debate with a distinguished Princeton opponent in the long tradition of Princeton discussion and debate?