Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sitting At The Big Table

Over at National Review Online (NRO), a July 16th column by right-wing wailer Michelle (Mangalang) Malkin (remember her? the would-be pundit who alienated herself [even among her conservative peers] by attacking a sick, 9 year-old kid in 2007 for supporting Maryland’s CAPS program, and more recently bemoaned Rachel Ray’s choices in “facist” neckwear?) is crying anew…this time, about the following quote by Senator Barack Obama in The New Yorker (that one with the satirical cover) which Malkin calls “a self-parody of deaf, dumb, and blind liberalism”:

The essence of this tragedy [terrorist jihad-style attacks such as 9/11], it seems to me, derives from a fundamental absence of empathy on the part of the attackers: an inability to imagine, or connect with, the humanity and suffering of others. Such a failure of empathy, such numbness to the pain of a child or the desperation of a parent, is not innate; nor, history tells us, is it unique to a particular culture, religion, or ethnicity. It may find expression in a particular brand of violence, and may be channeled by particular demagogues or fanatics.

Although I’ll be the first to admit that Obama’s statement is a tad long-winded, what Malkin utterly fails to understand is that: a) Obama is dead-on in his analysis, and; b) evil itself is often defined as a total absence of empathy for others, which enables them to rape, torture, and murder without a hint of regret (i.e. 9/11, The Holocaust, the Kymer Rouge takeover of Cambodia, The Rape of Nanking, not to mention the past 25 years of inter-tribal warfare in central Africa).

So next time you try and be a big girl and write a grown-up column, sweetie-bear, try reading the dictionary beforehand - particularly the page defining "empathy."

It might help.

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