I'm harping on this point of Republican opposition to empathy because I find it so astonishing. This is not something I would ever have accused them of. "You think empathy is a Bad Thing" is a really low, nasty thing to accuse someone of.
If a friend of mine had said to me, a year ago, "Those Republicans, they're anti-empathy," I might have lectured him on civility.
"That sort of hyperbole isn't constructive," I might have said. "Of course they're not opposed to empathy. They're not monsters. To be opposed to empathy would make you a sociopathic fiend and a solipsistic moron. Let's just stick to policy disagreements and not stoop to such hideous accusations."
But it has been the Republicans themselves, over the past year, loudly proclaiming this opposition to empathy, proudly boasting that this vicious insult must be applied to them. And they've even managed, with disturbing consistency, to act as though it were really true. It's just baffling.