The Corner


Biden and ‘Empathy’

Two of the most abused words in our political lexicon are “empathy” and “sympathy,” neither of which is used to mean what the word really means — we use them to mean “pity,” a word that politicians avoid because of the stink of shame attached to it.

(See my “Against Empathy” for more.)

But what both “empathy” and “sympathy” really get at is the ability to see things from someone else’s point of view. This is a talent that Joe Biden does not have.

If Joe Biden actually were able to see things from another’s point of view, he might, among other things, understand why it is that his son’s business dealings in Ukraine and elsewhere seem sketchy as hell to a great many people — and he would respond appropriately, instead of the sneering and stonewalling and cheap insults he has offered so far.


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