Empower, a verb, it means to invest with power or legal authority or to equip, supply, or enable. This word is the favorite of crusaders What I hate about this word is that when it is used it is always used in conjunction with an oppressed group, real or perceived. It's not the word is necessarily being misused, though I believe the word is really intended for action of giving elected officials the power to enforce the laws of a nation, but how it is very different from gaining power and what that means.
Empower isn't the same as gaining power, the two are very different actions. When you gain power you acquire it for yourself from your own effort. Empower however, means something is given. When you are empowered you haven't acquired that power for yourself, it has been granted to you. When the president assumes office, he doesn't gain power, he has been empowered. This is evident in the fact that once Obama leave his office, like all his predecessors, he loses whatever authority he has while president. And this betrays the decidedly anti-egalitarian notions of crusaders.
Whenever you hear about helping the downtrodden economically, or politically, it isn't enough to remove the barriers the would prevent, which is something any libertarian would be for, no, power has to be given to them. Much like a feudal baron someone has to bestow whatever riches are to be gained. And who gives them the power? The very crusader we have mentioned, and in their mind, power is a zero sum game.
Naturally, given the narcissistic nature of crusaderism, they are the ones who get to be the arbiter of who gets power and how much. Naturally they are the only ones who can decide who to empower and how much. Ultimately this is what disgusts me so much, is that what they are doing is hardly any better than the injustice they are fighting, which is ostensibly class/white/jingoistic/patriarchal/hetero-normal/or what have you privileged. Ultimately, their goal to empower others isn't so much about helping the downtrodden as much as it is a chance to be the big fish coupled with the juvenile pleasure they derive from 'sticking it' to whom ever is guilty of excessive power, whether or not that power is legitimately gained matters not, at that current place and time.