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Richard Crowson Commentary

Crowson: Share Your Empathy, Please


I ran over to the grocery yesterday in a panic. I’d been contemplating the Senate Republican health care bill.

I discovered how it gives yet more tax cuts to the wealthy. I saw how millions with disabilities and chronic illness will lose coverage. How it will devastate the elderly. How it will slash Medicaid. The horrors go on and on and on and on.

So into the store I ran and to the aisle where it was supposed to be. The shelf was bare.

“Where is it?” I screamed at a nearby store clerk.

“Huh? Where’s what?” he mumbled.

“Empathy! Empathy! It’s all gone!” I cried.

“Been out for days,” he said. “That Mitch McConnell dude came in, bought our entire stock, then he did the weirdest thing. Took all the empathy we had out behind the store and chucked it into a dumpster. So there’s not any. No more empathy. Get over it!” The clerk sauntered away.

I was devastated. I had intended to buy several boxes of empathy to send to my senators, Roberts and Moran, among others. It’s clear that anyone who could even consider supporting the Senate health care bill had lost this most basic of human traits – the ability to understand and share someone else’s experience and emotions.

When you lose empathy the next step is vilifying. Vilification leads to dehumanizing, and once you’ve dehumanized, it’s easier to eradicate. The Senate health care bill seems to be a slow-motion eradication process.

If you happen to have any stockpiles of empathy in your pantry, please consider sharing some of it with our senators. Meanwhile, I’m going to do a little dumpster diving out behind the grocery store.