Opinion

Can A Pill Help Liberals Be More Compassionate?

Paul Driessen Senior Policy Advisor, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow

My first reaction was a dismissive chuckle. What if a pill “made you more compassionate and more likely to give spare change to someone less fortunate?” the article began.

A new study suggests that a drug which “changes the neurochemical balance in the prefrontal cortex of the brain” can make people more likely to engage in “pro-social behavior, such as ensuring that resources are divided more equally.”

Yeah, right! I snorted. Pro-social, divide resources “more equally,” share money “in a more egalitarian way,” say researchers were from UC Berkeley. Translation: conservatives need this drug.

I reached for the delete key. But then my own prefrontal cortex was flooded with examples of liberal “compassion.” Liberals could really benefit from taking tolcapone, I realized.  

“If you’re not a liberal when you’re 20, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative when you’re 30, you have no brain,” Winston Churchill purportedly said. The problem is, liberal brains rarely develop, and their hearts seem to be made by SynCardia, from titanium, pyrolytic carbon and polyurethane.

Liberal compassion usually involves OPM: other people’s money – taken from hardworking taxpayers and given to “less fortunate” citizens likely to vote Democrat. Eventually, Margaret Thatcher noted, you run out of that currency, so the Party of Compassion passes trillion-dollar debts to our grandchildren. With their own money, prominent pols on the left side of the aisle are somewhat less charitable.

Joe and Jill Biden earned $333,182 in 2009 – and gave just $4,820 to charity. During the previous decade, when he was a senator, they averaged $369 annually.

In 1997, Al and Tipper Gore gave $353 to charity. Ten years later, he gave his entire $800,000 share of Nobel Peace Prize money to “charity” – the Alliance for Climate Protection, which lobbies for “carbon taxes” and other policies that make Gore even richer, as he travels in private jets, telling lesser mortals to reduce their energy use and living standards.

Between 2007 and 2014, the Clintons earned $139 million and gave $14,959,450 to charity – 98.7 percent of it to their Family Foundation, which funds their advisors and travel … and occasional worthy causes.

Another problem with liberals wanting to “divide resources more equally” is their opposition to making the pie bigger. Their taxes and regulations strangle job and wealth creation. Their opposition to hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) means fewer oil and natural gas resources are available for “equitable distribution.”

Thus, they mostly share increasing scarcity, poverty and misery. Of course, there are exceptions.

Ruling elites who feel entitled to making “fairness” and “sharing” decisions for others exempt themselves from rules affecting their own job security, salaries, pensions and other perks.

“Progressives” are outraged when public sector or renewable energy jobs are threatened. But they display callous disdain for the jobs, health and welfare of families whose communities are battered by their war on carbon-based energy.

Black Lives Matter, if police are responsible for the deaths – but apparently not if black thugs murder other blacks. White police and citizens gunned down by minority hoodlums, Muslim terrorists and illegal immigrants likewise merit limited concern. So do African parents and children sacrificed to advance rabid environmentalist agendas.

Over 1.3 billion people (the population of the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe combined) still do not have electricity, and must cook and heat with wood, charcoal and animal dung. Hundreds of millions get horribly sick, and up to six million die every year, from lung and intestinal diseases resulting from breathing smoke from open fires and not having clean water, refrigeration and safe food.

However, the EPA, White House, UN, Big Green and World Bank say climate change concerns justify policies that block coal-fired and gas-fueled power plants in poor countries.

Meanwhile, Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich and Obama science advisor Holdren claim government bureaucrats have a right to take actions to “de-develop” the United States and other modern economies, and dictate how much economic development is “ecologically feasible” for poor nations.

Eco-activists are equally adamant about obstructing the use of DDT to repel mosquitoes, prevent malaria and save millions of African lives – and opposing biotech crops that prevent childhood blindness, increase crop yields, improve nutrition and save lives in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

That is why these are critical moral issues. It is an unconscionable crime against humanity to impose policies that pretend to protect Earth’s poor, malnourished and energy-deprived masses from hypothetical climate, sustainability, chemical and GMO dangers, perhaps decades from now – by perpetuating poverty, malnutrition and disease that kill millions of them tomorrow.

Even Pope Francis might benefit from taking the compassion pill, if it helped him rethink his climate change encyclical. So would animal rights advocates and capital punishment opponents.

Liberals were appropriately appalled that Cecil the Lion was lured out of his sanctuary and killed. But where is their outrage over the thousands of eagles and falcons, storks and millions of other birds and bats, that have been butchered by “environment friendly” wind turbines? Or their tears for the antelopes that Cecil routinely killed and ate?

How can they support aborting innocent developing humans – and selling their brains, hearts, livers and muscle tissue – but oppose the death penalty for guilty mass murderers?

How can they demand punishment for Israel’s alleged, exaggerated or fabricated mistreatment of Palestinians – but turn a blind eye to Hamas, Islamic State, Taliban and other rocket attacks, suicide bombings, beheadings, immolations and mass shootings of Israelis, Christian children, gays and others?

To paraphrase Pyrrhus, “Any more such compassion, and we are lost.”

We cannot multiply wealth by dividing it – or share it more equitably by making it more scarce. Our government cannot share food or funds with prospective voting blocs, without first taking it from those whose toil and sweat created the riches. We cannot protect people from hypothetical health and ecological threats … by denying them technologies that would save millions from real, immediate threats.  

Let’s have an honest debate about compassion, with or without medication.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org), author of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power – Black Death, and coauthor of Cracking Big Green: Saving the World From the Save-the-Earth Money Machine.