Commentary: Empathy as patriotism

By Keith C. Burris, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Political News

What is really needed is wariness and a measure of humility.

That's another good thing about Joe Biden: He does not think he is the smartest guy in the room.

As a creature of Congress, he will respect Congress, even when he is at odds with Republican senators, for, again, he understands Congress and its members.

But the best thing about Joe Biden, and I am far from the first to say so, is his empathy.

He has suffered, mightily, in his life. So he really does feel the pain of others. And he really does see all Americans as family — all of us bound to each other.

Thus, we are obliged to listen to each other and help each other.


If Obama was the Visionary-in-Chief and Ronald Reagan was the Great Communicator, Biden will be the Empathizer-in-Chief.

It sounds nice after a president who was a pit bull capable of much, but incapable of empathy.

But can it work? Can we progress under a Great Empathizer — Fred Rogers as the most powerful man in the world?

I am of two minds.


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