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The Coach’s Team (TCT) offers the best in conservative essays along with articles taken from various internet sites. The victory of Donald Trump has provided a God-sent opportunity to reverse the years of willful damage done our nation by Barack Hussein Obama.
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Alan Dershowitz: The final nail in the ACLU’s coffin
article appeared on FOX News site on June 14th
By Alan Dershowitz
The Director of the
American Civil Liberties Union has now acknowledged what should have been
obvious to everybody over the past several years: that the ACLU. is no longer a
neutral defender of everyone’s civil liberties; it has morphed into a
hyper-partisan, hard-left political advocacy group. The final nail in its
coffin was the announcement that for the first time in its history the ACLU
would become involved in partisan electoral politics, supporting candidates,
referenda and other agenda-driven political goals.
The headline in the
June 8 2018 edition of the New Yorker tells it all: “The ACLU is getting
involved in elections – and reinventing itself for the Trump Era.” The article
In this midterm year,
however, as progressive groups have mushroomed and grown more active, and as
liberal billionaires such as Howard Schultz and Tom Steyer have begun to
imagine themselves as political heroes and eye Presidential runs, the ACLU,
itself newly flush, has begun to move in step with the times. For the first
time in its history, the ACLU is taking an active role in elections. The group
has plans to spend more than twenty-five million dollars on races and ballot
initiatives by Election Day, in November.
establishment nearly 100 years ago, the ACLU has been, in the words of The New
Yorker, “Fastidiously nonpartisan, so prudish about any alliance with any
political power that its leadership, in the 1980’s and 90’s, declined even to
give awards to likeminded legislators for fear that it might give the wrong
impression.” I know, because I served on its National Board in the early days
of my own career. In those days, the Board consisted of individuals who were
deeply committed to core civil liberties, especially freedom of speech,
opposition to prosecutorial overreach and political equality. Its Board
members included Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, right
wingers and left wingers – all of whom supported neutral civil liberties. The
key test in those days was what I have come to call “The shoe on the other foot
test”: would you vote the same way if the shoe were on the other foot,
that is if the party labels were switched?
Today the ACLU wears
only one shoe and it is on its left foot. Its color is blue. And the only
dispute is whether it supports the progressive wing of the Democratic party or
its more centrist wing. There is little doubt that most Board members today
support the progressive wing, though some think that even that wing is not
sufficiently left. There is no longer any room in the ACLU for true
conservatives who are deeply committed to neutral civil liberties. The litmus
test is support for hard-left policies.
To be sure, the ACLU
will still occasionally take a high profile case involving a Nazi or Klan
member who has been denied freedom of speech, though there are now some on the
board who would oppose supporting such right wing extremists. But the core
mission of the ACLU -- and its financial priority -- is now to promote its
left-wing agenda in litigation, in public commentary and now in elections.
If you want to know
the reason for this shift, just follow the money. ACLU contributors, including
some of its most generous contributors, are strong anti-Trump zealots who
believe that the end (getting rid of Trump) justifies any means (including
denying Trump and his associates core civil liberties and due process).
Anthony Romero, the
current radical leftist who directs the ACLU, refers to those of us who favor
the ACLU traditional mission as “the old guard.” The leading critic of the
ACLU’s newfound partisan mission is Romero’s predecessor, Ira Glasser who was
the executive Director of the ACLU from 1978 until 2001. Glasser believes that
this transformation in the way the ACLU has operated since 1920 “has the
capacity to destroy the organization as it has always existed.” Glasser points
out that some of the greatest violations of civil liberties throughout history
have come from “progressive politicians, such as President Franklin D.
Roosevelt who interned 110,000 Japanese-American citizens. He worries, and I
worry, that when the ACLU supports candidate’s parties and partisan agendas, it
will become less willing to criticize those who it has supported when they
violate civil liberties.
The Presidency of
Donald Trump has introduced a new dynamic. Trump himself has denied
fundamental civil liberties by his immigration policies, his attitude and
actions regarding the press, and his calls for criminal investigations of his
political enemies. The ACLU will criticize those actions as it should. But the
Trump presidency has also pushed the ACLU further to the left and into partisan
politics. President Trump is so despised by contributors to the ACLU that they
have increased their contributions, but also demanded that the ACLU be on the
forefront of ending the Trump presidency, either through impeachment, criminal
prosecution or electoral defeat.
The move of the ACLU
to the hard-left reflects an even more dangerous and more general trend in the
United States: the right is moving further right; the left is moving father
left; and the center is shrinking. The center left is losing its influence in
organizations like the ALCU, and the center right is losing its influence in
conservative organizations. America has always thrived at the center and has
always suffered when extremes gain power. The ACLU’s move from the neutral
protector of civil liberties to a partisan advocate of hard-left politics is
both a symptom and consequence of this change.
If America is to
remain strong, its major institutions must move closer to the center and reject
the extremes of both sides. If the ACLU does not return to its core values, a
new organization must be created to champion those values.