Edward Packard

May 15, 2012

It has long been obvious that Mitt Romney lacks empathy. We know this because he's not even able to fake it. He's not able to look at things from other people's point of view. His brain is defective in that respect.

Of course, scripts can be written for him wherein it will seem that he does have empathy. But reading an empathetic sounding speech or making a planned empathetic sounding remark is not the same as having empathy.

Empathy is an essential quality for a president. This is not just because, to give an example, it's kindly to provide funds so that schools can ensure that poor children have a nutritious breakfast. It's hard-headed policy: undernourished children don't learn as much. They are less likely to become productive members of society. The ultimate cost to taxpayers of ignoring them will be greater than the cost of the breakfasts.

Empathy is important in all areas. Consider foreign policy, for example. Unless you can see things from the perspective of someone with whom you're dealing, unless you can have some understanding of their emotional state, you won't be able to deal effectively with them. The danger of making a serious miscalculation will be greatly increased.

Romney's lack of empathy ranks high on the list of reasons why it would be a great misfortune for our country if he's elected president.

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