Where have all the better angels gone?

I think it was Chris Matthews who got me thinking about this when he said something to the affect that as a journalist he could not comment on what’s in a man’s heart, but only on what he says or does. Which seems to be a media standard.

Over the past 35 years or so, since my Commodor 64 with a 300 baud modem, I have spent too much time in political debate and comment areas witnessing the very ugly soul of the right. In fact it was the impetus for this website 23 years ago. Kick it back in like manner.

What is amiss in Matthews’ statement is that liberals do know the heart of the right because we too have the same ugly self serving thoughts. But what we have that they do not – which I have come to believe is a matter of genetics – is a better angel on our shoulder which gives us the ability change, or at least put all that ugly in a lock box.

We know the raw ugliness in these kind of people, for it is in all of us, some of us are just able to see it for the rot it is and suppress it.

The genetics of it seems to revolve around both altruism and empathy, the ability to see things from another person’s point of view.

This came to us culturally in two instances I recall some 50 years ago.

“First of all, if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird

“I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes
And just for that one moment I could be you
Yes, I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes
You’d know what a drag it is to see you.” Bob Dylan, Positively Fourth Street