John Wood Jr. is a national leader for Better Angels, a former
nominee for congress, former Vice-Chairman of the Republican Party of Los
Angeles County, and author of the upcoming book Transcending Politics:
Perspectives for a Divided Nation.
Director of Media Development and spokesman at Better Angels.
Better Angels is a national, grassroots, nonprofit organization dedicated
to project of creating greater understanding and collaboration in our civic
culture between Democratic and Republican voters. I am responsible for the
development of original written, video and audio content for Better Angels
website and social channels, crafting public messaging, and public
John wrote an article called
The War on
Empathy. In this dialogue we discuss the article.
"There is something subversive in empathy that makes it
threatening to certain social status-quos. Most political coalitions are
based, to some degree, on the dehumanization of their opponents.
Some find empathy to be antithetical to the pursuit of justice. To others,
empathy is the virtue of the morally irresolute. In a time when some
politicians relentlessly insult their opponents on Twitter while others
encourage their supporters to harass opponents in public places, empathy
may not always strike everyone as a self-evident good. It is good to
understand why empathy seems to frustrate, disappoint, or even offend its
critics, precisely because it is a virtue worth defending."