||"A historical political resource."
In Praise of Public Life
|Title||In Praise of Public Life|
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|Last Modified||Gerald Farinas - January 07, 2004 06:07pm|
|Description||In a vigorous defense of public life, Senator Joseph Lieberman, one of the most articulate and respected of our politicians, defines the duty, the honor and the priviledge of public life in the face of Americans' perennial cynicism about it. |
Americans have always been suspicious of government and have misunderstood and mistrusted those in public life. This attitude is even more prevalent as the boundaries that once separated public and private life have fallen. Lieberman argues that some of the public-s mistrust is based on a misconception of what public life is and why we need it. He then describes that life as he has lived it over the last three decades—with all its purpose, privileges, pressures, and pleasures.
Drawing widely from his own experience as a politician and his pride in public service, Leiberman makes a passionate, hopeful argument for the value of public life—its place and necessity in our democracy and our need for more Americans to embrace it if we are to sustain our self-government.
Lieberman asks fundamental questions about what standards of behavior should be expected of politicians in the sharply partisan, big-money, search-and-destroy atmosphere of politics today. Who should set those standards? Is there room for a public figure to "be human," to "make mistakes"? Is there a line beyond which the personal behavior of a public official is nobody's business? Do citizens have an obligation to understand and determine the reponsibilities of public life?