Getting Authority Right: The Common Good and “Popular Sovereignty”

Alicea repeats often and correctly the age-old insight that responsibility to care for the common good belongs to each member of the political community. But an equal sharing of authority does not follow from that shared responsibility, and no account of the Constitution’s moral authority will succeed if it presumes otherwise. 
We Princeton students should recognize that each of us has a critical role to play in making sure our common good—the truth-seeking ideal—is cherished and protected by our shared culture. No matter how impressively our institution formally stands behind free speech, and no matter how spot-on our president is in his defense of it, the truth-seeking endeavor will be decimated if Princeton’s students—you and I—fail to foster an atmosphere in which the vigorous exchange of ideas is considered sacred.