The Empathy Gap



                       Joseph O'Shaughnessy

·                                 Downers Grove, Illinois

·                                 Verified


Reagan was a nice guy. Right Wingers, union members, even Tip O'Neill loved Reagan. We hadn't learned our lesson yet. 

But I had to climb over the bodies of a dozen people sleeping in the vestibule of Grand Central Station to get into the terminal. I saw a man sitting in a cardboard box in front of St. Thomas's…with his little girl. 

And that was the Reagan recession when we knew it would end and simply gritted out teeth and waited. This is not the same. This is the attempt of Reagan's sick political heirs to change society permanently. 

Ryan is not a nice guy, nor was Reagan. These people who believe that they can stand up one morning and look up to the sky and say that they have been morally cleansed because of some switch they turn on in their minds that they call "being born again" are not saved. 

Their superstitions tell them that they are saved. They clear their consciences like sweeping out the garage. But they don't. It is too convenient. If it were that easy, anyone could do it. Anyone can. 

They use a mental device to ignore what they do not want to see. They do not see poverty and pain and disease and heartbreaking, long-term despair. It does exist, but not for people like Reagan and Ryan. 

That is how they can be so cheerful and such good company, and such "nice guys."


I have met many a Reagan in my life and it is why some others are angry people while the Reagan-type have all the friends; because they thought trickle down would work. They kissed the ass of the rich and got nothing but a bad taste in their mouths.




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