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The Tone of American Political Discussion
#71
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Originally Posted by Analog Olmos View Post
 


If you'll read my post again, I don't believe I said any such thing, or even close to it.  It's not that "a person either has empathy or does not" at all.  It's that depending on one's worldview, how one sees empathy in practice in the world (and in others) is so different, that what is empathy in action to one (i.e. the direct care of a neighbor or direct gift of capital to a favorite charity, but accompanied by the firm believe that social safety nets are not a Fundamental Function of Government), is seen as a lack of empathy by another (How uncaring can one be to desire less (or none) of their earnings to go to those served by programs for the poor, the sick, and the hungry?).



Which, as Cylon Baby beautifully pointed out above, is an absolutely invertible position (i.e. sending a portion of one's paycheck to a government program without any human interaction or direct sacrifice to neighbor or family hardly looks like empathy in action to the Second Camp).  Both camps see and practice empathy in the world.  Difference in the fundamental beliefs about the Functions of Government (ANY Government) renders each blind to the version of Empathy passionately embraced by the other.  This is the disconnect.


My apologies for misinterpreting your post. I do see that you do ascribe empathy taking different forms in both camps and I did not address that correctly.



I think you are right in describing the two camps, and do a good job discussing both points of views. I think I may have responded more to some of the other things in the thread rather than addressing your post directly.



I guess I don't think that polarization is inevitable. I find it unproductive and I think it hurts all of us in the long run. I think the elites have been setting the poor against the middle class for most of human history, because ultimately all it does is preserve their place in the world.



I have always enjoyed your posts and will try not to be a more careful reader in the future.

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