Earlier this week I had a brief but very interesting conversation with a very nice person from the United States on the Gab platform recently (@AllAmericanLady ), in which we mutually agreed that the left of centre lawyer and academic Alan Dershowitz, is a person to be admired. This is because, whether you agree with his personal politics or not, Mr Dershowitz is impressively knowledgeable and unlike some on the political Left, respects the US Constitution.
Mr Dershowitz is also a highly skilled debater and can hold his own even with the most aggressive and forceful of opponents. One example of this is to be found in the video below where he debates with the late very right wing Jewish cleric Rabbi Meir Kahane Z”L. I’ve seen a lot of debates where Rabbi Kahane easily took apart those who were his critics and he did this by both the force of his admittedly quite aggressive personality and by his knowledge of both secular and Jewish law.
I’ve watched many debates between Rabbi Kahane and his opponents, because they are interesting examples of debate even when I find myself in disagreement with Rabbi Kahane. But in Mr Dershowitz, Rabbi Kahane found someone who could best him, or at the very least bring Rabbi Kahane to a draw, something I had not seen with other people Rabbi Kahane had debated with. Mr Dershowitz passionately but logically countered Rabbi Kahane and this debate between two Jews one on the sensible Left and another on the right is well worth taking the time to watch.
The reasoning behind this post is to say that it ‘s very easy with politics to become ‘siloised’ and not appreciate the skills and abilities of an opponent or someone with opposing political views. The result of such siloisation is that we end up living in political echo chambers which is never a good idea. It’s much better to look at good opponents and appreciate them and maybe if possible learn fro them as I think that people on the right should learn from the more sensible people on the left and vice versa. I can appreciate the skills and knowledge of Mr Dershowitz even though I don’t share his political views.
Although I’m very much on the political centre-right, my own political journey, from Left to centre-right has taught me that just because someone holds opposing views does not mean that they have either nothing to say or that they are not skilled in debating their views. To assume that your opponent is a bad person because they hold views different to you is a trap that the Left have been walking into for many years. The constant demonisation of those with conservative views by those on the far Left is part of the reason why we have today’s ‘snowflake’ generation who go into paroxysms of ‘offence’ when confronted with those who hold different views to the ones that they have been indoctrinated with. There are those of us who have gone through earlier versions of this sort of lefty indoctrination and have made later the discovery that those on the Right are not monsters but just ordinary people like us but with different views. We may have the same aims, such as peace, justice and development, just different paths to get there. This discovery has been one of the catalysts for many of us to leave the Left, for pastures on the right that are considerably more intellectually free than the cultural wastelands created by left ideologues. We should admire good, honest, moral and skilled people no matter what side of the political aisle they inhabit.
View the Dershowitz vs Kahane debate via the link below