The ‘Empathy Slander’: A Lie That Would End Civilization, A Truth That Would Save It

(Published Nov. 8, 2012)


Finding opportunity in distress is a fine way to honor Mitt Romney.


He built a small nation of jobs doing precisely that, and he represented liberty and America admirably this campaign. He deserves honor. Instead of dread, let’s examine our distress and locate an opportunity for conservatism in the aftermath.

Wonderfully, we mustn’t look hard — the opportunity is clear, at the top of the pile, and already has a grip on my lapels, looking more promising than the office superstore concept where Romney’s Bain found opportunity in efficiency.

The most visually distressing figure I’ve noted yet from the election returns — besides, you know, which dude got the most votes — came across Twitter this morning via Dan McLaughlin, and was then reposted on Ace of Spades. Here’s the post from McLaughlin:


Voters who selected “Cares about people like me” as the deciding factor for their presidential vote broke 81 percent for Obama.

I don’t fear I’m on a limb by interpreting that voters considered “people like me” to constitute those of lesser or no income, or those who feel victimized regarding some factor of their present station. But this mindset is not relevant, or is less relevant here — shifting someone’s outlook from victim to rugged individualist is a hell of a task, and not my concern. I don’t much care if one chooses to pass through life feeling victimized — freedom of conscience and all — but I get unwound when an unconstitutional law attempts to legislate victimhood.


And this is the point: I fear conservatives digest this statistic by feeling they must double down on their outreach, on selling the virtues of liberty and the responsibility it requires. Again, it’s a hell of a task. However, it’s an outcome that could — should, perhaps must — come to pass via presenting a related truth.

Think in terms of efficiency: I don’t care to imbue the “cares” voter with a new philosophy, one now alien to him; I just need to let the “cares” voter know that, if that’s his criteria, then he’s got it entirely wrong …

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