Political liberals are “bleeding hearts” because they empathize so strongly with the sufferings of others as did the late George McGovern. As Bill Clinton so succinctly phrased it, “I feel your pain.” When Republicans wanted to compete in the empathy department, they had to invent a new terminology to identify this strange bird. They called it a “compassionate conservative.”
One might ask why conservatives have, or are perceived as having, too little empathy. Why do liberals have too much? A widely-credited explanation is in terms of competing world views.