“The Republican Party is scared of empathy,” argues Salon’s Jeremiah Goulka, pointing to party support for Washington owner Daniel Snyder’s refusal to consider changing his team’s nickname. “They never would a team called the Whiteskins, the Brownskins, the Blackskins, or the Yellowskins,” claims Goulka, and amongst the succession of flimsy justifications he presumes support keeping the name (including but not limited to “intent” and pride in not buckling for liberal / special-interest groups), the scariest of the bunch oughta be “Feelings Are For Sissies”.
There remains the frightening possibility that some Republican might try to imagine how a Native American might feel about teams or mascots appropriating (or insulting) his culture. Lest that nice Republican go off the proverbial reservation, there is a ready-made prophylactic that can be stated in these simple words: “Don’t be a sissy.”
This prophylactic is built into Republicans definitions of masculinity. One of the first things you learn as a boy in a Republican community is that manhood is of the utmost importance, and the prime way to be a man is to avoid anything effeminate. Feelings, emotions, and all that other irrational stuff like empathy are girly.
Republicans love to knock Bill Clinton for saying, “I feel your pain.” We are living in “The Age of Feelings,” wrote National Review columnist Dennis Prager, making fun of people who might take issue with the Redskins name. That magazine recently ran an article entitled “Against Empathy.” The implication is clear: Feelings are for losers — that is, liberals, those sensitivity-preaching, holier-than-thou, bleeding-heart, sad sacks of emotions. Grow a pair.