In the service sector where employees have to interact with the general public, it has long been recognized that it is much easier to teach employees the skills they need to actually carry out their jobs than to teach them the kind of good attitude that will make a positive impact on customers. So “hire for attitude and teach the skills” has been a useful aphorism for them.
I was reminded of that when I read the news that the GOP is now coaching its congressional candidates on how to show more empathy to their suffering constituents, especially those whose unemployment benefits have been cut.
When coupled with their earlier attempts to teach them how to talk to women without coming across as crass, crude, clueless, and condescending, it struck me that the GOP problem is that they are recruiting candidates who are ideological automatons and trying to get them to learn human qualities. (The comic strip Doonesbury ran a series of six strips on the GOP’s attempt to learn how to talk to women, starting with this one on December 23, 2103.)
Why not take a leaf from the service sector and recruit regular human beings who have the normal range of emotions that humans have and then teach them ideology? You might have much better outcomes.