Without Empathy There Is No Leadership: “All America Felt My Pain.”

Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 9.46.53 AM“You Have Sacrificed Nothing”

Grieving father Khizr Khan said four simple words:  “You have sacrificed nothing”.

It was one of those moments of astonishing clarity. A father grieving over the loss of his son – and speaking without notes or a teleprompter – delivered a resounding rebuke of everything Trump is and stands for. These words sang out in a convention that was packed with remarkable speeches, great eloquence, powerful condemnations and clarion calls for action.

The nominee’s response was remarkable. He knew its power and felt its sting but his response was characteristically insensitive, narcissistic and self-referential. Pressed by George Stephanopoulos to name anything he had sacrificed he blustered earnestly about how hard he had worked and big buildings. Plus throwing in a few lies about the Vietnam memorial and how much he is loved.

In his remarks he managed to also sneer at Mr. Khan’s wife – piling insult and innuendo on his crass and emotionally stunted comments. He suggested that Khan’s wife Ghazala didn’t speak because she was forbidden to as a Muslim. He questioned whether Khan’s words were his own. 

“All America Felt My Pain”

Gharzala Khan had her own rebuke for the candidate.

“Sacrifice — I don’t think he knows the meaning of sacrifice, the meaning of the word. Because when I was standing there, all America felt my pain. Without saying a single word. Everybody felt that pain.”

Trump was incapable of turning the moment because he is incapable of empathy.

And his incapacity led him to compound his public relations disaster.

As Ghazala Khan showed her distress, her husband, Khizr Khan was visibly angry. He urged Trump’s children to “Tell him to learn to behave, learn to be decent ….Running for president is not an entitlement to disrespect Gold Star families and a Gold Star mother not realizing her pain. Shame on him! Shame on his family! He is not worthy of our comments. He has no decency. He is void of decency, he has a dark heart.”

“Mr. Trump feel that pain and you will feel better” Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 10.19.29 AM

But that’s the very thing Trump can’t do.  Without empathy for the pain of others he is incapable of leadership.

You can watch the interview here:

And for some lighter relief, read some of the Tweets under the hashtag #TrumpSacrifices

Either way it looks like a PR nightmare for the candidate. But then – what hasn’t been?


  1. Sarah:

    You have sacrificed nothing! Trump’s narcissism and pathological lying are beyond belief. I keep wondering when those who support him will wake up. guess that is not going to happen. We just have to to GOTV!

    • Michael:

      Can empathy be taught? Is it too late for Trump?

      • SteveInTexas:

        Trump is a racist. His followers are racist. I think empathy can be supported and nurtured. I think it is something we are born with. But it can also be crushed. It would take something life-changing for this man to develop empathy. His whole life has been devoted to selfish material gain. Now he seeks total power. He is probably a clinical psychopath and for sure he is an extreme narcissist.

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