Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut has
more than three decades of experience in politics. Before seeking
to become this year’s Democratic presidential nominee, he ran
as Al Gore’s running mate in the 2000 presidential election,
and he has long been a prominent Capitol Hill figure. While his
experience and character give him an upside largely differentiates
him from other candidates, he lacks both the desire and the ability
to change the major problems facing our country today.
Compared to other candidates, Lieberman has remained unwavering
in his support for the war in Iraq, one of his more laudable
traits. In a time when most Democratic candidates switch their
positions on issues largely dependent on the latest polls,
Lieberman’s unwavering position has proven refreshing.
In addition to supporting the war, Lieberman has proved to be
particularly centrist by backing the Bush administration’s
pro-business initiatives and homeland security measures, including
the Patriot Act. He also opposes gay marriages, supports capital
punishment and firmly believes in creating tougher drug laws.
Lieberman’s beliefs are further to the right on the political
spectrum than those of his Democratic opponents.
Lieberman has also demonstrated a lack of concern about
college-age voters, as reflected in his plans for higher education
Lieberman hopes that by 2020, 90 percent of all students will
attend college, join the military or attend vocational school.
While this is admirable, Lieberman fails to recognize the huge
burden increasing college tuitions have placed on families. He
supports increasing the size of Pell grants and has been consistent
in voting against measures that would raise the interest on student
loans, but Lieberman needs to follow in the footsteps of the more
liberal Democratic candidates in battling the increasing costs of
Lieberman’s positions on many key issues are far more to
the political center than most Democrats are willing to accept. He
fully supported the war in Iraq, going so far as to help write the
resolution authorizing the use of force. He claims he supported the
war not because Saddam Hussein may have possessed weapons of mass
destruction, but rather, because of moral issues and human rights
There is no doubt that Lieberman’s integrity and
credibility set him apart. He has remained strong in his beliefs
about what the country should look like in the future and has
countered the idealism of the other candidates with a healthy dose
Practicality, however, will not win this election. Lieberman
does not have the ability to inspire America. He lacks the bold,
new ideas of his political counterparts, and embodies the status
quo. In a time when America needs greater idealism, Lieberman is
just too practical.