Friday, January 11, 2008

The Politics of Compassion


Thank you for your patriotic and political message.

It is just a little too "black and white," and too far to the right (extreme conservatism) for our taste. Our political philosophy has room for compassion.

This message, which seems to be perfect on first glance, we have heard several times before; it contains no room for, does not allow for, compassion, especially for the poor and dislocated of the world. It can be very harsh to insist that very poor people learn a new language and get a job, but both are not always realistic possibilities. So, it is better, we feel, to make allowances for human limitations, and not to demand from the ultrapoor what we might demand from others. They need extra compassion, and a "softer" philosophy, especially when they are newly in transition from one country (or culture) to another. We prefer the Way of gentleness, although we can understand the frustrations of those who take this concrete, unmoving stand against foreign languages and foreign people.

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