Empathy, Charisma and Nazis on "The Daily Show".

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Back in Black – Glenn Beck’s Nazi Tourette’s
www.thedailyshow.com
http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:cms:item:comedycentral.com:309153
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

I normally don’t like these Lewis Black segments, but I have to admit that in this one he’s pretty funny. He also discusses at least three things which I’ve blogged about in the past:

  1. Absurd comparisons of anything and everything to the Nazis. 
  2. Charisma
  3. Empathy  

Black basically says everything I’ve got to say about the first issue. On the charisma thing, he makes a rather important observation: Hitler was charismatic. I cannot stress enough the fact that charisma is independent of morality or character Anyone–even a genocidal, racist madman–can have charisma. And when you’ve seen the power of charisma being, if anything, heightened nowadays compared to the 1930’s, that’s simply terrifying beyond words.

Now, while Black makes a good point about the absurdity of Glenn Beck’s comments on empathy, I have to say I sort of disagree about empathy being an inherently “positive” thing. As I have said before, it’s just the ability to know what other people feel, not the desire to act on it necessarily. Empathy does not imply sympathy.

What's your stake in this, cowboy?