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Who Cares?

Here’s a letter that I sent two days ago to CNN.com:

8 October 2008

Editor, CNN.com

Dear Editor:

According to a
recent poll, "55 percent of registered voters questioned say that Obama
‘cares more about people like you’ than Sen. John McCain" ("Poll: Obama
seen as more compassionate than McCain
," October 7).

What do
such alleged ‘cares’ signify?  To win votes, politicians feign a
god-like capacity to "feel your pain" and to be deeply concerned about
persons they’ve never met.  Mature people, of course, don’t take such
poses seriously.

At the very least, voters should heed Charles
Dickens’s warning, issued in A Tale of Two Cities, against persons who deal in "second-hand cares" –
that is, persons who are "principally occupied with the cares of other
people."  This great novelist observed that "second-hand cares, like
second-hand clothes, come easily off and on.”*

Donald J. Boudreaux