If I had a dime for every time a liberal or Democrat used the word empathy correctly, I would have zero dimes (quick shout out to WWE’s Enzo Amore on that one).
Calls for empathy are a good thing. Empathizing with another allows us a glimpse into what makes them the person they are.
If applied correctly, I truly believe empathy could bring about world peace, I really do (but I am young, so possibly naïve as well).
The problem is that the empathy most liberals and their ilk want is not empathy at all.
Empathy is the ability to emotionally connect with another human being or sentient creature. It is to literally feel the emotions of another as if they were your own. But what the left doesn’t get is that just because you have empathized with someone does not mean you change your position. You might, but it’s not a prerequisite.
Sympathy and compassion fall more along the lines of what the modern leftist seeks.
Instead of “I see, I understand why you feel that way” they seem to want “oh no! You poor thing! This is wrong! We’ve got to stop this!” and as we have come to know, “stopping this” (whatever “this” is) means involving the government.
Let us look at an example.
Johnny Lefty: “Now 20 million people are going to lose health insurance because you voted for Trump/ did not vote for Hillary.”
Me: “I know, it’s a truly terrible situation. Hopefully we can eliminate a lot of the regulations that hinder competition across state lines. Those people deserve better.”
Johnny Lefty: “But look at socialist healthcare in Scandinavia, look how healthy they are there.”
Me: “You will find that Scandinavians actually lead fairly healthy lives. They eat better quality food, the same quality of food most Americans could afford (along with insurance) if our government was more fiscally responsible.”
Johnny Lefty: “But if everyone pools together just think of how nice that would be.”
Me: “I imagine it would be nice to come home with almost all my paycheck and buy new things for my dogs and my father. After that I could still give to charity and buy new toys, so everyone wins… (I then smile, knowing what comes next).”
Johnny Lefty: “You just hate poor people.”
Me: “But I am poor too, at the very least I am not rich for damn sure!”
Johnny Lefty: “So why not vote your interests?”
Me: “I am! I am voting for more of my money so I can better care for my father and dogs. They are in need too and unlike a stranger they are my responsibility.”
Johnny Lefty: “So you are only thinking about your family? By the way, your family is an old man and two dogs (to be fair, conservatives drop that line too).”
Me: “But they mean as much to me as your family means to you, would you sacrifice your family to save another’s family?”
Johnny Lefty: “That’s not the same thing!”
Me: “I’m listening…”
Johnny Lefty: (scoffs and walks away, giving the middle finger in “mic-drop” fashion as he does).
Now of course this is a fictional re-telling of the hundreds of conversations I have had over the years, regarding any number of issues that liberals and conservatives criticize libertarians for, but the obvious points should be clear. (My apologies to the readers for this short pseudo – script I just wrote).
At no point does “Johnny” attempt to see my point of view. It is instantly in his mind that socialism is the only way to get to better health care.
When I don’t validate this position it quickly degenerates into the insults (racist, bigot, poor hater, blah, blah, blah).
When I bring up my father (by the way, he is a Vietnam veteran who deals with the VA too damn much) and my dogs, not only does he not empathize with me and my family, he out right ignores they matter or exist.
So why does the left do this? Well, if you’re asking that then you clearly haven’t been watching the news or social media – it’s the left’s most used tool – virtue signaling!
At first “Johnny Lefty” does all he can to keep focus on his part of the conversation (sick poor people) and on how they are clearly more important than my interests (something the left is constantly talking about, as if they know the interests of someone simply by the region they live in).
When that breaks down (due to logic and reason) there is nothing left but an insult meant to insinuate that you have no heart and attempt to invoke guilt. The obvious goal here is to change your mind and get your vote.
But if the left was truly empathetic, they would realize that marginalizing one sect of society just to help the other is not only not going to work, but is downright thievery.
My grandfather (God rest his soul) would call this “robbing Peter to pay Paul” and there is a reason it is always said in a negative context.
Once the working class (who subsidizes the poor) has been exhausted (and I am VERY exhausted) they become the new poor. The only problem with that is the old poor have a poorly developed work ethic so now all of society suffers.
True empathy should be emboldening us to voluntarily give of ourselves to others. True empathy shouldn’t just be the conservative Christian understanding the point of view of the homosexual couple, It should also be said couple understanding that the conservative Christian truly believes in his God; that he actually fears what will happen to him if he does not live up to the wishes of that God.
It shouldn’t just be the healthy empathizing with the sick, but the sick realizing how much harder the healthy now have to work to pay the premiums.
So the next time a leftist asks “don’t you have any empathy?” maybe you should respond with
* Between taking care of his dogs and his father, Bryce Jackson cooks amazing food and enjoys good bourbon. He lives in Woodstock, Vermont and is from Chelsea, Vermont.