We talk a lot about morality/ethics guiding political decisions (abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research, war, the ethics of lobbying, etc.) but I hardly ever hear anyone talk about empathy as an essential part of politics. In fact, it seems that lack of empathy is rewarded a lot of the time.
Some of us disregard the experiences that bring illegal immigrants to our country, condemn soldiers as 'glorified killers', reject the feelings of someone who contemplates abortion, reject the idea of letting someone 'who made themselves poor' benefit from taxes, disregard the value of 'gun culture' to some citizens, dismiss observations of racism as 'pulling the race card' and so on.
In other words, not having empathy or showing signs of having it has, in a sense, become 'cool' in politics not only in the U.S., but everywhere.
I want my country to be built on a foundation of many values from freedom to equality, but also empathy. I can't imagine the citizens of an ideal state not considering it a primary tool for building their country. Not only is it useful for understanding how to solve social problems, but it also just creates a more positive atmosphere of people who, while disagreeing with each other, at least know that the other side understands where they're coming from.
So I am curious to know what you guys think. What role do you think empathy should play in creating a 'more perfect union'?