Ann Romney Understands Empathy And Can Even Use It In A Sentence

by evanmcmurry

Conservatives v. Empathy, Part One Dillion. From the eternally useless David Gregory:

DAVID GREGORY: There was something that caught my attention, I’m sure it caught yours from the keynote speaker of the Democratic convention, which is—sort of went to this charge that somehow neither one of you are as empathetic about what’s going on in the country to people who are out of work. And the line was from from Julian Castro, the mayor of San Antonio, “You just don’t know how good you’ve had it.”  How did that sit with you?

MS. ROMNEY: The thing that I want to communicate to people, and that it’s so important that people understand, is that Mitt and I do recognize that we have not had a financial struggle in our lives.  But I want people to believe in their hearts that we know what it is like to struggle.  And our struggles have not been financial, but they’ve been with health and with difficulties in different things in life.  And one thing that I again like to remind people is that multiple sclerosis has been my teacher. It has been at times a cruel teacher.  But it has also been a great gift in my life because what it has done it has taught me to be more compassionate and caring for others that are suffering.  And I know that people are suffering right now.  And for people to think that we don’t have empathy just because we’re not suffering like they’re suffering is ridiculous. (via SEK)

Ann Romney has had an horrific experience with MS. And what’s her husband’s signature policy accomplishment? Universal health care. It’s the same as George W Bush actually fighting the good fight for once on illegal immigration because he had experience with the issue in Texas, or Dick Cheney fighting for marriage equality because the issue personally impacts his daughter. We’re best at the issues that affect us directly.

It’s ridiculous that Ann Romney sees this as an adequate response to David Gregory’s admittedly limp question. Gregory is paraphrasing the critique that because the Romneys have no experience with economic hardship, they’re ill-equipped to understand the effects of Paul Ryan’s Mitt Romney’s economic policies. Ann’s response is to bring up an example that shows exactly how personally understanding an issue and effecting good policy are related. That’s exactly the point! She just proved that if the Romneys had actually experienced financial hardship as she had experienced MS, they wouldn’t be advocating policies that inflicted such hardships on the lower and lower-middle classes.

Her response is also ridiculous as Mitt is running as far from possible from his own health care achievement. “[Illness] has taught me to be more compassionate and caring for others that are suffering.” Just so long as that doesn’t extend to actually getting those suffering health care? Keep trying, Mrs. Tuna Fish.

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