Empathy and benevolence are getting this country into a lot of trouble.
How can that be possible? How can benevolence, or being well-meaning and kind, be detrimental in any way? What about empathy? The ability to put oneself in another’s place to feel their pain? Shouldn’t we all strive to help our fellow man or woman in any way that we possibly can?
No, we should not.
Let me explain.
I started to notice a few things about the progressive left some time ago. Every position they take on every issue seems predicated on unlimited benevolence or altruism. The progressive women, in particular, seem completely and utterly driven to obliterate the word no from their vocabulary as it relates to giving things away.
Unlimited immigration? YES.
Healthcare for all? YES.
Free College? YES.
Spend unlimited money on climate change? YES.
Let your children change genders? YES.
Universal Basic Income? YES.
Redistribute money from the rich? YES.
Send men into the women’s bathrooms? YES.
Watching the progressive platform evolve into some unlimited charity case, I then came to a realization sometime later:
Someone has to be the bad guy.
Let me be clear: I want to help as many people as we can, within reason. We should all be more empathetic and benevolent to one another. However, the line has to be drawn somewhere. If we allow these far left ideologues to get their way, it will ultimately destroy the country. The country cannot sustain a welfare state and play philanthropist for the entire planet while having unlimited immigration, to say nothing of undermining fundamental American rights. It is almost as if they are children that are playing fantastical games that the adults have to break up once in a while. The left believes they can create a socialist utopia, just like Star Trek, if only those evil Republicans would go along. It struck me that this meant that for Republicans to be the adults in the room, they were going to have to be the bad guys. Sometimes I feel like I’m pacifying a daycare full of children when talking to a leftist, or preventing a child from eating 10 pounds of candy.
“No, you can’t just allow the entirety of the planet come here.”
“No, you can’t take all my money and give it to someone else.”
“No, you can’t take my guns.”
“No, you can’t ship all our jobs and money overseas.”
“No, you can’t take away my free speech.”
And so on and so forth, right down the line, with every single issue. We saw it this week in the gun control argument in the wake of the Parkland Springs massacre. The left spent the week screaming into the face of every Republican that supports the Second Amendment that they are child killers. As Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch were shouted down in the CNN town hall, I thought to myself that the left really would strike down the second amendment in a heartbeat if they could. For the Republicans to preserve an American right, they are going to have to be the bad guys in this argument. In other words, the left has created an “Empathy Trap” for which most Republicans have no answer. Liberals understand that feelings beat facts, and can switch you out of your logic frame by getting you to feel empathy. They will cry in your face and call you a murderer and expect you to cave. Ann Coulter called out the left for using victims in the wake of Parkland, saying “you can’t send out weeping victims to make your argument.”
Yes, you can. That’s the entire point.
The left has made empathy their primary weapon. Because they are advocating for empathetic positions, they feel they are in the right and we are evil. However, they lose all moral authority when they resort to censorship and violence to make their points. Empathy and benevolence are attributes we should all want. Especially in what was built to be a Christian nation, the desire to help as many as possible has led Americans to spend billions overseas on aid and allowed Western Society to have the most progressive values on human rights anywhere in the world. To preserve American values in the face of the progressive assault, the left has been able to twist every issue into an empathy game, that very few Republicans can handle. For all of the ridicule Donald Trump got during the campaign that likened him to a five-year-old, he has been the adult in the room as it relates to policy. He was one of the first Republicans who was willing to beat the Empathy Trapand be the bad guy on specific issues, and not back down. The central appeal of Donald Trump to a lot of people was his complete unwillingness to back down in the face of a withering assault by the left. If he thought he was right on an issue, he never backed down, and yet somehow most Republicans still lack that ability even after Trump showed them how it was done. Take health care: Even the threat of repealing Obamacare caused the left to pile sick and disabled people in the office and town halls of every dissenting congressional member.
Sometimes, to preserve everything you’ve built, you have no choice but to be the bad guy. You don’t just invite every vagrant into your home. You don’t drain your family’s bank account to pay for some kid you don’t know to go to college. Progressives understand these things on a personal level, but somehow find it deplorable to apply the same standards to the country. They then bring a pathological level of altruism that says anything goes in regards to the country, that they would never apply to their own family. C. Daniel Batson proposed the Empathy-Altruism Theory. It states that if someone feels empathy towards another person, they will help them, regardless of what they can gain from it. He missed one thing in his assertion: they do obtain something from it. When they perform an act of altruism, or even perceived altruism such as virtue signaling proclamations on Twitter, the reward circuitry in the brain fires, thus they get addicted to the dopamine hit that thinking of oneself as a righteous person brings, becoming actual altruism addicts. The age of social media has magnified this effect tenfold. Keep in mind, social media is addictive in and of itself and becomes doubly so when you have an audience praising you for your altruism every day.
Meanwhile, the rest of us look at the civilization our forefathers built for us and just sigh. The principles that created the entirety of Western civilization, and especially America are under assault, at every level. Every single right we have is being undermined by the progressive left, all in the name of empathy and benevolence. In my article The God of the Left, I wrote that their altruism will get us all killed, and it seems they are determined to make it happen.
Time to be the bad guy again.
“The definition of strong leadership is not about making decisions that are popular. Making popular decisions is easy, you don’t need to be a leader to do that. The definition of strong leadership is to make decisions that are unpopular, but are nevertheless sound.”
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Steve is the author of Forging the Iron Mind, and is the founder and CEO of Americana Prime.