Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A politics of compassion?

As usual, Deepak Chopra says a mouthful in his recent column:
Since the death of Robert F. Kennedy, candidates don't run on a platform of compassion....Compassion is considered weak nowadays, not a fit platform for anyone running for higher office....
I don't remember RFK very well, nor have I studied his campaigns. But I can tell you that compassion is unknown in politics these days. Unless you're talking about compassionate war or compassionate pre-emptive strikes...

Heck, even the Democrats can't bring themselves to cut off funding for this war. There's going to be a Senate vote today on two amendments brought forward by Sen. Harry Reid, and neither is expected to pass. The announcer reading the news on NPR this morning said something like the votes "would give Reid an idea of how many people are amenable to the idea..." Evidently, and idea whose time has come, huh?

No, the closest we can seem to get to compassion is tying Iraq war spending to benchmarks that the Iraqis have to meet ... in other words, can they clean up the mess we made for them within what we consider a reasonable amount of time? I guess this qualifies as compassionate pull-out.

I wish I had Chopra's confidence in our good nature, however:

Who today is willing to show that they have a heart and can’t help feeling compassionate? I wager that anyone with the courage to display actual love, sympathy, and kindness would rocket into public favor.


  1. You overlook, rightly, our "compassionate conservative" president! Sad that he managed to co-opt the word and distort it to his advantage--before destroying it as a political concept for the rest of us. Thanks for the thoughtful post. Cheers, PaL

  2. And thanks for stopping by, Pal!


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