American Consequences - February 2019

By P. J. O’Rourke

Also, after lacing up the other person’s footwear, a lot depends on where you’re walking to . If you’re walking a mile to his trailer home from his minimum wage graveyard shift job, that’s one thing. If you’re walking a mile to the 19th hole across the fairways and greens of Augusta National, that’s another, even if the shoes pinch. Politics is a business. Sympathy and empathy play important roles in the political business. (Although, let’s avoid discussion of politics at the present moment. Right now everybody on every side of every political issue is so pissed off that the finer emotions, like sympathy and empathy, have been pushed into the sand trap at Augusta or the dumpster at the trailer park or the gender-inclusive toilet in the bar where Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez used to work.) Let’s cool off and go back in time to a period that we can view with dispassionate eyes. George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton were an interesting contrast between sympathy and empathy.

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