This column is part three in an interview with Professor Alan Dershowitz. Part one and two were published on October 8th and 9th in NewsBlaze.com.
Harvard Law Professor, Emeritus, Alan Dershowitz’s latest book “Electile Dysfunction: A Guide for Unaroused Voters” (RosettaBooks, September,6) offers much-needed perspective on the 2016 presidential election-for voters of all affiliations. With his usual incisive style, Dershowitz cuts through the campaign rhetoric and analyzes the dozen most important issues that divide the two candidates.
Dwight L. Schwab, Jr., NewsBlaze.com – In the first debate, an obviously planted question was addressed to Trump about the 1995 Venezuelan beauty queen from Trump’s pageant. While he should have ignored that trick question, he chose to ramble on about this and that playing directly into Hillary Clinton’s debate strategy. It was later reported that the woman in question had attempted murder and assault charges pending. It was all a plant by the liberal media that was utterly fraudulent.
Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz – He also mentioned Rosie O’Donnell in a derogatory fashion …
Schwab – But I think you know well that millions of Americans know exactly what Trump is saying. They know about the hysterics of such personalities.
Dershowitz – People who want to be president do not say things like that. And he shouldn’t rely on a falsifier like Sean Hannity (a Fox News commentator). From my personal experience, I wouldn’t trust Sean Hannity to tell the truth about anything. For Trump to say he was against the Iraq war and cite Hannity and interviews he has done with him is ludicrous.
Schwab – Well, I think all this “read my book or go to my website” is ridiculous.
Dershowitz – I do too. I thought the debate was not informative, the economic portion was confusing … I got no sense of why trade agreements help or hurt the country. It was not a good clash for the average American. It was more style than substance. It was the fault of the moderator (Lester Holt of NBC News). He started with a terrible question that was so esoteric that it makes it hard to determine the positions of both candidates. Taxation, the economy and how the policies would reverberate with the average American household. The lack of articulation was incomprehensible.
Schwab – Concerning Hillary Clinton; Donald Trump has yet to release his tax returns, but why is it that Hillary did not produce the 30,000 emails that were subpoenaed by Congress and ended up erased and bleached so no one could ever see them. Isn’t that by far a lot worse than Trump’s tax returns? Why won’t she release her Wall Street speeches (later leaked by WikiLeaks including her speech in Brazil where she advocated open borders)?
Dershowitz – She should. She should release what Wall Street paid her.
Schwab – I am more concerned about what she said.
Dershowitz – I would say the two of them make a deal. She releases those tapes and Trump his tax returns.
Schwab – I think that is a great idea.
Dershowitz – They should also divulge their health records. I think Americans should see all the records for both sides. I have no control of either of them, but release the records.
Schwab – Okay, the Clinton Foundation in relation to foreign government contributions including Middle East countries like Saudi Arabia, who treat women like slaves. What about that with Hillary’s women’s rights crusade? Lester Holt waited until the final minutes of the first debate to bring up women in general. What about that?
Dershowitz – The Clinton Foundation takes money like every foundation does. They do it to help people in the world. I would like to see who Donald Trump borrows money from. There should be transparency from both sides on this issue. There should be no hidden secrets, that includes Russia.
Schwab – You mention Russia. Early in Hillary’s tenure as secretary of state, she went to Russia and called for a reset of relations between the two countries.
Dershowitz – No, that’s not what happened.
Schwab – It was a huge news event professor. She brought out a timer and presented it to the then president of Russia.
Dershowitz – I think that was a good thing.
Schwab – Russia has gone into the Crimea and claimed it as Russian territory, they have 40,000 troops on the eastern Ukraine border.
Dershowitz – The timer was before these actions were taken. Is America safer in the last 16-years? No, America has a serious problem. I have been critical of Obama’s foreign policy and Bush’s foreign policy. I think they have both put us in a position where we are less safe than 16-years-ago. I have no idea what Trump’s foreign policy will be. Trump wants to weaken NATO, he wants to weaken Japan which will not make it easier to stand up to China and Russia. So we have to look comparatively to what we gain with one candidate over another. In my book, “Electile Dysfunction,” these are the issues of this campaign. You can make a checklist for yourself, but vote.
Schwab – Slate, the liberal online magazine, owned by the Washington Post, stated “There isn’t a race, its Trump praying for black swans.” What do you think of this?
Dershowitz – They’re wrong, and they are often wrong. I’m not a big fan of Slate or anybody who thinks they can predict the outcome of elections.
Schwab – Pollsters are incapable many times of predicting elections. I go back to the Reagan v. Carter presidential election of 1980. Carter was winning until the very end of the campaign supposedly. There is a very famous photo of Carter on Air Force One touring the destruction of Mt. St. Helens in Washington in October of that year. An aide is whispering in his ear that he’s going to lose the election. Reagan indeed won by a landslide and people threw up their hands and said they couldn’t believe it. Do you see an undercurrent of angry Americans that are so afraid to speak their minds with the fear of being called the usual left wing name calling of racist, bigot, etc.? Do you think these people will walk through snow and ice to vote?
Dershowitz – I hope so. I hope everyone votes.
Schwab – Do you think the Hillary base is going to go through snow and ice like those who support Trump?
Dershowitz – I hope everybody votes. I hope young people vote. If they don’t vote, I don’t want to hear their complaints the next day. You don’t have a right in America to complain if you don’t vote. This election is too important to be democracy by default.
Schwab – So you don’t think the Johnson vote or, you don’t want me to say it (laugh) the Stein vote will make a difference?
Dershowitz – Well Stein isn’t to be taken seriously. I wouldn’t vote for her as dog catcher. Johnson is different. They may get some votes, and that will be from both sides. Nader in 2000 only took away votes from Al Gore.
Schwab – You don’t think the Johnson-Weld ticket will be the Ross Perot of 1992?
Dershowitz – They won’t be the Ross Perot of 2016. Perot got a high percentage of votes and was invited to the debates because he reached the 15 percent level in the polls. They will not be in any of the debates.
Schwab – So I will assume your prediction is Hillary will win?
Dershowitz – I can’t make any predictions. I think the Electoral College favors Hillary Clinton, but I am not making any predictions. I don’t think we’ll know the winner of this election until all the polls are closed.
Schwab – Professor Dershowitz, it’s an honor to interview you a second time and good luck with your book, “Electile Dysfunction.”
Dershowitz – Thank you and good luck to you.
This is the third and final part of the NewsBlaze.com interview with the professor