Empathy and judgment — we need more of both

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    June 4, 2012 10:20 p.m.

    @one old man - good zinger! You forgot to use several other oldies but goodies, like "whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you," and "Oh yeah, so's your old man," and "well, your mother wears army boots," and "I know you are, but what am I?"

    Based on your inability to engage in an adult debate about ideas, I suspect you may not be as old as your moniker implies.

    As I mentioned earlier - the article made some very good points. I just did not appreciate the false stereotype of conservatives. Conservatives and liberals have empathy, but have different perceptions of how that should be manifest through government programs and policies. One old man - I'm sorry if life has left you bitter and un-empathetic toward half of your fellow citizens.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 4, 2012 8:15 p.m.

    I saw the the talk Joe Biden gave on the internet. He's one of the few man's men in washington.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    June 4, 2012 8:10 p.m.

    Let's -- exactly. You've got it right. Your description of conservatives is right on the mark.


    June 4, 2012 9:39 a.m.

    @one old man - I only denigrate what has earned denigration, and typically that's reserved for individuals with faulty logic and those who use distorted, cherry-picked faux outrages to falsely stereotype and mischaracterize entire groups of people. Your comments generally fit very nicely into one or both categories, and hence, have earned the denigration of reasonable people.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    June 4, 2012 8:37 a.m.

    Lets -- how about going back and reading the post you wrote at midnight? How many denigrating phrases do you find there?

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    June 4, 2012 12:16 a.m.

    Helooo: "Love the concept of the article. However, I find the Vice-President's words to be cynically political as opposed to emphatic."

    If you'd seen Biden's actual speech there would be no doubt about the genuineness of his remarks.

    June 3, 2012 11:57 p.m.

    Old Man - I don't need your lessons on anything, I don't listen to talk radio, and I did not denigrate liberals. Wow - overreach much?

    I'm reasonable enough to know that neither liberals or conservatives have a monopoly on empathy or logic. Anyone who insinuates such is a blinded partisan. I'm also quite positive that study after study shows that, in terms of charitable contributions, conservatives are far more generous than liberals. Doesn't mean that liberals aren't generous too, but you certainly have no bragging rights for compassion and empathy. I have many conservative friends who donate considerable time, energy, money, and talent to charitable organizations, friends, neighbors, and strangers in need. Conservatives don't need the sanctimony and self-righteousness of you or the media to elicit compassion and empathy for anyone in need.

    In my first comment I made a plea to avoid unfair stereotypes of both sides, and all you can do is spew a pile of irrelevant garbage that proves two things - you're too biased to even engage in a reasonable dialogue of common goodness, and you've got a pretty huge chip on your shoulder.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    June 3, 2012 9:50 p.m.

    Lets -- is it really a jab? How about one example of "compassionate conservatism?"

    Which state actually has a death panel?

    It's called the "Futile Care Act."

    It was signed into law by a governor who later became a President who claimed to be a "compassionate conservative."

    Google it.


    GW Bush

    Remember, those "liberals" you love to denigrate are just Americans who will not allow ourselves to be fooled.

    Would you be interested in taking lessons on how to avoid being flimflammed by talk radio or the GOP?

    June 3, 2012 4:04 p.m.

    How about next week an article about how liberals should consider the virtues of using logic? I'm guessing that would be just as offensive to liberals as it is to insinuate that conservatives should look to Biden to learn about empathy.

    Good article, great encouragement. The jab at conservatives was an unnecessary and false stereotype.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    June 3, 2012 11:09 a.m.

    Too many of our politicians on all sides and at all levels are nothing more than actors trying to play roles in some of political stage play.

    We need good hearts as well as good minds in our legislatures and in Congress.

    What do we have now? Corporate big money and very little of what is really needed.

  • Hellooo Salt Lake City, UT
    June 3, 2012 10:53 a.m.

    Love the concept of the article. However, I find the Vice-President's words to be cynically political as opposed to emphatic.

  • glendenbg Salt Lake City, UT
    June 3, 2012 7:55 a.m.

    A powerful article, a reminder that grounding our public discussion and public policy in empathy - literally "feeling with" - with other persons could do a great deal to benefit all Americans. I've long been a fan of Joe Biden, partly because he does make mistakes and gaffes which I think come from his profound humanity. I prefer a gaffe prone decent man who can empathize with others over a smooth talker any time.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    June 3, 2012 7:41 a.m.

    I frequently disagree with Gerson, but on this I agree. What a great op-ed piece. We need more public dialogue like this. Gerson, a conservative, lauding the Vice President is magnaminous. We can see the good in the other side. No more tearing down, it's not good for our society.