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May 21, 2007


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when he starts giving speeches to people who aren't already swayed, I think that's when you might start hearing some concrete ideas about the deficit. ;]

Scott Walters

I don't know -- the federal deficit may, in fact, be connected to the empathy deficit. One might argue that the amount of money we spend on, say, wars is directly connected to our inability to empathize with people in other countries and understand their needs, dreams, and values. I don't think he should IGNORE the federal deficit, but the kind of silo-thinking that isolates economics and disconnects it from values isn't working very well. Bill McKibben, in "Deep Economics," discusses how our belief in economic growth as a universal good may not only be bad for the environment, but also for our level of contentment, and, I would argue, for our general social health.


I was really impressed with the New Yorker article about him a few weeks ago. The central point of the article was that his talk of bipartisanship isn't actually bullshit--one of the thing's he's extraordinarily good at is building consensus from opposing viewpoints, and he's won a lot of respect across the aisle for that. I don't want him to coast on empathy and not get into the nitty gritty, but on the other hand the nitty gritty will always be changing based on the considerations of the day and what's possible to ram through the system. So if he has the chops to back it up, running on your leadership style is not so empty.

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