The empty spot in Paris that should have been occupied by America’s leader shouted the truth of how Barack Obama regards the Muslim faith. Did he think that his administration’s transparent efforts to shield its favorite religion from the “terrorism” label would go unnoticed?
Imposing your beliefs is tyranny, not empathy
There is nothing special about our rabble-rousing president. The left is a breeding ground for figureheads convinced that their purpose on earth is to impose their views by force of law. Most of us call this tyranny. In America, the left calls it liberal empathy. The unity rally snub was emblematic of the empathy problem that will destroy the legacy the left tried to build during the Obama years.
The left has had an empathy problem for years. The more it tries to seal its legacy as the people’s party the worse the problem gets. Progressive fools can’t see through the smokescreen of their own flagrant opportunism, but most of the rest of us can. It’s more obvious now because Democrats had the chance to demonstrate how empathy fails and tyranny succeeds when it gets a foothold.
In politics, lack of empathy can hide
Lack of empathy is insidious. It doesn’t always look like what it is. In politics no empathy means no ability to understand or acknowledge that the laws you create and the policies you force on others are for your own benefit. It prevents you from caring that the supposed beneficiaries of the laws you pass are the excuse, not the reason for what you are doing.
We’re used to the left selling paternalistic public policy to take care of those who doom themselves. Take fast food workers trying to support families. Leftist tyranny redistributes taxpayer and employer money as social welfare and mandatory wage hikes and then makes sure everyone knows Democrats are the friend of the underprivileged. Empathy would open opportunities for better jobs and scale back the handouts.
The left has no empathy? How is that possible?
Jonathan Gruber should be declared an American hero for offering insight into how the left thinks about the herd. The best example of the tyranny and appalling lack of empathy from the left under Obama is the Affordable Care Act. Nancy Pelosi’s arrogant, condescending “pass the bill to find out what’s in it” statement symbolized the refusal of the majority party to consider anything but its own desire to add government health care to the legacy of the left even while the economy reeled from devastating unemployment.
The left had two unfettered years to impose its tyrannical view of how society should be ordered on a country that had no choice. When that opportunity passed and Obama found himself without a House, he started to take matters into his own hands as our tyrant-in-chief. He is still doing it as you read this, proving once and for all with his newest immigration order that he regards being part of America as something to be handed out, not earned. He doesn’t empathize with citizens any more than the illegals who will be scorned by Americans who won’t forget being stabbed in the back by a president who ignores his role in government.
Now America has been embarrassed again, this time by our president’s refusal to join the world to make a statement against radical Islam. Our secretary of state hinted at empathy:
I would like to say directly to the people of Paris and of all of France that each and every American stands with you today …1
Obama didn’t take the hint, despite expressing his belief after meeting with Pope Francis that empathy is important no matter what your beliefs:
I think the theme that stitched our conversation together was a belief that in politics and in life the quality of empathy, the ability to stand in somebody else’s shoes and to care for someone even if they don’t look like you or talk like you or share your philosophy — that that’s critical. It’s the lack of empathy that makes it very easy for us to plunge into wars. It’s the lack of empathy that allows us to ignore the homeless on the streets.2
It’s also a lack of empathy that allows Democrats to justify using this presidency to further their cause by using the homeless, the unemployed, and the illegally present as excuses for action that will not improve their plight.
Legacy of the left destroyed, but not for lack of opportunity
The legacy of the left was destroyed because a charismatic president gave Democrats enough rope to hang themselves by doing what was best for politics, not people. Do Republicans have more empathy? The GOP has its empathy issues, too. Like Democrats, Republicans have a habit of becoming fixated on policies that make a statement to no good effect. There is a big difference between the two parties, though. By and large Republicans look for solutions that provide opportunity. They don’t do it because they are solicitous, paternalistic, or because they worry about the poor. What’s good for business usually ends up being good for jobs and growth. The left, on the other hand, will tell you that conservatives are hateful and unsympathetic because they favor big business and force people to help themselves.
No politician can feel true empathy for constituents. Elected officials live on the public dole. They can never be entirely disinterested in the impact their actions have on their own futures. There is a tremendous gap between fixing a problem and perpetuating it for gain, though. That latter solution destroyed the legacy of the left despite the best opportunity Democrats have had in years to show what they can do. They showed us. Two months ago the people told them to take a hike.
Updated June 9, 2016: link anchors revised.