Michael Gerson has written what may be the ultimate anti-empathy manifesto today. It briefly left me wondering what might be next battlefield in the Global War Against Empathy. Then it hit me, at the end of this (quite reasonable) Brooks piece on empathy, which must be quoted if only because of the Two Great Conservative Thinkers who are mentioned at the end:
Right-leaning thinkers from Edmund Burke to Friedrich Hayek understood that emotion is prone to overshadow reason. They understood that emotion can be a wise guide in some circumstances and a dangerous deceiver in others. It’s not whether judges rely on emotion and empathy, it’s how they educate their sentiments within the discipline of manners and morals, tradition and practice.
It’s a slippery slope from empathy to emotion. And I think we all know how emotional Latinas are, right? I wonder if we’re going to see suggestions that Sotomayor lets her spicy, fiery Latin temperament cloud her judgements.