The man who lied to the American people about the dangers of a deadly virus, putting millions at risk, and undoubtedly contributing to the death of thousands of Americans, has contracted that very same virus – forcing many of us to balance decorum and our capacity for empathy, against a genuine contempt for the President.
We humans have an innate capacity for empathy, which can be developed further though our shared experience with others, and the moral guidance of loving and nurturing parents — neither of which Donald Trump had.
Donald Trump grew up in an insular environment, where he was taught and praised for cutthroat behavior – he was raised in an environment that put a stranglehold on cultivating that innate capacity for empathy. Under such conditions, the result is usually disastrous and tragic on a “localized” level. Meaning, those who find themselves directly involved in business with Donald Trump, or those who are part of his inner circle because of familial ties, end up being hurt or damaged by his abject apathy and malignant narcissism.
Unfortunately for America (and the world), when Trump became president, the collateral damage borne from his apathy grew exponentially, metastasizing from a localized problem to a global catastrophe. Because of this, our democracy and the health of our planet are threatened.
We’ve witnessed Trump’s apathy in both behavior and policy — from his denial of climate change science, to his willingness to snatch and cage children, to callous paper towel tossing to hurricane victims, to labeling killed or wounded soldiers as “suckers and losers”, to his weak and feckless response to racial injustice.
When the traitorous and narcissistic fool who is dismantling democracy and destroying America from within, contracts a deadly virus, how do we draw upon the “better angels of our nature” and wish him well? (especially when we know in our hearts, that the President wouldn’t give a rat’s ass if the shoe were on the other foot).
Feeling empathy towards the deeply apathetic, is perhaps the truest empathy test of all. We owe it ourselves and our country to give it a try.