11/03/2006 06:55 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

An Open Letter to Senator Lieberman

Dear Senator Lieberman,

The dwindling residue of your political leadership is unworthy of you.

I hope you can return to private life with a wisdom that I suspect is yours, but which has been achingly unapparent in your last years under this Administration.

America has sickened and almost died on your watch. In the name of security, you cling to symbols while the meaning of those symbols is publicly gutted; you cheer the military and militarism while collaborating to decimate its personnel by ill-use; you participate in the demonization of whole countries and categories of people despite the repeated, brutal demonizations of your own ancestors that almost annihilated them; you celebrate your own public stature by commending yourself for independent bipartisanship that, outside the Washington bubble, looks like what it is: transparent accomodation to strongmen who punish the op position.

Most Americans are terrified of our current strongmen too. Few of us enjoy your power. Many feel isolated in their fears. We know things aren't going well, but so few people currently in power will say so that if we express fear about anything but shadowy terrorists, we still feel vaguely unpatriotic and, well, a little crazy. Torture? End of habeas corpus? We read, once in a while -- or hear -- commentary that we must be concerned! But - in the name of balance - we are also reassured that supsension of the Constitution is just part of a long, necessary, far-off war.

Many of us are resisting our fears and working desperately in our own spheres to save our democracy. We're raising children not to lie - ever - and trying to live with joy and hope. We're campaigning for candidates who also resist fear and oppose strongmen. We're taking new interest in the integrity of vote-casting and vote-counting. This work is mostly done without material reward or support; it is all the more depressing to see a man of your stature use his last vestiges of power to claw at its remains, as if power were the only thing he'd valued in this dark time when our country, whose well-being was so much his responsibility, sank into a totalitarianism so subtle that neither the media nor the elected leadership were able - or willing - to name and oppose it.

Even hopeful Israel is mired in fear and demonization of the Other, shockingly and publicly defying the profound, human, life-cherishing morality that is Judaism's ancient gift to mankind. This is the exact opposite of what you and most American Jews want, a tragedy beyond all irony.

Please withdraw from the race for Senate. Move on, publicly and with dignity, to a place where you can contribute to world peace and sanity that has been so brutally eviscerated by the Bush Administration. Leave the sphere where you were somehow seduced into acting so continually against the morality and faith you profess.

Mimi Kennedy