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Gore laments rise of ‘artificial insanity’ at Lieberman’s funeral

Former Vice President Al Gore lamented the rise of “artificial insanity” plaguing U.S. democracy while delivering a eulogy at the funeral of his onetime presidential running mate, former Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.).

While offering condolences and comfort in light of Lieberman’s death Wednesday, Gore on Friday warned about the “rancor” dividing the country and how his former running mate’s life can serve as an example of how to overcome it.

“The famous rabbit holes on the internet have slippery sides that lead people down to the echo chamber. And spending long enough in the echo chamber induces a new form of AI, artificial insanity,” Gore said at the ceremony in Lieberman’s hometown of Stamford, Conn.

“I mean it not merely as a humorous line. I mean to reference QAnon, election denial, climate denial, even the resurgence of the Flat Earth Society, if you can believe that,” he continued. “And this is a form of rancor that has the potential for dividing our country, but we have also a strong foundation and common beliefs and values that are stronger than what is dividing us.”

The former vice president then pointed to Lieberman’s approach to public service and highlighted how the former senator’s independent streak could show a path to bridging the polarization permeating today’s society.

He noted he and Lieberman had also experienced deep divisions in their own relationship, and that Lieberman was willing to repair the relationship after they drifted apart following their dramatic loss in the 2000 election to the Republican Bush-Cheney ticket.

“We can learn from Joe Lieberman’s life some critical lessons about how we might veto the rancor in our nation today,” Gore said. “Friendship over anger, reconciliation as a form of grace.”

“Politics can be a rough trade. As a recovering politician, I can certainly testify to that,” Gore said. “The stakes are high. Pressures are great. Joe and I experienced those. But he always knew, beyond doubt, the true value of things. I saw him ready to reclaim friendships that had been seared by disagreements. Ready to look for ways to bridge divisions, ready to seek reconciliation, ready to stand for his principles always, even when that independence left him exposed to partisan anger from both sides.”

“We are all of us here and now living through a time when that kind of willingness to disagree without disrespect and debate without seeking to destroy has become for many harder to find,” Gore added.

Lieberman, who was the first Jewish vice-presidential candidate of a major party, died Wednesday in New York City after suffering complications from a fall.

Gore also recalled how their relationship deepened during the 2000 campaign, which ended in a loss with a controversial Supreme Court decision more than a month after the election.

“We laughed together, fought like hell together for what we wanted our country to be, prayed together, thought for a season we had won together. But well, you know that part of the story — you win some, you lose some and then there’s that little known third category.”

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