Why is empathy central to democracy?

If you don’t care what happens to other people — if you only care about yourself — why would you care to live in a democracy?

President Barack Obama repeatedly emphasized the importance of empathy, which he identified as one of the most important things his mother had taught him. He defined it as “the ability to stand in somebody else’s shoes, to see through their eyes.”

“The world doesn’t just revolve around you” he said. “There’s a lot of talk in this country about the federal deficit. But I think we should talk more about our empathy deficit.”

Empathy is the central component of a healthy and functioning democracy. That’s because democracy is based on the principle of equal representation. Empathy is necessary to understand and respect the perspectives and experiences of diverse individuals and communities.

Reader more at the FrameLab Newsletter: https://framelab.substack.com/p/george-lakoff-why-is-empathy-central

“For empathy is the fuel of democracy.  Let me say that again: Empathy — empathy is the fuel of democracy, a willingness to see each other — not as enemies, neighbors.” — President Joe Biden