Princeton DEBATE club cancels Ted Cruz

The Princeton University American Whig-Cliosophic Society voted to rescind the James Madison award from Sen. Ted Cruz in a 37-32 vote.

Whig-Clio released a statement in January urging members not to “embarrass the society by supporting this politically-motivated effort.”

Following a petition created by a Princeton University student, the American Whig-Cliosophic Society (Whig-Clio) voted to rescind the James Madison Award for Distinguished Public Service from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

Brent Kibbey, a senior at Princeton, announced in a March 2 opinion piece for the school’s newspaper that his petition had received enough signatures for the Whig-Clio to hold an assembly. The official meeting was held on March 4, and Whig-Clio voted in accordance with the petition to take away the honorary award from Cruz.

Kibbey previously participated in a campaigning trip to Florida with the Princeton College Democrats and has written multiple articles for The Daily Princetonian.

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According to the Daily Princetonian, this is the first time that Whig-Clio has voted to rescind a James Madison Award (JMA), which is given to “an individual who has taken up the arduous but righteous cause of dedicating their life to the betterment of society.”

The 90-minute assembly dedicated half of the time to supporting or opposing speeches and the other half to general floor speeches. It ended with 37 members voting to rescind the award, 32 voting in opposition, and 5 members abstaining, according to the Princeton Tory. This result has been passed on to the Whig-Clio Board of Trustees for final deliberation.

Cruz was the Cliosophic Party Chair during his time at Princeton and recently spoke to students at the university during a Zoom seminar on free speech that was co-sponsored by Whig-Clio.

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Matthew Wilson, the current Cliosophic Party Chair and Campus Reform correspondent, told Campus Reform that “The Whig-Clio Assembly’s decision to recommend revoking Senator Ted Cruz’s James Madison Award for Distinguished Public Service was embarrassing, and Whig-Clio members who supported the revocation did real damage to the integrity of the Society.”

“Whig-Clio cannot claim to be a non-partisan organization if we hold Republican politicians to different standards than we do Democrats.” Wilson said. “I have made clear my unequivocal condemnation of Cruz’s objections to the certification of Electoral College votes from Arizona and Pennsylvania on January 6th, but his objections were not unprecedented, and the results of this Assembly amount to nothing more than a conceited attempt by left-wing students to inflate their own egos and cancel Princeton’s most prominent conservative alumnus.”

On January 21, the Daily Princetonian Editorial Board published an editorial calling on the university to denounce Cruz for objecting to the certification of electoral votes. Earlier that day, a Princeton senior published a lengthy opinion piece calling on the society to “strip” the Senator of his JMA.

On January 25, the Cliosophic Party issued a statement responding to these calls from students and faculty. 

“Though his recent objections to the certification of certain Electoral College votes were unquestionably disappointing, it does not implicate him in an ‘insurrection,’ and nothing has since changed regarding his stately record of public service.” The society continued, “We strongly encourage all Whig-Clio members to refrain from embarrassing the Society by supporting this politically-motivated effort to cancel Sen. Cruz and revoke his JMA.”

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Recently, Whig-Clio was accused of “suppressing conservative voices on campus” by the Cliosophic Party Chair at the time.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @abbyystreetman