Political Articles

Empathy in Politics: 
short url: http://j.mp/2gVadL0


Moral imagination is the capacity to empathize with others, i.e., not just to feel for oneself, but to feel with and for others. This is something that education ought to cultivate and that citizens ought to bring to politics.
--McCollough 1992

Simon Baron-Cohen
Imagine a political system based not on legal rules (systemizing) but on empathy. Would this make the world a safer place?
"So here's the dangerous new idea. What would it be like if our political chambers were based on the principles of empathizing? It is dangerous because it would mean a revolution in how we choose our politicians, how our political chambers govern, and how our politicians think and behave. We have never given such an alternative political process a chance. Might it be better and safer than what we currently have? 

Since empathy is about keeping in mind the thoughts and feelings of other people (not just your own), and being sensitive to another person's thoughts and feelings (not just riding rough-shod over them), it is clearly incompatible with notions of "doing battle with the opposition" and "defeating the opposition" in order to win and hold on to power.""

The Left and their Misunderstanding of the Word “Empathy”
Bryce Jackson
July 6, 2017,
"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."

Moral Empathy Gaps and the American Culture War
Peter H. Ditto,  Spassena P. Koleva
Department of Psychology and Social Behavior, University of California, Irvine, USA

YouTube Video

"Our inability to feel what others feel makes it difficult to understand how they think. Because moral intuitions organize political attitudes, moral empathy gaps can exacerbate political conflict (and other kinds of conflict as well) by contributing to the perception that people who do not share our moral opinions are unintelligent and/or have malevolent intentions."

Conflict Frontiers Seminar: MOOS: "The New Paradigm" 
Unit 3: 25. Chip Hauss's Security 2.0 and "The New Paradigm"

"What does Hauss mean by long-term problem-solving? Well, it includes at least three things, empathy, reciprocity and trust. And each of those builds upon each other. So the more of one you have, the more the other that you can have. He adds that empathy is brought about by listening.


So instead of pushing “the other” out, you try to bring “the other” in by listening to them, developing empathy for them, understanding for their interests and needs.

That enables you to work together with them reciprocally to try to develop approaches that are best for everybody. And that helps develops trust. How do you do this? Well, one of the ways that you could do it is, look for what Hauss calls “positive deviance,” “bright spots” where people of either accidentally or on purpose have done something helpful to address the conflict or the wicked problem.  Then you try to magnify those actions that have been helpful, replicate those actions, and help them grow into what he calls “virtuous cycles.”..


Instead of having things escalate so that tensions are getting higher and higher and problems are getting worse and worse, you build “virtuous circles,” where you solve a little bit, and that helps you solve more, and you build trust, and that helps you build relationships, that helps you build them empathy, and so on."

Empathy is Everything
Marc Erlbaum, Filmmaker and Social Activist

"What we need now more than ever is empathy, not resistance. Resistance will drive us further apart, empathy will enable us to find the commonality that can bring us back together. Resistance will push us ever closer to civil war, forcing every one of us to take a side and pretending that conflict is inevitable. Empathy will draw the majority of us toward a convergence with which we can work and on which we can build. It will require compromise, but all healthy relationships hinge on compromise. Those who are unwilling to compromise will never find peace. If we are accusing the other side of unwillingness to bend, we might first look carefully at ourselves to ascertain how willing we are to meet halfway."

Berkeley author George Lakoff says, ‘Don’t underestimate Trump’
By Daphne White
May 2, 2017, 3 p.m.

"The nurturant parent family, on the other hand, believes that children are born good and can be made better. Both parents are responsible for raising children, and their role is to nurture their children and raise them to nurture others. Empathy and responsibility toward your child also extend to empathy and responsibility toward those who are less powerful, or suffering from pollution or disease, or are marginalized in some way."

Talking with Strangers: A Journey to the Heart of the Right
A new book encourages us to scale the “empathy wall” to understand a segment of Trump supporters
by Chuck Collins
September 23, 2016 by Common Dreams

"Her intention is to build the “scaffolding of an empathy bridge.” As Hochschild writes, 'An empathy wall is an obstacle to deep understanding of another person, one that can make us feel indifferent or even hostile to those who hold different beliefs or whose childhood is rooted in different circumstances."

Lack of Empathy Is Not the Problem
Progressives want education, health care, and housing for everyone. And we’re the close-minded ones?
By Katha Pollitt
 JUNE 9, 2017 - thenation.com
Republican Town Hall Protest
Author says everyone is saying progressives should empathize with conservatives but what about conservatives empathizing with progressives?  Progressives are already empathic since they care about people.

Katha Pollitt writes"But here’s my question: Who is telling the Tea Partiers and Trump voters to empathize with the rest of us? Why is it all one way? Hochschild’s subjects have plenty of demeaning preconceptions about liberals and blue-staters—that distant land of hippies, feminazis, and freeloaders of all kinds."

My vision is a culture of empathy in the country and world. Where mutual empathy is a shared cultural value. This means that people listen deeply to each other and are aware of and consider the felt experience of others as well as strive to connect with our common humanity. By common humanity I mean that common feelings that all humans have. It is from this foundation that we can take shared action to address social problems and to foster greater well being for all.

The question is how do we go about building this culture of empathy? First we need to have the intention to do so. 

The Tired Myth That Progressives Lack Empathy Is Hardly the Problem
By Katha Pollitt
The Nation - June 15, 2017, 

"Progressives want education, health care, and housing for everyone. And we’re the close-minded ones?
But here’s my question: Who is telling the Tea Partiers and Trump voters to empathize with the rest of us? Why is it all one way? Hochschild’s subjects have plenty of demeaning preconceptions about liberals and blue-staters—that distant land of hippies, feminazis, and freeloaders of all kinds.

Nor do they seem to have much interest in climbing the empathy wall, given that they voted for a racist misogynist who wants to throw 11 million people out of the country and ban people from our shores on the basis of religion (as he keeps admitting on Twitter, even as his administration argues in court that Islam has nothing to do with it). Furthermore, they are the ones who won, despite having almost 3 million fewer votes."

America needs radical empathy in election’s aftermath
By Rabbi Dean Shapiro
 December 3, 2016 
Whether we recognize it or not, we’re all in this together.
"Our nation needs radical empathy
This campaign and election have demonstrated how profoundly divided these “United” States are.
We see the world differently, depending on our geography, gender, education, class and race. We don’t expose ourselves to divergent opinions. We demonize those who think differently from us....

Even when the loss isn’t our own, we go to the House of Mourning and we offer what comfort we can because we empathize with what others are feeling. Empathy is the essence of community."

The Role of Empathy at This Moment in Our History
by Van Jones
Dec 1, 2016
"I have found that the keys to successful conversations are:
1. Listen with empathy: Repeat back the points you hear, to make sure that you really heard correctly and understand.

Resist the temptation to immediately start trying to show the other person where he or she is wrong. Rather than listening for the purpose of agreeing or disagreeing, try to listen for the purpose of deeply understanding the other person — almost the way that an archeologist or sociologist would."

Is ‘Empathy’ Really What the Nation Needs?
NOV. 29, 2016

"Empathy is naturally irrational, cautions the Yale psychology professor Paul Bloom, author of a new book titled “Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion.” It’s more likely to activate in the face of one sad story than on the scale of widespread human tragedy. It’s manipulative too: Directing a crowd’s empathy toward one victim can cultivate anger and aggression toward other targets, even if they’re not responsible for the victim’s suffering. In a case like Zuckerberg’s, empathy can be a strategy for avoiding responsibility."

Shaming Whites and Men Has Backfired 
by Michael Lerner 
 November 11, 2016 
"We need to retool the discourse in the Left and train hundreds of thousands of people to become part of an “Empathy Tribe” that can reach out to Trump supporters to apologize to them for the ways they’ve felt “dissed” by the liberal and progressive world and then to help people understand that what is deeply the cause of their suffering are the perverse spiritual distortions and twisted psychodynamics of a global competitive marketplace.

 We can and must help people understand that the inequalities in this society are not a function of who is or is not talented, smart or works hard, but on the class structure which will only allocate economic security and jobs that feel fulfilling to a small percentage of the population while the rest of the population is scrapping for the leftovers.... 

In fact, if we could learn to listen to the life experiences and work experiences of middle income working people and the working and unemployed poor, empathically validate their experiences, and really hear their grievances, we would be in a much better inner place to build a transformative movement that included people who yesterday voted for Trump.

A Note from Rabbi Michael Lerner 
by Michael Lerner 
June 2016

 That's why in the Fall 2016 issue of Tikkun I'll develop a whole approach to understanding these movements of hate and demobilizing them. I'll lay out a strategy for an Empathy Tribe--not an empathy that brings us to an understanding that leads to passivity, but an empathy that can guide us to most effectively demobilize the hatred and redirect people's pains in ways that could actually help alleviate them. 

Spiritual Activism Training:
Beyond Resistance - Strategies in the Age of Trump

Beyond Resistance, Strategies in the Age of Trump
The Network of Spiritual Progressives
Session 4: Empathy – Love the Stranger as Thyself
In session 4 participants learn empathic communication skills, both how to listen and speak compassionately. They are taken on a journey that begins with self-compassion and self-empathy, learning how to gauge their own reactivity, judgments, biases, and pain by first recognizing where they hold their responses in their bodies. They are then taught how to self soothe in the moment and understand their own feelings and needs so they are better equipped to respond from a deeply self-connected and empathic place rather than from a place of reactivity. Next they are taught how to listen empathically to others. ....

Session 5: Empathic Speaking – Sharing Our Vision and Exploring Strategies
In session five we move from the place of empathic listening to the place of empathic speaking. Participants learn how to engage in conversations that allow them and those with whom they are communicating to both be heard and to share their deepest truths. We emphasize the importance of empathy before education because we know that if we try to convince someone with facts or other information about the righteousness of our position and they have not been heard, seen, recognized, ‘gotten,’ connected with, or valued for who they are, that they will not hear us. Participants learn how to make clear requests, to state (without judgment) their concerns, to reflect back their understanding of what the other person is saying, and how to find common ground and shared values.

Empathic Communication
"Empathy is the process of bringing a quality of presence, non-judgmental compassion and curiosity to both our listening and our speaking. Through empathy, we are able to open our hearts and to hear the deep meaning, pain, yearning and fears underlying people’s expressions. By empathically expressing ourselves, we can share our deepest yearnings, fears, and pains, put forth a vision of what we want, make requests, and thereby build connection and trust across differences."

Psychopathology in the 2016 Election
by Michael Lerner
November 3, 2016
"Empathy and Compassion for Those With Whom We Disagree
I don’t mean to suggest that doing this is easy. It is going to take a whole lot of psychological sophistication on the part of people on the Left to move from demeaning those with whom we disagree to speaking to them in empathic and compassionate ways.

We will need political, spiritual, and movement leaders and activists who articulate and embody this empathy and compassion to help lead us. We will need a domestic Empathy Tribe—people who have learned the skills of empathic communication and who are willing to go door-to-door in the old-fashioned style of community organizing, but with a very different message than community organizers conveyed in the past. It is going to require that we insist that our schools, colleges, and media reflect this empathic approach as they simultaneously challenge the materialism, selfishness, and meritocratic ideologies of capitalist society.

Empathy is the necessary precondition for a transformative movement. But a potentially successful movement needs something else: the ability to get people to envision the world they really want, to allow themselves to dream, and then to join with others to struggle for their highest vision of the good. "

The Election: Of Hate, Grief, and a New Story 
by Charles Eisenstein
Nov 11, 2016
For those shocked by the election result, anger and blame may be convenient ways to make sense of it. But Charles Eisenstein, who predicted Trump’s victory, believes this time of uncertainty holds an opportunity for empathy to drive a new political story...

So let’s start with empathy. Politically, empathy is akin to solidarity, born of the understanding that we are all in this together. In what together?...

Bringing empathy into political discourse
After various retrograde versions of a new story rise and fall and we enter a period of true unknowing, an authentic next story will emerge. What would it take for it to embody love, compassion, and interbeing? I see its lineaments in those marginal structures and practices that we call holistic, alternative, regenerative, and restorative. All of them source from empathy, the result of the compassionate inquiry: “What is it like to be you?”

It is time now to bring this question and the empathy it arouses into our political discourse as a new animating force."

On how we came here: The Spiritual Divide 
by Otto Scharmer 
Nov 14, 2016
The biggest divide, however, is neither economic nor political. It’s a cultural-spiritual divide that is ripping our communities, our country, our culture, and our world apart.The economic and political divides result from massive institutional failures. As the rate of institutional and systemic failure increases, we see citizens and leaders respond in one of the following three ways: 
  • 1. Muddling through: same old, same old.
  • 2. Moving back: let’s build a wall between us and them.
  • 3. Moving forward: lean in to what wants to emerge—empathize and build architectures of collaboration rather than architectures of separation. 

Trump and Brexit: The Cost of Failure to Empathize

by Matt Waldman
24 November 2016
"The success of Donald Trump and the Brexit campaign exposed divisions within British and American society that empathy could help to mitigate. But empathy also helps explain why these successes happened in the first place. This is what Donald Trump and Brexit campaigners did so brilliantly. They empathized with a large block of voters, gauged how they were thinking and feeling, and then exploited this for their political ends"

A 25-Point Explanation For Why Donald Trump Won
George Lakoff
Idealized Nurturant Families
"Nurturance starts with empathy. In nurturant families, caring for a child requires knowing what the child needs and wants. It requires open, two-way conversation. Parents have to take care of themselves if they are to care of their children. 

For their well-being, children need clear limits and guidelines (Don’t put your hand on a hot stove. You’ll get burned.), personal responsibilities (“Brush your teeth”), and family responsibilities (“Take care of your sister. Set the table.”) Children also need to empathize with others and act on that empathy. If not, as Barack Obama said in his 2008 Father’s Day speech, we’ll have a generation of people who don’t care about anybody else. "

Democratic Strategies Lost Big. Here’s an Alternative.
George Lakoff
"Progressive and conservatives have very different understandings of democracy. For progressives, empathy is at the center of the very idea of democracy. Democracy is a governing system in which citizens care about their fellow citizens and work through their government to provide public resources for all. In short, in a democracy, the private depends on the public. 

...But these are not just two equally valid, though opposite, moral systems. Because the private really does depend on the public, because personal responsibility without public resources gets you nowhere, the conservative view of democracy has radically false consequences. It is immoral because it lacks empathy, but it also just plain false." 

Everything mattered: lessons from 2016's bizarre presidential election
WTF just happened?
by David Roberts
Nov 30, 2016,
"America is full of different kinds of people, many of whom are suffering, all of whom face difficult challenges. They all deserve empathy. They all deserve a living wage and decent public services and fair treatment under the law. They all deserve every consideration as Real Americans."

"This leads to a lack of empathy in all directions. But the direction that should alarm us most is downward, the lack of empathy for many of the lowest and most vulnerable."  "Yes, America’s elites, especially in journalism, could badly use more empathy. "

Finding Empathy in the Face of Hate
By Gabrielle Bellot
November 30, 2016

"Empathy does not necessarily have fixed limits; we can grow to understand people we thought we could not understand before, growing ourselves as our empathy does, and we can learn to understand people without accepting what they may believe in or without normalizing things that are truly monstrous...

Authoritarianism and a lack of empathy often go together; it is easy to give people absolute rules to live by when we do not see them as individuals, but rather as a kind of homogeneous blur."

Does Trump's Rise Spell The End Of Empathetic Leadership?
One expert's take on how and whether an alpha-male president might reshape business leaders' conduct.
"It reflects a model of leadership that had seemed nearly self-evident in recent years—one grounded in mutual support, authenticity, vulnerability, compassion, and above all, empathy—but whose authority may now look more doubtful. "

I’m Done Trying to Empathize With Poor White Trump Voters
By Sonali Kolhatkar
Nov 24, 2016
"Since the election of Donald Trump, many news analysts have exhorted the left to understand the plight of rural white working-class voters who went for the Republican candidate because their communities were struggling with poverty and unemployment

A thoughtful and nuanced book by Berkeley-based academic Arlie Russell Hochschild called “Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right” has been widely touted as a good starting point for liberals to break out of their ideological bubbles. I read Hochschild’s book before the election and interviewed her on my show to explore the reasons why so many poor whites would back a billionaire demagogue."

Where’s Your ‘ Empathy ’ for Trump Voters (Video)
Tucker Carlson Debates NYT Nicholas Kristof 

YouTube Video

CARLSON: I guess what I'm looking for here is empathy. So you have traveled all around the world, famously to the worse places of the world. Darfur. Mogadishu, Ouagadougou. Probably those places much more than Modesto or Lewiston. ...

About how to move forward.
by Tom Atlee

This reality suggests that the time is ripe for change agents to engage with authentic empathy with the supposed “other side” and to join with them to realize creative alternatives that speak to the deep needs and frustrations of the overwhelming majority of American citizens and others on all “sides”.

Why the country is having a big debate about empathy after Donald Trump’s election
It’s about how to reach out to Trump voters.
by German Lopez
Nov 21, 2016
Donald Trump’s shocking victory on Election Day has left many people, particularly minority Americans, reeling: How could so much of the country hate us — or at least not care enough for us — to vote for a man who ran a campaign that repeatedly insulted minority Americans, even going as far as proposing policies that explicitly target them?

In this aftermath, the focus for many Trump detractors has shifted from how so many could have voted for him to how to unify the country, with two sides facing off in a debate about whether to approach Trump voters with understanding and empathy.

* Given these facts, a lot of people on the left — especially those of color — argue that many Trump voters don’t deserve and shouldn’t get anyone’s empathy....

“to face those facts and then demand empathy for the people who made them a reality — who backed racist demagoguery, whatever their reasons — is to declare Trump’s victims less worthy of attention than his enablers.”...

“We need to reach out to Trump voters in a spirit of empathy and contrition,” Rabbi Michael Lerner..."

Trump's win means America is in desperate need of empathy
By Clifford Kulwin
November 10, 2016
"Donald J. Trump won because he correctly perceived that a great many in our nation feel like they have been left behind, that they are not cared about. And they are angry....

On Rosh Hashanah I spoke of empathy; the need to be able to see the world through another's eyes, the ability to feel what the other actually feels. The morning after the election it is clearer than ever that as a national family, we are in desperate need of empathy. As a congregation, we will continue our work of service with and learning about the diverse communities in our own area to deepen our understanding of those with whom we live and, at least, begin to see the world through their eyes.

Trump narrows the empathy gap
"But part of it may have to do with Trump's ability to evince compassion. This may seem ironic, since he has been portrayed as, and on many occasions proved himself to be, a cruel and uncompassionate man. 

But Trump has also shown quite a bit of empathy for certain groups, particularly the "poorly educated" working class. The thing about empathy is that sometimes it can seem like a zero-sum game: When you're focused on empathizing with one group it often comes at the expense of another."

Without empathy for Trump voters, movements can’t succeed
By George Lakey
November 10, 2016

"This was a highly emotional election, and we need time to feel our feelings and sort out what it means for us and for the country. Donald Trump is a con man; his game is to manipulate emotions and activists can be as vulnerable as anyone else. Knowing that, we can give ourselves some space to breathe rather than hype each other’s fear. We can also begin to ask, what does his victory mean for social activists on the left?"

"The merits of the arguments of those opposed to Trump were solid. It’s the arguments against the actual people supporting Trump that were largely off-base.I believe Democrats lost the election due to a failure of empathy. Remember, empathy isn’t sympathy, nor is it agreement. It’s a willingness to listen and attempt to understand. There are millions of people in this country who have issues with where we are as a nation, post-Obama. 

They tend to have some similar psychographic and demographic markers. It’s understood that they skew toward the middle and lower-middle classes, Caucasian, less likely to have attended college, less urban, more religious and less trusting of institutions and government. Their discontent is rooted in personal economic upheaval, and a disconnection from some major social and cultural trends."

Why We Need Empathy in the Age of Trump
By Jeremy Adam Smith
November 11, 2016
"The election of Barack Obama marked the emergence of the Tea Party, a radical right-wing movement that challenged the Republican establishment and ultimately fueled the rise of Donald Trump. Where did the Tea Party come from? That’s the question renowned sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild set out to explore in her new book, Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right.

Scaling the Empathy Wall:
Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right

By Laura Saponara
October 21, 2016

"In her new book, Arlie Hochschild urges us to feel what Donald Trump voters feel.What does she discover? Plenty.
Scaling the empathy wall allows her to perceive an undeclared class war—but not the one liberals and progressives see, between the one percent and the 99 percent."

Scale the 'empathy wall.' Talking with Strangers: A Journey to the Heart of the Right
A new book encourages us to scale the “empathy wall” to understand a segment of Trump supporters
by Chuck Collins
September 23, 201

"An empathy wall is an obstacle to deep understanding of another person, one that can make us feel indifferent or even hostile to those who hold different beliefs or whose childhood is rooted in different circumstances." Arlie Hochschild, sociologist and author.
There are many theories and explanations for the rise of Donald Trump and the current incarnation of white right-wing populism.

A deeper understanding—and an invitation to scale the “empathy wall”—comes from veteran sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild in her new book, Strangers In Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right. The book is, as its second subtitle suggests, “A Journey to the Heart of Our Political Divide.”"

David Brooks on Trump and Empathy
AUGUST 5, 2016
"New York Times columnist David Brooks has been pulling no punches when it comes to criticizing Donald Trump. In his latest column he plays the Khizr Khan card by chiding the GOP POTUS nominee for his lack of empathy. This, of course, is a case we have been making here at The Way of Improvement Leads Home and elsewhere for a long time–most recently this week. By the way, have I mentioned that people can learn empathy by studying history?

Brooks’s words are stinging. This one is right up there with his column on Ted Cruz’s “brutalism.” He also cannot be contained because he lacks the inner equipment that makes decent behavior possible. So many of our daily social interactions depend on a basic capacity for empathy. But Trump displays an absence of this quality."

What is this election missing? Empathy for Trump voters.
By Colby Itkowitz
November 2, 2016
"What Hochschild discovered, and then wrote about in her book, “Strangers in Their Own Land” — a National Book Award finalist this year — is that neither side makes an effort to understand the other, but especially progressives, she said. Without understanding, there can’t be empathy.
Without empathy, it’s nearly impossible to explore common ground."

The US has an empathy problem, and it might be what’s causing the current toxic political environment
by Kaitlin Ugolik
"Though they don’t always use the word, those writing about the Trump phenomenon have implored the left to empathize with those who struggle with rural poverty and joblessness and feel they’ve been forgotten. Writers covering the anti-Trump movement relay the oft-repeated belief that far-right conservatives don’t care about anyone’s wellbeing but their own. The truth is more complicated, but the need to figure it out feels more urgent than ever."

Yes, Donald Trump Is A Master Of Empathy
by Emily Willingham
NOV 3, 2016
"Just days before the general election on November 8, a Washington Post headline asked and answered a question:
“What is this election missing?” The Post’s answer? ”Empathy for Trump voters.” Possibly not what you expected, and as the comments on the article illustrate, not well received."

Guilty liberal elites now think empathizing with Trump voters means making excuses for them
BY Noah Berlatsky
November 03, 2016
"The media is fascinated with Trump voters. Who are they? What are their unique rituals and folkways?
How can we empathize with their struggles, and appreciate their quaint subcultures? Why are they so angry? 

These articles attempt to evoke empathy and understanding for these people, but they reek of an anthropological contempt; they portray Trump voters as mysterious but authentic, speaking out about their long-overlooked suffering and oppression."

Intolerant Leftist Sociologist Makes Amazing Discovery About You and Me

The Rush Limbaugh Show
"What Is This Election Missing? Empathy for Trump Voters." I said, "Whoa, what's this? '
Empathy for Trump Voters'? You know what empathy is. It's not sympathy. It means we need a little bit more understanding of who these Trump people are. So the story is about a sociologist at UC Berkeley who, what? (interruption) How many number of years? (interruption) The last five years? Is it a she or a he? (interruption) She. 

A sociologist at UC Berkeley immersed herself in "Middle America," Tea Party America, for the last five years. "As the Tea Party rose to political prominence at the end of the last decade, a liberal Berkeley sociology professor set out to understand why the white working class, once a strong voting bloc for Democrats, had embraced anti-establishment ideas that put them further to the right of even the mainstream Republican Party.

The role of empathy in the election
November 3, 2016
Donald Trump’s failure to exhibit empathy has sparked many protests amongst minority groups.

"When looking to elect a leader, or more specifically, president of the United States, empathy is one of the most important traits a candidate should possess. The role of the president is to govern and lead a diverse group of individuals, each with their own unique backgrounds and to put forth and implement policies that will benefit the common good. I believe empathy is necessary for this job, because without it, we risk appointing an indifferent or even cruel individual to make decisions that will have tremendous effects on us all.

Empathy, at its core, means putting oneself in another’s shoes in order to see the world from a perspective different from one’s own. What deeply troubles me is that in this election, Donald Trump has failed to exhibit empathy. Nonetheless, he has still been successful. Trump reveals his inability to show empathy with the disparaging and disrespectful comments he has made towards many individuals. "



The Politics of Empathy

Mark Honigsbaum is a Research Associate at the Institute and Musueum of the History of Medicine in Zurich.
December 3, 2012 

"When Mitt Romney was caught on camera writing-off 47 per cent of Americans as tax avoiders, Democrats were quick to jump on his remarks as another example of the Republican Party’s ‘empathy deficit’. Since Barack Obama identified a lack of empathy as the cause of America’s bitter partisan divides, a series of studies have claimed to show that conservatives score lower on empathy than liberals. As one would expect, Republicans contest these findings, arguing that such studies tend to favour Democratic principles of compassion and care over Republican philosophies of autonomy and self-help. It’s not that they have less empathy, they argue, it is just that there are times when other moral values such as justice and self-determination take precedence and compassion should take a back seat."