By Evan Nierman
The passing of Senator Joseph Lieberman is an occasion to be marked with solemnity and respect. Honoring his legacy in the fullest sense means recalling what made him a special leader.
But to truly understand and appreciate his incredible contributions we should apply some of the lessons of his life to the world we inhabit today, and the serious challenges before us.
Senator Lieberman was a man of integrity. Period. That is a quality increasingly hard to find, but of paramount importance.
He was open-minded and courageous about voting his conscience. Joe did what he felt was right, putting principle over party. It earned him criticism, but he was not to be intimidated or cowed.
Lieberman was a dedicated family man whose love for his wife Hadassah—and his children and grandkids—was inspiring.
He was true to his religion, maintaining a commitment to Jewish observance, learning and ideals.
Lieberman was an unshakable supporter of Israel and able to articulate eloquently why the United States and the Jewish state were kindred nations linked by shared values. Joseph Lieberman practiced what he preached by working across party lines to move the country forward. He counted Republicans and Democrats as friends and allies, seeking cooperation for the greater good.
I consider it the honor of a lifetime to have known him personally and worked with him directly on a number of occasions throughout the years.
He generously offered his endorsement in the form of a blurb on my first book Crisis Averted. Looking at it now, holding it in my hand, I am overcome by sadness and appreciation for him.
In Senator Lieberman’s final speech when retiring from the Senate he was prescient—and left us with some thoughts that are more important now than ever before in our lifetimes:
“The greatest obstacle I see standing between us and the brighter American future we all want is right here in Washington…
“It is the partisan polarization of our politics which prevents us from making the principled compromises on which progress in a democracy depends.”
May his memory be remembered for a blessing.
And may we all learn from the example that Senator Lieberman set and strive to find ways to work together for the common good.
Evan Nierman is founder and CEO of the crisis communications firm Red Banyan and author of the books “Crisis Averted” and “The Cancel Culture Curse: From Rage to Redemption in a World Gone Mad.