I Have Still Another Dream

Posted: November 7, 2007 in Politics

I am struck by politicians’ lack of empathy when confronted by zealous individual demonstrators. One was Condoleezza Rice when the woman with red (assumed fake) blood on her hands confronted Condi in the halls of congress. Rice’s response was the same as Johnny Cash when somebody yelled out from the crowd, “We love you Johnny”. It was “Oh, another one of those”. In Condi’s case it was in her demeanor – or at least how I interpreted it.

When I saw the video of the incident I wondered how it would have played to the public if Condi would have turned to the woman, grasped her hands, and, with tears in her eyes, had said something like “I disagree with you but I am dedicated to the principle that you have the right to say your piece”. Can you imagine how heads and attitudes would turn at that?

Another example of this lack of empathy was in Patty Murray’s response to a vocal outburst from a guy in the audience after Patty’s hearing in Seattle about how awful veterans are being treated by the Veterans’ Administration. If she would have called out for the guy to come to her; or had gone over to him and expressed similar thoughts that I suggested for Condi what a coup of public relations that might have been.

This is yet another example of the difference between Zha Zha Gabor’s reaction to developmentally disabled people causing a distraction from her performance (asking that they be moved to the back of the theater); and Ernestine Anderson’s reaction to a similarly distracting young man on the corner of her outdoors stage at the Bellevue Jazz Festival.  

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