It probably began with Bill Clinton aspiring to feel people’s pain. Then Barack Obama praised judges for exemplifying empathy. Then Justin Trudeau celebrated Canada as a place where we are there for one another.
Now, finally, someone, Paul Bloom, a Yale psychology professor, has come out with a book, Against Empathy.
I am not claiming that we Acadians came up with the idea of multiculturalism. Rather, that the effort to uproot all of us, an entire people, from lands we had occupied for over a century may have prompted the British to think that they might find less drastic ways to exercise rule than total conquest and subjugation.
There has been at least one salutary consequence of the rise of Donald Trump: a spike in sales of George Orwell’s 1984.
The book remains the classic statement of the totalitarian menace that haunted the last century. But does it pertain directly to the present?
Nearly a thousand years ago, Christianity split into the Western (Catholic) and the Eastern (Orthodox) churches. The final quarrel revolved around one word, filioque (meaning “and the son”) in the Nicene Creed: whether the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son (the Catholic version), or from the Father alone (the Orthodox version).
When it comes to Donald Trump’s victory, I was either shocked but not surprised, or surprised but not shocked.
Ever since Trump made a totally scurrilous attack on John McCain without any apparent impact on his standing among Republicans, I concluded that Trump would not quickly or easily be forced out or fade away. That was more than a year and a half ago.
CONTACT US: Frank Magazine Box 295, Halifax N.S. B3J 2N7 -- Phone: 902 420 1668 -- Fax: 902 423 0281