• The Centrist Solution

  • How We Made Government Work and Can Make It Work Again
  • By: Senator Joseph I. Lieberman
  • Narrated by: Rich Miller
  • Length: 10 hrs and 5 mins
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this era of extremism, our largest problems remain unsolved and our international leadership is compromised. Having two fiercely opposed political parties is what John Adams, the second president of the United States, dreaded "as the greatest political evil under our Constitution". If American government is to work, it must do so in the center - where open discussion, hard negotiation, and effective compromise take place. No living politician knows this better than former Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, who served for 40 years in state and national government, including 24 in the United States Senate and a campaign for the vice presidency.

In this vivid account of his political life, Senator Lieberman shows how legislative progress and all-inclusive government occurs when politicians reject extremism and embrace productive compromise. In The Centrist Solution, he shines a light on 10 milestones of centrist success during his time in government - from the Clean Air Act of 1990 and the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and the repeal of the military's anti-gay "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, along with a vice presidential run with presidential candidate Al Gore, and being vetted by John McCain to be his potential running mate on the 2008 Republican Ticket.

©2021 Joseph I. Lieberman (P)2021 Kalorama

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Food for thought

I have known Joe Lieberman for many years literally since I was 12 years old when I met him on the Bobby Kennedy for president campaign. I consider him a close friend I’ve been a guest in his homes and he’s been a guest in mine and I’ve worked on virtually all of his campaigns. Having said that we disagree on a lot of issues. We also disagree on approaches. We often times end up in the same place. In this book I think he equates compromise with centrism. And I know he believes himself to be a centrist. But I believe the two are not mutually exclusive nor does it mean you’ll become a centrist when you compromise. The best example in this book is his discussions regarding Ted Kennedy and Orin Hatch. Neither one would describe themselves as centrist but they often collaborated and found middle ground. Then give-and-take in Politics the Bility to compromise and the desire to have civility back in Washington does not by definition make one a centrist. But what does Polk does do a great job of is giving real life examples of how people can reach cross the aisle can find the elusive common ground and realize that the first job of an elected official is to govern not to get reelected. Thank you Jo for this thought-provoking work. And I’ll continue to live on the far left where I feel most comfortable but more than willing to work to forge civility and compromise. Ted Kennedy once said to me when discussing healthcare legislation that we should never lose sight of what the goal was it was to get the most people covered in any way we could particularly the poor and children and the elderly. At that time I asked him why he would compromise away from single payer and he said though he thought single payer might be preferable the goal was more people covered not how they were covered. That certainly didn’t make them a centrist but it didn’t make him someone who is willing to work to build and forge a consensus. And Joe Lieberman is a person who also works hard every day to forge consensus in the public square.