I guess sometimes even an island can’t offer the seclusion you need to get away from the madding crowd.
Harvard law professor, First Amendment champion and bicoastal celebrity Alan Dershowitz is whining that he’s being shunned on Martha’s Vineyard for defending some of Donald Trump’s policies.
Dershowitz has been a shining light of the left over the years but his liberal friends at the Massachusetts summer retreat are pedaling their bicycles to the other side of the street when they see him heading their way.
The poor guy complained in a recent op-ed for The Hill that his Martha’s Vineyard neighbors’ rejection amounted to “McCarthyism” but later confessed to The New York Times that he would be attending two parties on the island July 3 and another on the Fourth. According to The Times, Dershowitz owns a home in “one of most liberal enclaves of this liberal island.”
Personally, I’d say that going to two or three cocktail parties on Martha’s Vineyard would be worse than being shunned. My idea of a perfect Fourth was drifting idly on a boat at Eagle Mountain Lake with a couple of friends.
There are some Fort Worth folks who go to the Vineyard each summer and I understand why: family tradition – and with its clapboard, gray-shingled houses, sandy beaches and stunning blue water the place looks like what most people think of when they imagine a New England summer retreat. The locals actually ride bikes with wicker baskets on the front.
I am more of a north woods guy, the On Golden Pond thing, but that implies its own brand of snobbery.
As amusing and ridiculous as I found the news of Dershowitz complaining about being suddenly shunned because he dared support the president on a few issues, the story did serve as a useful reminder that there seems to be less tolerance for differences of opinion among Americans than ever before – especially when the discussion turns to President Trump.
The 45th president of the United States may or may not come to be known as the “Great Divider” but this much we know: He is not a uniter. How can he make America great again when he feeds if not creates so much animosity among Americans occupying opposite sides on hot-button issues?
“Where is the middle these days?” wondered a friend I ran into at the grocery store.
Certainly, it’s nowhere to be found in my business, the media business.
In order to be informed a person has to read multiple newspapers and magazines and flip television channels. I once argued constantly against the assumption of bias in the national media but such bias is now so pronounced it’s impossible to dispute.
The rich liberals (there’s my bias showing) on Martha’s Vineyard blithely knocking friends off their cocktail party lists is actually hilarious. The irreconcilable differences of opinion and lack of respect for divergent views across the nation and in Congress is not funny.
It was common at the beginning of my career in journalism for reporters and editors to talk of avoiding bias in reporting. Luckily for me a truly great editor corrected my view.
“Everybody has a bias or two or more,” he said. “Don’t fake it. Fairness is the goal. You can’t control a bias but you can strive hard to always be fair.”
Right now, folks are not being fair.
I hold a bias against Trump and admit it. When he does something decent I try to acknowledge it.
So far, I have been fortunate. When I write something negative about Trump I wonder if I will lose a friend or two, but so far that has not happened.
Maybe I just have better friends than Alan Dershowitz does.
Richard Connor is president and publisher of the Fort Worth Business Press. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org