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Sun Mar 29, 2020, 01:36 PM

I have been exploring empathy.

This after having read an OP about a Trump supporter who has awakened to how bad Trump has been, and how the author of the OP simply said, "Well, that's what you get for voting in a reality TV show host." While this particular Trumpie signaled agreement, my thoughts turned to empathy.

Did you know there are three kinds: cognitive, emotional and compassionate?

Having empathy is necessary to be successful as a human, and I don't mean material success. Most here are not motivated by that anyway. No, I'm talking about success in relationships, in friendships, in surrounding oneself with belonging and achieving what self-actualization is possible.

If you've ever read Covey's 7 Habits, you know he says that we should 'seek first to understand.' This is cognitive empathy - "I can understand why you are thinking that way."

But to go deeper into the emotional part, we must ask ourselves why someone feels the way they do, and why those feelings led them to - in this case - vote for Trump in spite of all the red flags. Because God knows there were plenty of red flags.

And to go even deeper, even after all that has happened and all the discussions we've had on here about the negative aspects of Trump supporters, if we are to exercise compassionate empathy, we must work up enough compassionate empathy to try and feel what they felt that led them to the emotions that caused them to believe that caused them to vote the way they did.

Kind of like a Gordian knot. The first line of a famous prayer is, "Please, by the great power of thy right hand, untangle our knotted fate."

Oh, we can go back and blame Lewis Powell for his 1971 manifesto, Reagan for letting the Fairness Doctrine die, Fox 'news' and the evil phenomenon that is Rush.

Sure. But how do we fight back? We've tried laughing at them. Making fun of them. Hating them. Castigating them. Barraging them with facts. None of that has worked.

So the fundamental question going forward is after we smash them at the ballot box, which is non-negotiable, what should we do then? Obviously we must once again clean up the mess, but then how can we reach out to these people and keep it from happening again? Oh, sure some reforms - overturn Citizens United and all that.

But I'm talking about the millions who did vote for Trump. Why did they reject Clinton and sanity, and throw the dice for change? What is it they want so deeply to change? Some are racist and they want change back to a white America, but that isn't going to happen. To use a cliche, America is 'browning' in terms of how its people look. How can we help them see this isn't a bad thing?

And there are poor among us. People working two and three jobs, living in their cars, taking the bus to get groceries, living in miserable grinding poverty. How can we help them see that it isn't the poor who are the enemy, but that it is poverty itself that is the enemy?

There are sick among us. People who cannot afford the medical or even dental treatment they need, not to mention mental health. How can we help them see that it is not the sick who are the enemy, but how our healthcare system keeps some people from being able to pay for care?

There are billionaires among us who exercise undue influence in our politics. They have systematically corrupted DC so that ever more wealth is routed into fewer hands until over $25 trillion has been salted away in overseas tax havens, doing nothing. Helping nobody. I have a dear friend fond of saying that we have plenty of money to ensure everyone has a good quality of life, but it is in too few hands. How can we help them see that we need to get away from a corporate operations model that puts profit above people? Get away from the concept of shareholder primacy and expand fiduciary responsibility of corporate officers to include more stakeholders - workers, consumers, community and environment. How can we help this happen? Help people see how badly it needs to happen?

Does light in the end defeat darkness? Does good in the end overcome evil? Or must we fold in what seems evil and change it so it is less damaging, better for all of us?

These, it seems to me, are the fundamental questions we must ask moving forward. The Democrats are being vindicated in a big way, it seems, at the expense of many lives. Too many. How will we guard ourselves against being arrogant?

(Oh, and don't get me wrong - the foul maggots who have perpetrated these crimes against humanity must be held to account. That has by NO means changed).

But, again, how can we do even that in a way that reflects the empathy we pride ourselves in having?

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Reply I have been exploring empathy. (Original post)
PatrickforO Mar 2020 OP
gibraltar72 Mar 2020 #1
PatrickforO Mar 2020 #3
mjvpi Mar 2020 #2
chowder66 Mar 2020 #4
crickets Mar 2020 #5

Response to PatrickforO (Original post)

Sun Mar 29, 2020, 01:39 PM

1. I have been exploring my navel.

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Response to gibraltar72 (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 29, 2020, 02:15 PM

3. LOL, what's that about not casting pearls?

May you and your family be blessed with good health, enough wealth and plenty of love.

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Response to PatrickforO (Original post)

Sun Mar 29, 2020, 02:02 PM

2. Well written and poignant

At 62 I tier of the Democrats having to be the grow ups in the room. Majority Leader Pelosi is doing a masterful job of focusing the idealists and the pragmatists in our party. As you elegantly stated, we mustnít loose ourselves while kicking ass.

I do suggest that we start practicing the understanding and encouraging action part of your observations right here at home, between the most ardent Sanders and Biden supporters. We need to move as one and accept that our diversity of thought is necessary when taking on the mess that has become of our country.

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Response to PatrickforO (Original post)

Sun Mar 29, 2020, 04:28 PM

4. The only way I can think of to change their minds is if Democrats rule for the next 24 years.

That is how long it would take to fix this mess, implement good liberal policies that everyone would benefit from and for those benefits to be truly felt. Granted some of those benefits would be felt right away. But if we keep switching back to Republican leadership the republicans will claim it was their idea, ruin more opportunities to do good for the most of us and obliterate gains in most instances, turning back to bad policies all while leaving another path of destruction for the dems to clean up and implement their ideas... only for those ideas to be felt under Republicans which many will credit to them ignorantly.
Rinse and Repeat.

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Response to PatrickforO (Original post)

Sun Mar 29, 2020, 07:06 PM

5. Very well written, and an open-hearted approach to a complicated situation.

I think we need more clarity and a bunch more open-heartedness in our lives. Beyond that, lots more thought needed on what to do. I think you make great points and give us all much to contemplate. Fortunately, sitting home gives us plenty of time to do it. /wry smile

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