The Dark Side Of Compassionate Politics


Every government is operating with limited resources, which means a choice to be more compassionate to one group of people can have a negative impact on others. Pretending this reality doesn’t exist doesn’t stop it from being true. Is it possible for something positive to become something negative? Life often shows that is the case. Too much exercise wears the body down. Too much sleep means life isn’t really lived. Too much food causes serious health problems. Even too much water can be a problem. What holds true for physical things also holds true for ideas and concepts. Being kind is generally good, but taken too far it turns someone into a pushover who is mistreated by others. And that brings us to the issue of ‘compassionate politics.’ Compassion is a very positive thing, and a world without compassion would be a terrible place in which to live. However, taken too far, compassion can have negative consequences, particularly when governments become obsessed with virtue-signaling their compassion at the expense of realism.

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