Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Dershowitz Shunned

Perhaps it’s just that the truth hurts. Perhaps, liberal intellectuals do not like being called out for their illiberal radicalism. Many of them are up in arms about an op-ed that Alan Dershowitz wrote in The Hill… noted on this blog yesterday.

By now, the New York Times has published two high profile stories (here and here) mildly mocking the retired law professor. The Washington Post has published one, where the mockery is less subtle.

Effectively, Dershowitz seems to have provoked a gale force level of ridicule. This is not surprising. In truth, ridicule serves to shun people, to shame them, to disrespect them, to diminish them. It’s the same as not inviting someone to a dinner party with longtime friends, only it's more public.

One notes that those who find Dershowitz to be contemptible for defending civil liberties are not being quoted by name. Could it be that they are somewhat ashamed of their own behavior and do not want to be part of a cabal that has turned on a friend and ally… for having an unacceptable political opinion? What kind of friends are they if they allow fanaticism to trump friendship?

Shunning people, ostracizing them, expelling them from society is extremely nasty and hostile. It will have little effect on a Dershowitz. But, as noted yesterday, it lets younger people know that there are limits they should never cross.

The goal is to impose ideological conformity, to police thought and speech… not necessarily with the instruments of state power—yet, see the case of Dinesh d'Souza—but with social power, the power to expel. If you do not toe the party line, you will find yourself excluded. It's Stalinism light.

It ought to be obvious. You cannot have a marketplace of ideas when its agents are screened for politically correct opinions. If you do not respect your debate adversary, and are unwilling to grant his views any credence, you do not have free trade in ideas. You have an indoctrination mill.

Obviously, the Trump is Hitler crowd thinks that it is refighting World War II… as part of the French Resistance. Dershowitz has simply noted that even the president of the United States has civil liberties. He ought to have noted that fighting the last war does not make for a profile in courage. It makes you a coward.

Beyond all that, the radical left on Martha’s Vineyard seems especially torqued to be accused of McCarthyism. Some insults they cannot abide. They can easily abide the thought of ignoring an old friend who stands up for civil liberties and who dares remind them that they are directing their venom against a duly elected president of the United States. In the name of democracy!

If you would like a taste of how the media has turned on Dershowitz you need but read a piece by a young Washington Post opinion writer, Molly Roberts. You can feel the contempt oozing from every word:

When a wealthy lawyer can no longer stride down the streets of Martha’s Vineyard without getting a glare or two, we’ve truly reached the end times. That’s essentially the thesis of Alan Dershowitz’s op-ed in the Hill, in which he laments that divisions in our nation have led his old friends to shun him as he vacations.

She continues:

It’s easy to laugh at the image of Dershowitz, whom many see as a Trumpist lackey after his repeated televised defenses of the president against investigation and impeachment, wandering lonely through an island whose elite no longer welcome him at their dinner parties. The entire episode reeks of privilege: Why should anyone feel entitled to attend glitzy gatherings in an expensive and exclusive locale?

Of course, given the limitations of Roberts’ mind, we see that she has gotten the lesson. If she ever wants to be accepted among the liberal intelligentsia, she must adhere to the party line. She is not smart enough to understand that being shunned by friends has nothing to do with entitlement or with privilege. She does not know what she is talking about, but she happily trots out leftist talking points.

She continues to demean and degrade a man who has achieved a great deal in a long and distinguished career. After all, she is two years out of college, and has accomplished nearly nothing, so naturally she has a very high opinion of herself.

Roberts accuses Dershowitz of being a whiner and evokes the image of immigrant children separated from their parents. Naturally, their plight concerned no one when the Obama administration was responsible for the forced separations. And, God help us, the horror of horrors is about to descend on her innocent soul: Donald Trump’s next Supreme Court appointment might just deprive her of the right to an abortion. To be fair, even if Roe is overturned, the result will be that people can vote on the issue. But, don't call it democracy.

When you are in the business of slinging mud, you just keep slinging and hope that something sticks. As of now, the leftist whining about migrants has fallen on deaf ears. After all, the people who are being separated chose to enter the country illegally. The majority of the American people blames the parents, not the government, and not Kirstjen Nielson.

Her is Roberts at her pathetic worst:

It is hard to feel sorry for a man cloistered enough to think a piece whining about such a plight would receive a warm reception — especially when thousands of immigrant children apprehended at the border still haven’t been reunited with their families, when the president’s forthcoming appointee to the Supreme Court could pitch in to roll back abortion rights within 18 months, and when . . . well, the list goes on.

The neophyte journalist drones on and on.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

You will note that in none of these instances, and certainly not the young writer privileged to write for WaPo, is anyone making a logical argument refuting Dershowitz's opinions. Liberalism is not spread by logic, but by social pressure. We have all seen this in play since high school.

Side note: I thought of you at several junctures while writing my post on Unanimity. If you haven't caught it yet, I think you will like it.

sestamibi said...

On the other hand, Dershowitz is 79 and probably really doesn't care what the neighbors think. God bless him.

Sam L. said...

It is, no doubt, now required for everyone who sees Mr. Dershowitz to point, hold their nose, and shout "Unclean, UNCLEAN!!!!1111!!!!"

Ares Olympus said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ares Olympus said...

Someone might judge I'm being shunned (deleted) for giving feedback against someone who feels shunned. You'd think people who are shunned are looking for attention, but I guess only for the sympathetic kind. Myself, I just have to keep plodding on and take my own advice.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

@ Ares Olympus - not sure I understand here. "You'd think people who are shunned are looking for attention..." are you saying that pointing out shunning is merely attention-seeking? Would you say the same about people reporting a crime, or writing a bad restaurant review?

Ares Olympus said...

AVI, nothing "merely", but if you tell someone your problems, people will offer sympathy or advice. I suppose people who offer bad restaurant public reviews may be seeking attention. If you offer a private criticism, you want sympathy or feedback. If you offer a public one, you want to try to punish the behavior through changing the behavior of others, which is a good mirror of what Dershowitz's shunners are doing. Tit for tat, right? Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. It's human behavior, but its still a choice how to play the game.