It is another year but the same old dog and pony show. Empathy can easily be weaponized, and true manipulation preys on it. This time around, empathy is being used to further a cause without the participants paying the required price for civil disobedience. Yes, I’m talking about the recent walkouts across America by underage political activists seeking to severely weaken (or abolish) the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. I have no dog in this fight at the surface, but I do believe that the rights bestowed upon the American people should be as wide and far-reaching as possible and that attempts to limit or take away rights, no matter the rationale or net impact, should be placed under the most objective gaze of scrutiny. What interests me, however, is the common and far-reaching attempt to use empathy as a weapon in the war for the hearts of man.
Civil disobedience as a means to achieve a goal requires that those engaging in the disobedience pay the societally agreed upon price (e.g. the sentence for a crime) to show that the price paid for an action is ridiculous and thus the action or underlying cause should be rendered null and void. Modern protest movements and bad behavior associated with them have lost this key component to the song and dance that brings – for better or for worse – change. Instead, the change-seekers are short circuiting the process by directly preying on the heartstrings of those around them, in often predatory and manipulative ways. Analyze the current movement of underage activists in this light. They are unable to vote, so they believe that their efforts are given more effort for they are “disenfranchised.” Consider the enforced martyrdom of the dead and how they are used to further agendas. Consider the non-argument of either you’re “with them or with ‘big gun manufacturers'”. All of this should be examined for what it is, a play for the heart and not the mind.
Time will tell if the general population will fall for these (intentional or otherwise) predatory tactics. The intelligent individual will both be immune to such attacks but also will realize that such weapons are ideal for capturing the thoughts of the larger, usually reactionary, population. All I ask is that we bear close watch and exercise caution when lending authority to those non-arguments that focus on the heart. Consider all plays to the heart under the most guarded scrutiny and do not give urgency to the call that one empathize with a movement or immediately surrender their human status.