How Empathy, Not Protest, Can Defeat Trump and Right-Wing Extremism

Empathy as a national deficit


As Ender discovered, a resource for practicing the art of polarization is empathy, but where is that honored in our culture?


When our nation’s leadership asks why terrorism continues to grow despite massive firepower, it rarely tries to get inside the worldviews of either leaders or recruits of terrorist groups. Institutionalized racism, classism and other oppressions flourish with the scarcity of empathy. To my regret I didn’t ask, back in the 1960s, “Where does the violence of the members of the Ku Klux Klan come from?” I would have felt I was somehow letting down my cause if I turned to my empathy. That’s a pity, because I might have discovered how much the experience of capitalism was (and still is) a driver of the Klan.