June 28, 2017
Jonathan Soros wrote for the Democracy Journal about why America's progressive infrastructure needs more empathy:
Thomas Jefferson wrote frequently about the importance of an educated electorate to the durable protection of our individual freedoms. His central argument was that the infrastructure of democracy is not only in its mechanisms and institutions, but in the capacities and behaviors of the electorate itself.
As we think about the progressive infrastructure, we need to look beyond the programs and strategies that drive policies and also consider more deeply the audiences that receive those ideas. We need to invest in a skill that is central to human identity, success, and problem-solving, but seems lacking across the political spectrum. We need to invest in empathy.
Empathy is the ability to identify with and experience the perspective of another person or group, and it competes with the antipathy we feel for those outside of family, clan, or tribe. Both are innate, biologically driven traits (often credited with our success as a species). But in our globalized world empathy can and must be deliberately developed if we are to overcome that antipathy and build a more progressive society.