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Alan Dershowitz: Fellow liberals 'shunning me' because I've stood up for Trump's civil liberties

Famed attorney Alan Dershowitz said he's being "shunned" by his fellow liberal friends after standing up for President Donald Trump's civil liberties. "Either you are for Trump or against him, and that is all some people need to know to make judgments about you," he said. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

Famed attorney Alan Dershowitz has a bone to pick with his fellow liberal friends.

In an op-ed he penned for The Hill last week, Dershowitz said some of his "old friends on Martha’s Vineyard" are "shunning me and trying to ban me from their social life."

Why?

Well, Dershowitz said it stems from his defense of President Donald Trump's civil liberties — despite his staunch disagreement with Trump's politics.

"I have strongly and publicly opposed his immigration policies, ranging from the travel ban that was upheld by the Supreme Court to the zero-tolerance policy that led to the separation of parents and children at the border," Dershowitz wrote of Trump. "I oppose other Republican policies as well. I voted for, and contributed handsomely, to Hillary Clinton."

But while the Harvard Law professor emeritus is a "liberal Democrat in politics," he's a "neutral civil libertarian when it comes to the Constitution" — and "that is not good enough" for some his compadres on the ritzy island off the Massachusetts coast.

What are Dershowitz's friends saying?

One of his friends — "an academic at a distinguished university," Dershowitz wrote — has "told people that he would not attend any dinner or party to which I was invited."

What's more, this particular friend and others of his ilk have mandated “trigger warnings” in case of Dershowitz's impending presence so they can ensure “safe spaces” for themselves, free from any of his "ideas."

"Others have said they will discontinue contributions to organizations that sponsor my talks," Dershowitz added.

More from his op-ed:

This is all familiar to me, since I lived through McCarthyism in the 1950s, when lawyers who represented alleged communists on civil libertarian grounds were shunned. Some of these lawyers and victims of McCarthyism lived on Martha’s Vineyard. I never thought I would see McCarthyism come to Martha’s Vineyard, but I have. I wonder if the professor who refuses to listen to anything I have to say also treats his students similarly. Would he listen to a student who actively supported Trump? What about one who simply supported his civil liberties?

These childish efforts to shun me because I refused to change my position on civil liberties that I have kept for half a century discourages vibrant debate and may dissuade other civil libertarians from applying their neutral principles to a president of whom they disapprove. But one good thing is that being shunned by some “old friends” on Martha’s Vineyard has taught me who my real friends are and who my fairweather friends were. From a personal point of view, I could not care less about being shunned by people whose views regarding dialogue I do not respect.

'Our growing intolerance toward opposing views'

Dershowitz also pointed out the broader issue of political divisions in America, which he wrote have "gotten so bad that many on both sides refuse to speak or listen to those on the other side. Either you are for Trump or against him, and that is all some people need to know to make judgments about you."

He also lamented "our growing intolerance toward opposing views. President Trump certainly bears some of the responsibility for this divisiveness, but Maxine Waters and those who advocate harassing political opponents share much of the responsibility as well. They are both the symptom and the cause of the divisiveness in this country."

Dershowitz concluded: "I will not change my views as a result of these attempts to ostracize me, but there are some who may remain silent for fear of being shunned. Silence is not my style. Cowardice is not my philosophy. I intend to speak up when I disagree with Republicans, and I intend to speak up when I disagree with Democrats. Right now I am speaking up in disagreement with Maxine Waters. She — like those who shun me on Martha’s Vineyard — is part of the problem rather than the solution."

Here's Dershowitz discussing similar reactions by his liberal friends in December. The relevant portion begins after the 2:20 mark:



(H/T: MarketWatch)

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