The Weaponization of Compassion, by Andrew Joppa

I believe I’ve lived most of my life as a compassionate human being. I’ve always rooted for the underdog…merely because they were the underdog. I gave scant thought to whether they were justified in who they were or the end they pursued. My eyes became misty as a long struggling underdog made it to a better place…overcoming all the odds. I will concede, as I aged, I gave deeper concern to the justifications of the underdog, but my rooting interest still stayed generally on their side.

 

Over the past few years, however, all of that has changed. Perhaps that’s been a factor of my survival instinct or a new and more meaningful awareness. Regardless of cause…no matter how deeply I search inside myself, my original compassion has all but totally disappeared.  I no longer seek out what makes me “feel good” but, rather, what actually is good by impact.

 

I have reached an intrusive conclusion. Simply, misplaced compassion is as dangerous as hate in its effect and is an emotion I’m not entitled to use to make my decisions when it leads to the damage of many innocents, impacted by its results.

 

This, in fact, exposes another more critical consideration. In all situations there are many groups of people who deserve my compassion…but are seldom considered. I’ll therefore backtrack somewhat on my earlier comments. My compassion that was originally superficial, driven by societal norms, has now shifted to a compassion that is more essential…more critical. That will take some explanation by example. My compassion isn’t entirely gone, it’s just changed its focus. I now feel compassion for those that I initially ignored. Those where my compassion made them a victim, not of any original problem…but victims of compassion itself.

 

The most obvious example are those illegal aliens streaming across our border in the hundreds of thousands. Early on, the comments offered that most were simply hard working, honest people, trying to create a better life for their families had reached my emotional core. Others, that were escaping the painful tyranny of their home country received a special place in my early compassion.

 

Although I’ve put those absurd generalizations behind me…even if I hadn’t…even if every one of these illegals was a perfect model of human reality at its best, my compassion for them has disappeared. My compassion is now better focused on those Americans whose lives are diminished by their very presence. Their lives are diminished where crimes of violence and drug trafficking increase. They are diminished as entry level jobs disappear or wages are driven down.

 

More dramatically, local economic and school systems are disrupted and made dysfunctional, lives altered as illegal votes cast corrupt the entire result itself. They are damaged as these illegal numbers compiled during the census changes congressional representation and then, the votes cast into the electoral college. So, please, stop trying to manipulate my emotions. I no longer care who they are or why they want to be here…they must be denied entry by using all means at our disposal.

Other examples abound. At one point I would root for those who were poor to improve their status in life. I still maintain that theory, but reality has intruded. Now that Affirmative Action and DEI have become mainstays of our society I “root” only for a meritocracy, regardless of how it all plays out in numbers.

 

My compassion has shifted to those negatively impacted by this arbitrary process. My compassion for the poor has been replaced by compassion for the victims of offering employment without filters; exemplified by those who fly on various airlines now wondering if they’ll make it to their destination. Employers find it nearly impossible to discharge even the most sluggardly of subordinates. If they manage to discharge a protected minority, they’re in danger of legal action and/or the sullying of their reputation. My compassion is now for the larger society and culture…and its future.

 

My compassion had been for higher wages. My compassion is now for the consumer whose lives are being diminished by inflationary impact and those who now find that many entry level jobs are not available as employers cannot afford to pay more without limiting employment.

 

My heart had gone out to victims of racism. It now goes out to those who, by contrived accusations of racism, had their lives destroyed.  My compassion is now with those victims.

 

I had an ongoing sympathy for women whose lives were diminished by misogyny. Now that this has shifted to being a crusade against men…it is these beleaguered males who now receive my compassion.

 

In Ukraine, my compassion for the Ukrainian people has remained. However, my reasons for this have shifted. Now that thousands of young Ukrainians are dying, serving as mercenaries of an undeclared America war against Russia, now that they are surrogates of the profit-making machinery of our military industrial complex and victims of their own oligarchs, I no longer have any compassion driven by an ultimate Ukraine victory.

 

My compassion now exists only at the level of ending this conflict.  My compassion for young Ukrainians no longer requires their death in the service of corruption. My compassion now demands that they live to fight another day. If this requires Zelensky and his band of oligarchs being removed to a neutral environment with Russia gaining control of Ukraine itself…so, be it. There will be a tomorrow where Ukraine exists. In that circumstance at least, it will not be but a nation of women and old men.

 

In almost every area of American life my initial compassions have disappeared, to be replaced by a deeper concern for those damaged by compassion without purpose…compassion without a concern for the additional victims it may produce. As with all emotions it is generated without conscious thought or consideration. I believe we must be wiser than allowing our “feel good” compassion to damage innocent victims.

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