The President Of The United States Essay

723 Words Sep 24th, 2016 3 Pages
This paper will show to the reader why Physicist Leo Szilard’s “Petition to the President of the United States” was unsuccessful in persuading President Truman to not use the atomic bomb in Japan during the second world war. The petition drafted by Mr. Szilard and his colleagues lacked empathy, showed no sympathy and failed to convey the evidence needed to persuade Truman. If the petition would have been written in a way to emotionally connect with the President’s difficult decision to use a weapon of mass destruction and internalize the emotions of grief with plausible evidence, then Mr. Szilard would have had a better chance of persuading Truman.
First, without being able to empathize with Truman, Mr. Szilard was unable to show the President that he understood how difficult the decision to use the atomic bomb was. Professor Rajini Srikanth states that “empathy combines affective and cognitive components; in empathy one does not simply feel for … but rather one feels with another individual or group” (2). Mr. Szilard could have personalized the petition by first telling the President that he and his colleagues want to express their sincere understanding in the difficulty of the decision the President will have to make and how it must be taking a toll on his emotions. This would have added the emotional effect of caring. In other words, the underlying message communicated is that Szilard would be telling Truman that he has put himself in Truman’s shoes and took into account…

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