Monday, October 05, 2009

Empathy and Imagination

Sitting quietly in my living room earlier today I began to wonder if Republicans have any imagination. I came to think about this because, for some completely unknown reason, I thought about what it would be like to suddenly be bombed, as often happens in countries other than the U.S., and often because of the U.S. Obviously this would be a terrible thing. My house would be destroyed, part or all of my family could be killed, it would be a trauma I might never recover from. Yet this happens fairly commonly in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Gaza strip, among other places. This depressing imaginary disaster then made me think about other things that happen commonly to many people. Do you ever wonder what it would be like to have to tell you children you didn’t have enough money to feed them, or buy them school supplies or clothes? I should think having to do that would be completely devastating both to the parents and to the children. What about if one of your children or your spouse became seriously ill and you had to tell them you had no health insurance and there was nothing you could do for them? How would that make you feel. What about being homeless and having to scrounge food out of dumpsters? Obviously any of these things would be horrible and the effects upon you and your family would be devastating.

These are the kinds of things that Republicans have wished on other people for many years. They have resisted virtually anything that would make the lives of ordinary people better. They have been traditionally anti-education, anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, anti-union, anti-living wage, anti-health care, anti-food stamps, anti-unemployment insurance, even anti-medicare (when it was first proposed), pro big business, and pro war. If you go back far enough they were anti-eight-hour day and anti the forty hour work week and anti social security. It has become obvious from this, especially in recent years, that they must completely lack empathy. Is this because they have no imagination and cannot imagine the plight of other people, or is it because they can imagine it, but just don’t care? I think it is entirely fair to say they lack empathy because of the policies of their party, as above. Remember Bush’s claim to be a compassionate conservative (an oxymoron if ever there was one). Have you witnessed any acts of compassion on the part of Republicans? I confess I have not, certainly not in recent years. Of course if you have neither imagination nor empathy you are not going to have compassion either. I don’t know if Republicans truly lack imagination or not, but I do know they lack compassion and that means to me they also must lack empathy, and if they lack empathy they probably must also lack imagination.

Republicans have followed these “against-the-common-man” tactics ever since I can remember. The very first thing I learned about them when I was a child was that they were on the side of business and against the interests of the working class. And they have been that. They are, of course, following this same ideology at the moment. They are against unionizing. They are against universal health care. They are against controls on the marketplace and the banks and insurance companies. They are always on the side of the corporations,and they want to privatize everything. Do you believe corporations have any interest in bettering conditions for the working class? If you do you must have been absent for a very long time. Making things even worse, at the moment they have expressly said they are opposed to anything President Obama wants to do (most of which is in the way of bettering conditions for the middle class and the poor, as well as ending their terrible and unnecessary “wars”). Some of them at the moment are actually traveling abroad deliberately undermining our own U.S. Foreign Policy. At any attempt to better conditions for the working class they immediately yell “socialism,” or “communism,” or “fascism,” even though it is perfectly obvious they don’t know what these terms mean and basically don’t even care what they mean , as these absolutely mindless claims have worked for them for so long.

I’m sure it is more than obvious by now that I do not like them. I think they are a heartless bunch of greedy capitalists who do not care for the lives of others, especially others less fortunate than themselves. They are promoting a ridiculous type of cultural evolutionism that should have been dead and buried many years ago. I don’t understand them. I simply cannot understand how they can be so completely insensitive to the problems of ordinary people, how they can deliberately stand in the way of any attempt to improve the conditions of our citizenry, how they can ignore so much suffering and misery all for the sake of profits that benefit only themselves. Supposedly they are elected to carry out the will of the people. That has now become little more than a bad joke. With six lobbyists for every Congressperson it is perfectly obvious who they are serving. It’s disgusting. It’s degrading. It’s the worst form of prostitution. It is not only destroying our country, it will eventually destroy the human species itself.

“The capitalists will sell us the rope with which to hang them,” Lenin. They will also insist there is no global warming, and “What’s good for General Motors is good for the country,” Charles E. Wilson. (I am aware that what he actually said was, “What’s good for General Motors is good for the country, and vice versa. I don’t see how adding the vice versa really changes the meaning very much).

2 comments:

bc said...

You said:
"Is this because they have no imagination and cannot imagine the plight of other people, or is it because they can imagine it, but just don’t care?"

Sounds suspiciously like the definition of a sociopath.

Republican = sociopath?
If the shoe fits...

Anna said...

You may want to define whether you are talking about Republicans as a whole and through history, or each individual Republican. Because believe me, most Republican people are nothing like what you have described. I have a great imagination, I actually found your post by a google search because I'm preparing a speech on imagination and empathy, I consider myself very few of the things your mentioned and yet I'm a Republican. Generalizations are inaccurate and very hurtful.