Since the election of Donald Trump, the ACLU has seen a massive surge in membership, almost quadrupling its size. I have long been a member and recently on two separate occasions I met two of the leading members of the Ohio branch and I commented on this new support. They both said that while it was a good thing since it enabled them to hire more lawyers for the proliferation of lawsuits now underway, they were cognizant of the fact that a lot of the new members were likely not aware that the ACLU stood for principles based on the constitution and defended anyone whose rights were violated and were not aligned with any partisan political party.
Many of the new members likely have the impression that the ACLU is just an anti-Trump organization, perhaps even aligned with the Democratic party. This is not surprising since the right wing loves to portray the organization as a radical, left wing entity, trampling on the rights of god-fearing Merkins.
The ACLU officials said that there would come a time when the ACLU will take a stand on an issue that these new members disliked strongly and then many would resign in protest and start to drop away. This is what happened when the ACLU defended the rights of neo-Nazis to march in Skokie, Illinois back in 1978.
Such an issue has now arisen because the ACLU has said that the “Washington, D.C., transit officials violated Milo Yiannopoulos’ 1st Amendment rights by removing advertisements for his new book” and they have filed a lawsuit on his behalf to get the transit officials to reverse that ruling.
Yiannopoulos is of course a loathsome, obnoxious person and he has responded like the first-rate jerk he is to the support of the ACLU, grudgingly saying that he was “glad that the ACLU has decided to tackle a real civil rights issue” because we all know that the only people whose civil rights are being violated are privileged white males.