Mario Piperni on Repug Empathy

Republicans Don’t Do Empathy Too Well

March 15, 2013 By

Marriage is a human right    -

Not surprising.

Sen. Rob Portman has renounced his opposition to gay marriage, telling reporters from Ohio newspapers yesterday that he changed his position after his son Will told him and his wife, Jane, that he is gay.

Portman, an Ohio Republican, made the stunning revelation just a week before the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments on a 1996 federal law asserting that gay marriage is not legal, a measure that Portman co-sponsored as a member of the U.S. House.

“It allowed me to think about this issue from a new perspective and that’s as a dad who loves his son a lot and wants him to have the same opportunities that his brother and sister have,” Portman said.

How wonderful that Portman has finally come around and now accepts that gays and lesbians have the right to marry the person they love. Hurray! But what did it take for this conservative to get in touch with his empathetic side?

A gay son.

Republicans and conservatives have a problem doing empathy and compassion. It doesn’t come naturally to them which is why it takes a personal experience (e.g. “Dad, I’m gay”, “Dad, I’m pregnant”, “Dad, I accidentally shot Bobby in the face with your loaded gun”) for them to “think about the issue from a new perspective.”

The right struggles about, frantically trying to find new ways to explain the same clueless policies regarding gays, minorities, the poor and middle class but they just don’t get it. It’s not how they’re saying it. It’s what they’re saying.

As for Republicans view on women…


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