09 August 2008

Policy Failure Is a Failure of Empathy - Musings, Part 1 in a series

It might be that all policy failure is simply a failure of empathy.

Tribes have emerged in America and it is becoming more difficult to create public policy because these tribes spill across traditional geographic boundaries. It has become more difficult to create the cohesion needed to, say, reduce poverty or create public works programs that engage people in something like the common good.

It is unlikely to occur to people who can’t relate to each other to even formulate public policy that suggests a common fate. And yet it is becoming more impossible to escape one another.

Empathy may not be an act of compassion. It may be that empathy simply shows awareness. We are all in this together.

1 comment:

Lifehiker said...

"Tribes". I like that. The left and the right, Apache -vs- Comanche, to the death.

As a kinda middle of the road guy, I blame the right for killing the empathy by being willing to lie about just about everything.

"Sharing truth" is the cornerstone of creating common empathy, but the right has long sacrificed truth for ideology, brainwashing millions of Americans in the process.

That's why I think it critical for democrats to sweep the fall elections and just get on with doing what needs to be done.

They may mess up some things, but they probably couldn't screw up the country as badly as the current administration if their primary goal was just that.