Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Trump Personifies U.S. Loss of Compassion

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Trump Personifies U.S. Loss of Compassion

Article excerpt

Compassion is taking it on the chin these days.

Buses filled with migrant children from Central America are confronted in southwestern border towns by xenophobic crowds chanting "U.S.A" and "Send them back, now!" Opportunists in legislatures as far away from the Mexican border as Harrisburg object to Catholic relief agencies in Pennsylvania showing compassion to these children by housing them, because they purportedly may be "undercover gang members" or "carriers of disease."

Sympathy for Palestinian civilians, especially children killed during the Israeli army's response to Hamas' futile and irresponsible rocket attacks, is somehow construed as veiled anti- Semitism. Israel's justifiable fear of terrorist attacks launched from Gaza somehow becomes a justification for actions that would be described as war crimes by the United States in another context.

Video footage of a New York police officer using an illegal choke-hold on a civilian whose only crime at the time was allegedly selling loose cigarettes without a license is rationalized as a reasonable police procedure by defenders of even the most brutal law-and-order tactics. Even though the choking was officially ruled a homicide, many fail to see why the cops involved should be prosecuted. It was, according to them, an honest mistake made during a confrontation with a 300-pound man who failed to defer to their authority.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama faced the nation last week and admitted what reasonable people have known all along about the post- 9/11 interrogation techniques used by our intelligence agencies when it came to captured al-Qaida suspects: "We tortured some folks." There was nothing short of a collective yawn over that "revelation," because everyone knew and internalized the shock a long time ago.

Still, there's something uniquely appalling, though very much in tune with current levels of American callousness, about real estate mogul Donald Trump's response to the news that two American doctors who contracted Ebola would return to this country for treatment. In a series of ill-thought-out tweets, Mr. …

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