Opinion

Alan Dershowitz: The Left’s Last Free-Speech Warrior

While I primarily address law enforcement issues, often they intersect with other tangential topics, allowing me to expand my scope. One of these issues is the leftist radicals shutting down free speech. I allow myself this latitude because infringing on free speech is a part of my own police story.

For those of you who don’t know, the intolerant left, running Seattle government for many years now, officially investigated me for writing a police union newspaper article about the city’s social justice indoctrination of the police department. So, I wince whenever I learn about other leftist efforts to abridge either the spirit, intent or letter of the First Amendment.

I’ve always admired legendary Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, and not just because, like me, he’s a Boston Red Sox fan. After all, I’ve more often than not disagreed with him politically. In fact, his continued support for Hillary Clinton boggles my logical mind. He is obviously consistent when it comes to civil liberties, but I wonder how supporting someone who has such a crap-bag full of—I’ll be kind—suspicious activities accumulated over the past several decades is being consistent to the concept of equal justice?

To say the least, the good professor seems to accept her dubious behavior based upon the premise it’s all political. I’m not sure how such a brilliant legal mind comes to a conclusion, despite her involvement in a copious amount of allegedly illicit activities, that allowed him to vote to put her into the most powerful office on earth.

On the other hand, maintaining his support for Clinton could be an attempt to validate, as objective, his views about the DOJ and FBI—and the Mueller investigation allegedly violating President Trump’s and others’ civil rights. Even if this is the case, I still admire Dershowitz’s committed position on civil rights he says apply to everyone, not just people on “your side.”

Dershowitz in August 2016: “Happy to help Clinton with debate prep.” (Credit: Facebook/Debates International)

Having so prefaced, specifically about civil rights, professor Dershowitz has a lot to teach Democrats who’ve seemingly donned an increasingly Stalinist cloak when it comes to the First, Second, Fourth, Sixth, and perhaps other Amendments. Dershowitz has been steady and courageous when speaking about how poorly Mueller’s special counsel has been treating the President’s people and Donald Trump himself, a president Dershowitz says he does not support politically but whose rights he nevertheless defends.

It’s also interesting that Dershowitz’s story, about how he is now treated by his former liberal, Democrat friends, further illustrates the Dems’ mad dash to the radical left, especially since Trump’s election. Radical? Yes.

Imagine leaving such an illustrious fellow traveler by the wayside simply because he disagrees with you on certain political issues. It doesn’t matter if people like the professor agree with the radical left 99.9 percent of the time; if you don’t ante up and toss in that last .1 percent, you’re out!

Consider what Jaclyn Reiss of The Boston Globe writes about the professor’s decline in Martha’s Vineyard social circles: “In an op-ed piece for The Hill published last week, Dershowitz said his friends on Martha’s Vineyard are ‘shunning me and trying to ban me from their social life’” because he dared to defend Trump’s civil liberties.

(Credit: Facebook/Fox News)

This is what we’ve come to in America: leftist activists forcing Trump administration officials out of spaces they have a right to be—even when accompanied by their families. Far-left self-anointed enforcers harass Republicans at their homes. And even a U.S. representative said, “I have no sympathy for these people that are in this [Trump] administration… I want to tell you, these members of his cabinet who remain and try to defend him, they won’t be able to go to a restaurant, they won’t be able to stop at a gas station, they’re not going to be able to shop at a department store… They’re absolutely going to harass them until they decide that they’re going to tell the president, ‘No, I can’t hang with you.’” Then she invokes doing it for “the children” (of illegal aliens). While there are many words you could use to describe Rep. Maxine Waters’ call to harass, the one that strikes me is mean.

Just imagine how ballistic the Dems would have gotten if someone had harassed Eric Holder or another of President Obama’s administration out of a restaurant. There’s no way the left would have stood for it. And they’d have been right. Are there any lines Democrats won’t cross in America these days? No…really…I’m asking sincerely. Are there? Or is civility a dead and buried political casualty to them?

Apparently, it’s not just Republicans who are suffering the political, cultural, and social wrath of the intolerant left. In the social fascism now infusing Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts to where Dershowitz had moved from Nantucket after he’d retired in 2014, the celebrated law professor is no longer welcome at former-friends’ dinner parties. In fact, some won’t even discuss issues with him at a local coffee hangout.

One “friend” whom Dershowitz describes as an “academic at a distinguished university [of which there are several in the Boston area], has told people that he would not attend any dinner party to which I was invited.” Even worse, during a recent interview with Tucker Carlson on his Fox News Channel show, Dershowitz said a woman at a social function told people if the professor had been there, she’d have stabbed him in the heart.” So, not only is Dershowitz shunned, but if you choose to continue your friendship with him, you become collateral damage. This totalitarian behavior disgusts me.

These attitudes are coming from presumably highly educated “elite” people. People whom you’d assume should know when lines of civility are being crossed. But when the top people of a political party are equating their political opponents with Nazis, that can only lead to incivility and, eventually, violence.

When I hear a person I admire espousing a philosophy or view of an issue I disagree with, rather than instantly dismissing that person’s view, I’m more likely to consider the issue a bit more deeply. I wonder what such a smart person is seeing that I’m not. It doesn’t mean I’m going to change my position, but I may be able to understand that person’s perspective and why he or she arrived at it better.

Dershowitz tries to stay optimistic about it. He’s commented on the “Trump diet” he’s been on, since so many of his friends no longer invite him to dinner. Further, he said he now knows “who my real friends are and who my fairweather friends were.” How sad is that?

Democrat friends, colleagues, and associates have shunned Dershowitz for his position on the government violating Donald Trump’s civil rights. Dershowitz doesn’t believe a special counsel should have been appointed because he’s said there is no evidence that the president obstructed justice. How dare one of the nation’s greatest legal minds speak against the left’s chosen narrative?

As I alluded to above, Dershowitz remains a solid liberal Democrat and ardent Hillary Clinton supporter who says he voted for her for president in 2016. But, he laments “that is not good enough for some of my old friends on Martha’s Vineyard.” He says other friends have “demanded ‘trigger warnings’ so that they can be assured of having ‘safe spaces’ in which they will not encounter me or my ideas.” So, I see snowflakes accumulate in Martha’s Vineyard even during the summer.

Today, rather than having two political sides working to get to the same place only by different means, we have two sides who want vastly different political, social, and cultural ends. The right, conservatives, libertarians, and Republicans, generally, want to stay the path our founders took and to continue improving our republic perpetually endeavoring to create a “more perfect union.”

(Credit: Facebook/Walter Hayes)

The other side, liberals, leftists, socialists, and Democrats, wants nothing to do with traditional America as founded. Limited government and individual liberty seems anathema to them, now. More remarkably, they want nothing to do with traditional America, even with its many improvements, some of which were attained at great cost of blood and treasure, those necessary compromises made at the time the framers created the U.S. Constitution.

Alan Dershowitz shows us that Democrats can still want a great, traditional United States of America, as Republicans do, but, legitimately, want to get there in a different political way. The professor provides an example of what used to be the “loyal opposition.” But how many of his influential ilk are there left who continue to revere the Constitution?

Are the days of the loyal opposition numbered, or worse, over? The ugly, and apparently prolific examples provided by the FBI’s leadership under the Obama administration shows us that many in the opposition are not loyal to the country but to their political ideals or party. Remember, loyal—in loyal opposition—does not mean loyal to the president; it means loyal to the Constitution. If you want to know what that looks like, watch professor Dershowitz as he so courageously demonstrates it for all of us.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at www.stevepomper.com.

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