Tuesday, July 3, 2018

McCarthyism Comes to Martha's Vineyard

So, how is your summer going? If you belong to the class of philosopher kings you summer on an island off the coast of mainland Massachusetts. That would be: Martha’s Vineyard. You know it because the Obamas used to summer there. Evidently, it’s a congenial place for the left thinking intelligentsia.

Among those who summer on the Vineyard is emeritus Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz. As you know, Dershowitz has become more prominent of late for offering opinions about constitutional law that are not virulently anti-Trump.

On Martha’s Vineyard, we cannot have that. He might as well have stood up for Hitler or the Antichrist. It’s not just Maxine Waters and overheated television talk show hosts. The good liberals who summer on the Vineyard have become radicalized. Being radicalized means that they no longer allow civil debate. Principled disagreements are no longer permissible. Either you toe the party line or you are out… as in shunned, ostracized, rejected.

It doesn’t matter if you have spent a lifetime supporting civil liberties. It doesn’t matter if you are a reliable donor to the Democratic Party and its candidates. It doesn't matter than you voted for Hillary and do not support most of the Trump agenda. If your opinions might possibly eventually help Trump, you are persona non grata at Martha's Vineyard dinner parties. Yikes.

Dershowitz has been suffering this ostracism on the Vineyard this summer. He calls it a McCarthyite practice, performed by people who might have been victimized by the late senator from Wisconsin.

Dershowitz took to The Hill to denounce his sometime friends for their extremist fanaticism. No, he does not use the word, but frankly, what else can you call Maxine Waters and everyone else who is down with rudeness:

But these rude extremists are a symptom of the times. The divisions 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.

How do these radicals treat their former colleague and friend Dershowitz:

But that is not good enough for some of my old friends on Martha’s Vineyard. For them, it is enough that what I have said about the Constitution might help Trump. So they are shunning me and trying to ban me from their social life on Martha’s Vineyard. One of them, an academic at a distinguished university, has told people that he would not attend any dinner or party to which I was invited. He and others have demanded “trigger warnings” so that they can be assured of having “safe spaces” in which they will not encounter me or my ideas. Others have said they will discontinue contributions to organizations that sponsor my talks

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?

Think about it: they need trigger warnings if Dershowitz is going to show up for a social function. If you thought that student snowflakes were bad, now we know where they learned it. 

Dershowitz is right to call a former colleague out on the question of how open he is to students who disagree with him. We do know that Dershowitz himself once declared that the best student he had in his classes at Harvard Law School was named: Ted Cruz. It had nothing to do with whether they agreed or disagreed. The professor rejoiced to have such a bright young man offer up cogent and intelligent arguments for positions that he most often disagreed with. Thus, he did not become open minded yesterday.

Of course, there is little they can do to Dershowitz. And yet, the message is not for him. It’s for anyone else who would dare take a principled stand in favor of civil liberties… for the president of the United States:

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. 

The liberal left, priding itself on its serene tolerance for dissent, has gone off the rails. It has frankly lost its mind. It’s what happens when you are fighting the last war.


whitney said...

These are the adults. Sigh....

Tom Grey said...

Ya, the Dem elites are going crazy.

But let's be honest - Reps ARE willing to listen to the Dems and their arguments.

And laugh, point out logical fallicies & inconsistencies, and rightfully claim that the Dems are being childish.

Dems don't want to even bother debating or arguing. They are PC-bullies, and will try to bully anyone who disagrees.

Anonymous said...

They're children. And all of them went to college...

In case you were wondering if being a Leftist is a status symbol, this is your confirmation.

Ares Olympus said...
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Sam L. said...

Oh, COME NOW, Stuart! Supporting the Antichrist would be BIG at the Vineyard.
The Liberal Left is now highly illiberal.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit I enjoy actions like this concerning Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz. There are few people who have been more consistent than Dershowitz on civil liberties. I may at times disagree with him, but I have great respect for his opinion.
The more the Left alienates smart intelligent people the more they build the negative reaction this engenders. It would seem that they are creating more adherents to #Walkaway.
All I can say to the Left is just keep on doing what you are doing for you are ensuring that there will never be a "blue wave" and maybe creating a "red wave."

Unknown said...

Was that LAST war or LOST war??

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