We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I am all in favor of tuning into the feelings of another person when it makes sense to do so. It is an act of intimacy, and builds connection with others. However, I believe that most expressions of empathy are phony. We all want to appear virtuous and caring.
I always tell my girlfriend that we don't need empathy, we need manpathy.
Empathy is when you pick one person's feelings to relate to and feel like that's the only thing that matters.
Manpathy is when you say, "it really would feel terrible to be shot, but you know, it would also be pretty bad to be the guy he was strangling at the time it happened".
Or "this girl is clearly in some kind of real pain, but since her story about being gang raped on broken glass by Nazis is so preposterous, maybe we should do some minimal reporting here. Just in case she's as crazy as she seems."