Commenting on liberal journalists and left-wing politicians who want to remove President Donald Trump because they think he is mentally unstable, liberal Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz said it was "dangerous" to "psychiatrize" your political opponent because that is what they did in Communist Russia, in China, and in apartheid South Africa.
Liberals are trying to "undo democracy by accusing a president of being mentally ill without any basis," said Dershowitz, a constitutional scholar, who added that the 25th Amendment will never happen in Trump's case because it was "designed for people who are totally incompetent, not for people you disagree with.”
Alan Dershowitz, a reular commentator on CNN and Fox News, is the former Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. As an appellate lawyer, he won 13 of the 15 murder cases he handled. Some of his more famous clients include Mike Tyson, Patty Hearst, Claus von Bulow and O.J. Simpson. Dershowitz is the author or co-author of 33 books.
On Fox & Friends Weekend, Jan. 7, co-host Lisa Boothe asked Dershowitz, “Professor, I know you’re really concerned right now about this talk with the left, as well as the mainstream media, about the mental stability of President Trump. You’ve spoken about the dangers of the special counsel investigation. We have so many critics saying that President Trump is a danger to society, that we have a constitutional crisis. But doesn’t this sort of talk have a destabilizing effect?”
Prof. Dershowitz said, “Well, it’s very dangerous. There’s only one thing worse than trying to criminalize political differences and that’s trying to psychiatrize them."
"These psychiatrists who are trying to diagnose without having even met the man [Trump]," he said. "That’s what they did in Russia. I represented dissidents who they locked up in mental hospitals. That’s what they did in China. That’s what they did in apartheid South Africa."
"How dare liberals, people on the left, try to undo democracy by accusing a president of being mentally ill without any basis?" he said.
Dershowitz continued, "Look, the 25th Amendment doesn’t apply. Everybody knew who Donald Trump was when they elected him. I didn’t vote for him. I voted against him. People voted for him. But he hasn’t changed in office, and this idea of diagnosing him, instead of opposing him politically, poses an enormous danger."
The Fox panel then noted that liberals in the past attacked the mental fitness of Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-Ariz.) and President Ronald Reagan.
Dershwoitz said, “I think over 1,000 psychiatrists diagnosed Barry Goldwater and said he was mentally ill. They were then rebuked by the American Psychiatric Association that said, ‘do not make diagnoses without seeing the patient.’ Yet they continue to do it today."
"Look, about Ronald Reagan they had a point," he said. "He was perhaps at a point, beginning, Alzheimers. We have a 25th Amendment for that."
"But the 25th Amendment is not supposed to be invoked if you don’t like somebody’s politics and you don’t like their style – vote against them!" said Dershowitz.
"The 25th Amendment requires the vice president to invoke this, and then it requires two-thirds of both Houses," he said. "It’s not going to happen. It’s designed for people who are totally incompetent, not for people you disagree with.”