This column is part two in an interview with Professor Alan Dershowitz. Part one was published on October 8th 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 – Here’s an interesting observation that is strictly my opinion. This election mirrors the presidential election of 1980 that pitted incumbent President Jimmy Carter against former two-term California Governor Ronald Reagan. The media labeled Reagan as a reckless cowboy, a warmonger and grade B actor. In the end, he won a landslide victory. My take on that was the polls were not able to properly gauge the true underlying anger of millions of Americans who were afraid to speak out, as I think they are now, because they feared the liberal labeling of bigot, racist, homophobic, etc.
Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz – There are some comparisons in what you say, but I don’t think there’s any comparison of the candidates now. Reagan was a quite popular governor of the largest state in America, a state with one of the largest economies in the world, a state with a population bigger than most UN countries; he had done a good job and was well regarded. He also had been the president of the Actors Guild. He was a very responsible person. I am a liberal Democrat and always liked Ronald Reagan. I wasn’t much afraid if he did get elected president. He wasn’t nearly as unpredictable as Donald Trump. Trump has no political experience. We knew what Reagan’s ideology was, but what is Trump’s? We knew Reagan was a conservative, and a deep one at that. We knew he was a cold war warrior and promised to disband the Soviet Union. We don’t know any of those things with Donald Trump. There are some analogies between the 1980 election and the 2016 one, but any similarities between Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump are just not there.
Schwab – The argument could be, Hillary Clinton has never held a private sector job. She has been on a government check her entire political life. She has never employed one person, she has never met a payroll, and she has never built anything. She herself has said this will be the third term of Barack Obama.
Dershowitz – Barack Obama would be re-elected today overwhelmingly.
Schwab – In a country that is angry, is she the right candidate who has no experience in the private sector and her government experience is offset by Trump’s thorough knowledge of the economics, trade and foreign country leaders in a business respect.
Dershowitz – You just described Franklin Delano Roosevelt who never held a private sector job, was always involved in government positions and he did a great job. Lyndon Johnson was never in the private sector as far as I know. John F. Kennedy was never in the private sector. Ronald Reagan was never in the private sector. You can talk about him being an actor and head of the Screen Actors Guild, he never hired or fired anybody, and never met a payroll.
Schwab – Isn’t that exactly what the country is looking for?
Dershowitz – I hope not. The country is not looking for a person who has gone bankrupt five times, thinks only stupid people pay taxes that he’s so smart he doesn’t have to pay federal income taxes. Leona Helmsley once said only the little people pay taxes. She went to jail for that, and a man who wants to be president says that. What is he bragging about? Is it the level of testosterone in his little fingers? He is a populist and a woman cannot because of lingering sexism. But think about Merkel in Germany, Golda Meir in Israel who have been successful, but boys will be boys. The irony is Bill Clinton could win overwhelmingly if he was running but he would not be held for his actions, his wife would be. It’s totally unfair. You compare Hillary Clinton’s sexual issue against Donald Trump’s saying he had sex with married women, the best sex he had was with Marla Maples when he was married, he was married three times and Hillary Clinton once. I can’t understand why evangelicals are so supportive of a man who is so inconsistent with their lives. But, you know, that’s American elections.
Schwab – There is another side of this. During the debate, Donald Trump missed some huge opportunities to redress Hillary including the question on cyber-space security where he didn’t go deeply into her private emails that were destroyed and then bleached to ensure they would never see the light of day. It was the opinion of top security analysts that her breach of national security may have led to the death of CIA agents working overseas. She was actually naming names in the emails.
Dershowitz – There’s no evidence of that. Not a single classified email suggested that.
Schwab – But they bleached the 30,000 emails. How can you say that wasn’t the case? That’s destroying and re-destroying government documents. The question should be, if the emails were all about yoga classes and her daughters upcoming wedding, as she said, why the bleaching? Why would she do that?
Dershowitz – I don’t know. I think it was wrong. But former Secretary of State Colin Powell did it …
Schwab – That was not the same in any way.
Dershowitz – There’s no question it shouldn’t happen in the future. We’re deciding who should lead the free world. When you compare her derelictions to what Trump has done over the years, in terms of not paying people he owed money to, in terms of creating Trump University where he basically took money from poor people that lead to them thinking they’d become real estate moguls … These issues should be in the next debate. She needs to address the emails, answer for the Clinton Foundation. The great fear of Trump not revealing his taxes is he may be beholden to Russian influence, and they in turn may be beholden to Putin. He has been unwilling to criticize America’s biggest enemy and maybe interfere with the election itself through cyber-security issues. It affects both candidates.
Schwab – A lot of that is speculation.
Dershowitz – I do not know of any overseas CIA agents being murdered in the last two years. I went to the wall at the CIA where they have the names of agents killed around the world. I have never heard any claim that Hillary named names. I doubt Hillary knew the names of CIA agents. That wouldn’t be in the realm of her knowledge as secretary of state. That is really highly speculative.
Part one of the interview in previous NewsBlaze.com column.
Part three of the interview in next NewsBlaze.com column.