The paper will address the impact and importance of genuine empathy between Democrats and Republicans. According to differencebetween.net, sympathy and empathy are the two most confused words in English language. Sympathy is feeling sorry/having pity for somebody but you do not surely understand how they are actually feeling. Empathy on the other hand is when you put yourself in the other person’s shoes to understand their feelings. The paper will show how lack of empathy has caused the Republicans and Democrats to take liberal and conservative stand in major social issues. These issues include same sex marriage, abortion, access to health care, access to quality education, war on terrorism, and tax.
According to Cosme, Pepino & Brown (par, 2), the only way to succeed is to apply the principals of empathy and open-mindedness. Many voters believe Republicans are generally conservatives and Democrats are always liberal. This usually affects the voting behavior or political ideologies.
Majority of Democrats support same sex marriage and believe it is morally acceptable in the current society. However, this does receive such support from the Republicans. They believe that this is an issue that should not even be discussed. They also receive support from the religious section. If both the camps (supporters or non-supporters) apply the principal of awareness and acknowledgment, they can find a solution to this issue. This principal states that people should resort to asking questions, guessing, reading between the lines, and interpreting non-verbal cues (Empathy, Par 7).
Empathy helps people understand the emotions of other people and creates a strong relationship (Empathy, par 1). The Republicans should interview a guy/lesbian to understand their challenges or how they are confined in that path. This will help them make a less bias decision. On the other hand Democrats should also uphold the same principals and also investigate why the republicans are against this issue.
They are many reasons analysts believe that made Romney loss the 2012 elections. The stand he and his party took on the issue of abortion is one of the factors. One of the variables of empathy is sensitivity as argued by Empathy (par, 10). Sensitivity is the act of not judging or rejecting other people’s feelings.
The women believed it was their right to decide whether to give birth or not. The Republicans felt this was a bad motion since women may abort on non-justifiable grounds. Hoffman indicates that people should show empathy to provide justice but not violate other justices (4). However, the Democrats took the stand just to win the women’s support. The Democrats should have shown some genuine empathy on this critical issue.
Brooks (par 3) believes that empathy helps people to make compassionate moral judgments. The Republicans are against the new bill that promotes access to health care for the entire USA citizens. According to financial statistics, this scheme is very expensive and lacks an alternative plan if it fails. This is a good and moral gesture to receive support from the Democrats. The major issue however, is the attitude it implies to different class of people.
Majority of employed citizens will have to pay high taxes to finance the scheme. Yet, the “lazy” citizens will also enjoy the benefits of the project. This gives rise to responsibility guilt as argued by Hoffman (12). When one is empathically thinking, they usually view things differently. The stop saying “I would have” and shift to “I should have” (Hoffman, 13). The Republican should show a bit of empathy in this issue as a bad crisis does not affect a certain class alone.
Taxes are the instrument which a government uses to fund most of its activities. The new proposal by the current president, Barack Obama, that high income earners pay high taxes is a big issue. The Republicans feel this is a bad sign to the young people. They argue that it will demoralize them and they will stop working hard. This gives rise to some of the limits of empathy. It makes people aware of other peoples suffering but does not give you motivation to practice a moral deed as argued by Brooks (par, 5). The people who will benefit are the poor but at the expense of the rich.
However, the Democrats try to argue this is a good view and it will encourage the rich to share their fortunes. Furthermore, they argue that the tax is not charged on the Republicans alone but to the whole citizens. According to Morrell democrats are usually from the minority groups hence Republicans feel they are targeted (67). This is not democracy according to Morrell (221). Empathy should help democratic deliberation function in the interest of every person.
In referring to Brooks (par, 5), the Nazi soldiers sometimes wept when they were burring the Jewish children and women. This was a sign of empathy but they did not have a choice. The government has spent heavily on the security sector to give the citizens piece of mind. However, this has not been received well with the Democrats. They see the government is sacrificing the soldiers and they family are suffering. The Republicans see the same scenario in a different way. The soldiers are dying while protecting the American citizens from their enemies. We cannot apply empathy in every matter as some matters are designed to be like that in referring to Morrell (89).
Empathy cannot be practiced by a person who has no sense of conscience (Empathy, par 17). Painful childhood and adolescence is the major contributor to this situation. Lack of quality education has caused rise in crime and violence among the youths. The Democrats are pushing for a good quality education program in public schools. This is aim to help reduce crime as children will be more occupied in their studies. Morrell states that Republicans attracts people who consider their ownership of guns to be under attack (65). This shows they lack empathy as instead of encouraging teens to go to school they want to buy guns.
In summary, the issue of genuine empathy between the Republicans and Democrats needs to be stressed. Some of the views supported by both parties are either malicious or ethical. The Democrats try to be more ethical but the Republicans are conservative. This is not bad as it helps people challenge many issues on different aspects. From the above arguments, we can see that they both want to make America a better place. Although their ideas differ, they should create a room to debate and understand each person points of view.
Brooks, David. The limits of empathy. New York Times. 29th Sep, 2011. Web
Cosme, Dani., Pepino, Chrissy. & Brown, Brandon. Empathy, Open-mindedness, and political ideology: conservative and liberal trend. Journal of Undergraduate works. 23 (112). 2010. Print
Empathy. Retrieved from www. eqi. org/empathy.htm
Hoffman, Martin. Empathy and Moral Development. New York: Cambridge University Press. 2000. Print
Morrell, Michael. Empathy and Democracy: Feeling, Thinking, and Deliberation. New York: Penn State Press. 2010. Print