Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
This post is about me. I am empathy-deficient. What should be a touching story leaves me feeling nothing but contempt: a United States Senator empathizing with a federal inmate serving two consecutive life sentences who wanted to father a child. Through this empathetic Senator’s efforts, the inmate has successfully impregnated his wife.
I do not feel empathy for a jailed criminal who thinks he is entitled to be a father. Conjugal visits are prohibited at the federal level, so I see no need to employ a workaround (artificial insemination) to circumvent a natural consequence of the rules, particularly for such a contemptuous character. The empathetic senator suffers no such pedant reasoning.
Nor do I feel empathy for the mother, who was “desperate to have a child.” The mother is not American and doesn’t even live in America. But my range of emotional outreach is stunted, in comparison to a U.S. Senator with a global constituency: “Senator Leahy and Marcelle Leahy are parents and grandparents, and they sympathized with her on a human level and they wanted to help her, and they did it for her.”
Not only were Senator Leahy’s efforts fruitful, but they have proven that empathy (which I seem to lack in sufficient quantity) leads to wonderful outcomes, as evidenced by the mother’s reaction: “The feeling now, in a word? Delirious. I’m not even going to say love. Delirious is what defines it better.”
The fact that a senator would use his considerable influence to enable a foreign jailed criminal to have his wife artificially inseminated is even more disturbing when one considers a few further details. This man, the beneficiary of Senator Leahy’s empathy, is a Cuban intelligence officer and a national hero of Castro’s government for his efforts to commit espionage and murder as leader of the so-called “Cuban Five.”
Comrade Gerardo Hernandez, released by President Obama and reunited with his wife in Cuba, was photographed rubbing the belly of his “delirious” wife—the wife of a national hero and soon to be the mother of a future national hero whose birth can be partially attributed to the empathy of a Senator from Vermont.
But I just don’t feel it.
Please forgive me for writing such a self-centered post. I can only aspire to someday feel the senator’s kind of empathy.Published in