When did it become bad to be Alan Dershowitz?

When did it become bad to be Alan Dershowitz?
© Fox News

Democrats have an interesting relationship with loyalty.

On March 21, 1947, President Harry Truman signed was was called an executive “Loyalty Order” instituting a program to check the loyalty of federal employees. Concerned about communists (imagine Democrats being concerned about communists), Truman required all employees to have their behavior monitored and if reasonable doubt existed as to their loyalty, they would be dismissed.

Now in 2018 we learn that for liberals, loyalty, like morality, is a very relative thing.


Now here comes Alan Dershowitz, the former Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard, the champion of the ACLU and supporter of Democratic candidates. Yes, that Alan Dershowitz! He is being brought before the new virtual loyalty review board run by team left. His heretical crime? Relentless calls for fairness and impartiality in the mainstream media court case of “Liberals v. Trump.”

Since he started his public criticism of the Mueller probe back in 2017, Dershowitz has by his own admission been criticized by family members, had his integrity questioned by peers, been pilloried on social media, and even been shunned by the just-plain-folks of Martha’s Vineyard. Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin famously summed up liberal disbelief over Dershowitz back in March when, in exasperation on Anderson Cooper 360, he said to Dershowitz:

“I don't know what's going on with you … How has this come about that in every situation over the past year you have been carrying water for Donald Trump? … This is not who you used to be. And you are doing this over and over again in situations that are just obviously ripe with conflict of interest. And it's just, like, what's happened to you?”

A moment to commend Toobin on his valley-girl use of language.

Dershowitz was not a Trump supporter in 2016 (he backed Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThree legal scholars say Trump should be impeached; one thinks otherwise Report: Barr attorney can't provide evidence Trump was set up by DOJ Jayapal pushes back on Gaetz's questioning of impeachment witness donations to Democrats MORE) and he still isn’t a Trump supporter. What Dershowitz does support is the consistent application of law as-written; not as-desired. In looking at the Mueller investigation he has concluded at almost every step along the way, including recent discussions regarding possible payments to alleged tryst partners, that Mueller’s version of law is Dickens’ ass.

He is taking a beating for it from people who are supposed to be his friends (personally tragic) and people who are supposed to be well-educated and highly intelligent (societally tragic).

Team Left members tend to be highly ideological. It isn’t to say Team Right members aren’t, but there is a rabidness to the way in which what we call liberals enforce heterodoxy among their members. Right now, virtually every platoon on Team left is aligned against President TrumpDonald John TrumpStates slashed 4,400 environmental agency jobs in past decade: study Biden hammers Trump over video of world leaders mocking him Iran building hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in Iraq: report MORE. Anyone who offers a rational, informed opinion based on fact, contrary to the prevailing winds of emotions, must be shouted down.

Ideology and philosophy are terms often used interchangeably by people in the media. They shouldn’t be. Ideology, a cousin of dogma which is something set forth as incontrovertible truth by someone in authority, is a strict set of beliefs that people hold to on an issue and from which they may not, sometimes cannot, waiver. Ideology is present when the pro-choice person instantly dislikes and insults someone who is pro-life, regardless of their reasons and regardless of what else they may have in common.

Philosophy, on the other hand, gives the bearer a set of intellectual tools to apply in a manner that is consistent with their core values. Someone who approaches the world from a libertarian (small ‘L’) perspective will view a new government law not as being good or bad because it appeals to their personal preferences, they will judge it based upon the principle that just laws are ones minimal in nature and must relate to basic protections of life, liberty, and property.

Simply stated, ideology requires adherence and philosophy requires application.

In the Liberals v. Trump matter, Dershowitz is applying philosophy consistent with the need for an incorruptible process in the administration of law. He is paying the price for that approach because he is surrounded by ideologues.

In watching this vilification of Dershowitz, you see the price to be paid for maintaining intellectual integrity against prevailing winds. You also learn that friends aren’t friends (I should share that with Rudy Giuliani); at least not always. Liberals have put their arm around Dershowitz and hugged him in the past simply because he was perhaps saying something with which they agreed.

Dershowitz willingness to stand up to friendly liberal fire also illustrates the important role played by criminal defense attorneys. While conservatives are rightly skeptical about the fairness, efficiency, and effectiveness of government, they seem to suspend those concerns when it comes to the criminal justice system. It’s as if to say that going after the bad guys is the only thing government can do right

The Mueller probe has proven that isn’t true.

Criminal defense lawyers, very unpopular for their taking of the “criminal’s side,” are, in fact, the Maginot Line standing between the accused and the state-tendency to punish “dissidents.” Yes, I used the word dissident. President Trump would certainly have passed Harry Truman’s loyalty test, but in today’s America he is anathema to the ruling class and big government culture. He must be punished.

To prevent a miscarriage of justice, Professor Dershowitz is willing to be called a fool by those who begged for A’s in his law courses because of the respect they had for him. He is willing to be shunned in coffee shops by people who used to push through line to talk to him. He is willing to have his sanity questioned by pundits who used to quote him as a definitive reference source.

This isn’t the first time the professor has taken a stand that has pitted him against his teammates. He has been harshly criticized before, and no doubt will be again. I know he won’t be dissuaded.

Neither will I.

Charlie Kirk is founder and president of Turning Point USA, a nonprofit that promotes free-market values and limited government.