Commentary: Finding Common Ground Through Empathy

While liberals tend to view conservatives as cold-hearted, rule-bound, and self-interested, right-wingers often consider left-wingers irrational, sensitive, and destructive. Both characterizations, are, of course, exaggerations, and they fail to recognize the political common ground of human empathy and compassion.

In the far-off days before he was famous, Jordan Peterson, along with some colleagues, published research showing that personality traits strongly predict political belief. According to the study, left-wingers tend to be higher in traits related to compassion and the desire for equality, while right-wingers tend to be higher in traits related to orderliness and concern for social norms. While no one’s political beliefs are predetermined merely by psychology, temperament may dispose an individual toward a certain political position. This is especially helpful to remember when trying to understand people with differing political beliefs from one’s own.

Read the full story

Commentary: The Pathological Nature of Wokeness

It is not often that two contrasting mainstream media events reveal so completely the nature of the deep dysfunction of modern culture. Yet that is precisely what happened last month.

Those two events are as follows: First, contrarian Substack writer and known anti-woke crusader Andrew Sullivan appeared on Jon Stewart’s new show, “The Problem With Jon Stewart.” I do not think I am being uncharitable when I call the appearance a disaster. Which, to be fair, is not entirely Sullivan’s fault, seeing as he was thrust into what was effectively a three-on-one fight (more like a dozens-on-one fight, if you include the studio audience). He was the lone dissenter against a pack of braying fanatics, egged on by a motley trio consisting of a grifter and two useful idiots, one of whom is the most famed enforcer of liberal dogma from decades past.

Read the full story

Commentary: Empathy is at the Core of Capitalism

by Barry Brownstein   You don’t have to search far to read claims that capitalism is centered on greed and selfishness. For some, the assertion seems self-evident as they read, for example, stories of pharmaceutical companies dramatically increasing the price of important drugs. Those who hold a “capitalists are greedy” belief fail to distinguish between crony capitalists — who make their money through subsidies, mandates and government restrictions on competition — and entrepreneurs who make their money through fulfilling the most urgent needs of consumers. The Instant Pot is a little story of how entrepreneurs unselfishly better our world. If you don’t have an Instant Pot or don’t cook, you are probably wondering what the fuss is about. If you have one, you know. Without traditional advertising, Instant Pot has become a best-selling item on Amazon, selling 215,000 units on Amazon Prime Day. Bloomberg Magazine calls it a “magical pot.” The Wonders and Success of the Instant Pot Reimagined for the 21st Century, the Instant Pot combines slow cooker and pressure cooker features and adds others. We have two Instant Pots on our kitchen counter; most days, we use both. Meals with whole grains and beans are staples in our home. When our pressure cooker didn’t seal, the meal…

Read the full story