Compassion is All That Matters, and the Left is Losing It
Originally Published on Medium - October 9, 2018
Politics is about compassion. Full Stop. The more people you understand, the more people you love, the more people you will attract to your message and your cause. You might very well disagree with that given the current state of politics in the U.S. and the world, but I think it actually reinforces the point.
The left was winning for a long time, and it was winning largely because of compassion. Black people were just like you, don’t you see. Women should be equal to men, the LGBTQ struggle is tough. These were all compassionate messages, fighting for everyone to be equal. For each PERSON to be equal, and treated equally, regardless of the group they were a part of.
That message is a powerful one, and pushed progressivism to new heights in the end of the 20th century, and brought so many people forward with it. But as the left started to get in charge, and as young people on the left started to get involved, they began losing their focus on compassion. Maybe these young people are entitled (I think many millennials are), maybe they truly are still as big of victims as they claim, but the bottom line is they are self absorbed, and that has lost them their compassion.
They are so caught up in their own groups, and their own narratives, that they dismiss people, in particular “privilege groups” who have any problems. They say “Sorry white people, your problems are not as bad as these other groups, they can’t be by definition.” And that is in complete contradiction to the values of compassion. Whether you like it or not, whether you think it’s a real problem or not, everyone has issues. That former coal miner is hurting, it doesn’t matter that you think they are hurting less than a black man in New York.
Even someone who doesn’t like “the gays” is a human, has people they love and care about, has hopes and dreams and fears. You converted people like that before by helping them show compassion, showing them that the LGBTQ community was more like them than different, but you have lost that message. Now you yell at them, tell them they are horrible homophobes and forever irredeemable, oh and by the way whatever problems they have are irrelevant now “in the greater scheme of things”.
But the fact is, the same message you used to win with holds true. You are more like that person than different. You have more in common with Trump voters than you don’t. They are flawed humans just like you, and only by showing them compassion will you be able to understand where they are coming from, love them, and change their mind.
Compassion is the answer, it always has been. But you cannot simultaneously call for someone to be compassionate whilst showing them hatred. Compassion spreads itself. You must show it first before you are shown it in return. The fact that the left wing at large is showing compassion to fewer and fewer groups it disagrees with is a losing tactic. Even if you don’t agree with me morally, you should at least agree with me empirically and tactically.