The TownhallSocial issues

If you truly care about someone, stop empathizing with them

A fundamental difference between progressive and conservative politics is the progressive reliance on emotions over facts when molding policy decisions.  

This isn’t a new or revolutionary take, leftists once attacked the nature of “facts” to rebut the claim, but now embrace emotional virtue signaling because it infers that they’re superior empathizers. 

What’s interesting is that their instincts are correct—feeling good is the surest way to create positive outcomes; but their actions never match their rhetoric.  

In their frantic rush to be accepted in their own cult of personality, progressives routinely choose to identify with the moral high ground but take every measure to dig emotional holes for themselves.  

At its heart, this lifestyle is a lie, and a lifetime of dishonesty leads to desperation. Without structural integrity, no building can stand the test of time. 

The thing about a lie is that it needs another person to be involved, which implies a heavy desire to be understood. 

Monotheistic tenets like unconditional love and forgiveness often fill this void with a promise that a source of pure, positive energy stands beside you and understands you fully.  

Progressives, though, reject the idea that anything greater than themselves exists. In place of faith, they engineered a pseudo-religion that worships sentiment and implication. 

It’s a false world where everyone’s truth must be tiptoed around to preserve the only truth that they care about; the belief that empathy means more than compassion. 

The entire performance amounts to a cloak and dagger spectacle ripped from the shadows. It’s a satire come to life. Grace cannot flourish without forgiveness.  

It’s time to stop holding empathy in such high esteem. 

Answer me this: what couldn’t a leftist be convinced of, given the right sentimental spin? Mainstream media, the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party, routinely goes to bat for all sorts of depravity in the name of empathizing with deeply dysfunctional people. 

The ruse works so well because empathy is often just apathy dressed up for the cameras. The tricky emotion allows people to wallow in their own misery while constantly reaching for a new distraction to keep them sane. 

In other words, it serves a politician’s two chief goals: loyalty and discontent. When outrage dictates your life, it’s hard to care about anything of real substance. Eventually, the outrage becomes the substance itself.  

The left’s leadership knows this carelessness creates a license to print a small fortune of cultural “clout” money (not to mention real money, too). All that’s really needed is some perceived existential evil to keep drama high and legitimate progress low. 

Ironically enough, it’s the people who care about the fabric of their society and take an interest in the actions of others that usually catch the blame of empathizers. Why? Because the sin is always the same in the eyes of the emotionally charged: a lack of empathy equates to an abundance of hate.  

Republicans often think that the way to counter this absurdity is to point out the worthlessness of the cultural currency. 

This is a fool’s errand because emotionally addicted leftists will keep buying and selling their own products regardless of what true individualists think about “clout.” 

No, the way to win this game is by creating a monopoly of real virtue, which means learning to transcend their own emotional game. The left must be taught which sentiment is worth worshipping. Give them real leadership and they’ll give you everything.  

Imagine how much progress would be achieved by demanding that society self-soothes rather than allowing the most resentful factions to determine our progress strategy. It’s no wonder that all governments eventually become subversive; their loudest constituents always clamor for their own never-ending discontent.  

A strange co-dependency between progressives and their government develops as they circle the drain together. Dishonesty begets dishonesty.  

The intrinsic pain leftists feel is a result of the hopelessness that stems from living a life without agency. By believing that they are victims of an oppressive world, their natural self-sufficiency, rooted in emotional maturity, never develops. When despondency sets in (and it always does for the emotionally weak), the mind craves turmoil as a means of feeling even slightly better than they do now.  

So then progressive politicians, who either understand their constituency’s illness or are immersed in it themselves, are left with a choice. They can encourage their supporters to let go of empathy or make the easy sale to a vulnerable customer. Of course, they always choose the latter.  

Then, a prophetic pattern appears.  

Problems exist, “solutions” meant to placate emotions—rather than shift data—are implemented, and then newer, even more substantial problems spring up because the “solutions” were never meant to make lasting change.  

Politicians create their own market demand by supplying poor service after poor service, thereby guaranteeing the need for more of their service down the line. They get away with it because the ignorant customer doesn’t care about the product, but the feeling they support the empathetic position.  

All the while they get exactly what they voted for; victimization at the hands of governments who victimize on purpose.  

This merry-go-round is why our biggest cities slowly erode into hovels of poverty and hyperinflation. The Ponzi scheme of emotional investment must continue to grow uglier or else the entire house of cards comes tumbling down.  

Eventually it will all collapse. Even when it does, the forever dissatisfied still won’t be able to come to terms that their indignation never paid off. No, the evil Republican villains and their refusal to empathize with emotionality will be blamed.  

At that point, leftists will finally have everything they crave, which is an apocalypse of their own doing and a fuzzy feeling that their instincts were right all along: life really does suck.  

Congratulations on the most pyrrhic of victories.  

As you see, the chief emotional confusion that progressives send is that giving constant attention to oppression will somehow cause less of it. All rational people understand that obstacles will stand in their way in life, and that the human experience is finding ways to overcome those obstacles.  

After all, not every obstacle is a sign of oppression; quite often it is the obstacle that transforms the mediocre idea into the groundbreaking technology.  

Unfortunately, those mired in discontent have bastardized exceptionalism to mean systemic, planned oppression in which achievement is really a reflection of supremacy stewing underneath.  

Of course, empathy will reign supreme in this nihilistic headspace; when all roads lead to a feeling of rigged pointlessness, nothing will feel good besides someone wallowing in the same misery.  

But the truth about empathy is that it is an emotion of stagnation. Empathy means going down the emotional hierarchy to meet whatever feeling of discontent someone else is feeling. We believe that feeling what another person is feeling equates to being a good person, but this is nonsense.  

At best, this type of empathy gives credence to the outcomes of our peers’ poor choices. At worst, though, it undermines our adjustment to real power, which only comes from positive emotion, like compassion.  

Compassion means looking at a situation and keeping a calibration to love instead of a calibration to whatever emotion you’re feeling in the moment.  

It means staying who you are regardless of the condition and choosing self-love over empathy. Some would call that selfish, but that just means they’ve lost touch with who they were born to be.  

You weren’t born to hate in the name of love. You were born to love unconditionally, and influence others based on the strength of attraction that you emit, like a magnet. You may rub a few people the wrong way with your fierce independence, but there’s no compassion in meeting others at a lower place than you. 

If you meet them, then you’re harming them by guaranteeing that they continue to attract negativity.  

Helping someone to sustain their own feelings of negativity is no different than giving them a little nudge toward more sadness. More importantly, though, is the collateral damage you’re causing yourself by taking the dip, too.  

If you want to help these people trapped in sickness, stop empathizing with their emotions. Instead, lift up those who have never known anything but the cloak and dagger routine. 

Rex Liberman


Rex Liberman is a Southerner who has lived on the East and West coasts and currently resides in Los Angeles. A veteran of both corporate and blue-collar America, he brings a perspective to social commentary that all people from all walks of life can appreciate. Rex is most interested in the intersection between self-development and politics, and how we can come together by better understanding what drives us apart.

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