A guest post by Ron Reagan
If you asked a Democrat what their biggest problem with the Republican party, a lot of their criticisms would come down to one word - intolerance. Democrats believe that due to the influence of the rich and the religious, the Republicans exclude anyone who doesn't buy into their world view. This criticism has many valid points, and this is coming from a Republican. But if a Democrat wants to make this argument, then the only way to have the moral authority to make it would be if the Democratic Party was a party of tolerance. A party of tolerance is one where many ideas and peoples are allowed to take part and coexist. And while the Republicans are failing at doing this, this is an opportunity for the Democrats to show national leadership and to prove that they are a party of inclusion.
What is the great sin that Senator Joe Lieberman has committed? What Senator Lieberman did was support a man that is universally respected for his service to this country, both in the military and as a legislator. He criticized Barrack Obama during the campaign. OK, I get it. But he said nothing which was not in line with the criticism levied at him by lots of Democrats, including VP-elect Joe Biden and Sen. Hillary Clinton. Sure, one could argue, that was during their own campaigns, but it was wrong to do it during the general election. The problem with that logic is that it says that it is OK to criticize someone when it is for your own benefit, when you can still win, but if you really believe your criticisms, you have to sit on them and support someone you do not believe in. Isn't conviction and principles and wanting the best for your country more important then either careerism or love of the Democratic Party?
What Senator Lieberman has done is something very brave, politically speaking. Unlike all the other Democrats who critized President Obama (just wanted to write those amazing words) when it was beneficial to them, he did it when it was actually going to HURT him. Senator Lieberman knew that the Democrats were going to be mad, and he also knew that he wasn't going to be the Republican VP-nominee because the Republicans didn't support him (he has been a loyal Democrat for a long time don't forget); yet he still endorsed a man he believed would make the better president. He even continued to do so during the end of the campaign when it was obvious that McCain was going to lose. He stood by the man because those are his principles.
I don't think you have to like what those principles are. And you don't have to applaud him for what he did. But I think when you put things into context and his sins, I think you can begrudgingly give the man some respect and not hurl such vitriol at him. He's not some sort of a beast who killed someone in a drunken rage while trying to avoid his lover to whom he owed a copious amount of child support. He just stood for what he believes in.
Barrack Obama is President for one central reason - change. All of us who voted for him desperately want to see the divisiveness of our governance to change. We want something new- a place where people can actually discuss and come together and do what they think is the best for the country. Obama was not elected due to his political ideology or for policy reasons - if you think that then his presidency will not work because it will be too far to the left for what Americans want. We didn't vote to exchange the Republican hit squad for a Demortic hit squad. What we want is something else- people to rise above the pettiness and to try and unite this country. Though you might not have liked his stance, this is what Joe Lieberman tried to do this election. He had his principles and party lines be damned he stuck to them. This is the sort of voice and mindset we need in Washington. To punish and to banish him to the sidelines after a lifetime of nothing but honorable and principled service would be nothing short of showing the intemperate, imperious vindictiveness that was shown by the previous administration. If we have another administration where freedom of thought and the ability to speak one's mind and beliesf is yet again branded as unacceptable, then hope once again is defeated by humanistic greed and vitriol. That's not what we voted for, so don't let it happen again!