I recently read a savvy editorial essay by Glen Grafton in Scripps Newspapers, titled “Blame game prevalent today: only you can stop it.” To my mind he has hit on the universal fault in today’s society.
He begins “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you place the blame.” Blaming others has become endemic as our national pastime, “surpassing baseball.”
One example, I believe, is the TV viewers who thrive on the blaming-rhetoric of the media. Consider the vitriol that emanates from FOX NEWS or its antithesis, MSNBC, where facts are carefully selected, and shaded by image-producers to become nothing more than blaming the “other side.” People watch and applaud the blaming process. It pumps them up emotionally and sometimes roils into hate, especially among unbalanced types. For an everyday example of this, just listen to fellow workers on lunch breaks.
It’s not just TV talking heads and their audiences who support the Blame Game. Grifton cites many examples that illustrate how deeply this pernicious malady has permeated our culture. Among them: the terrorist who breaks into the cockpit to kill the pilots. Passengers kill him instead. His mother blames the airline.
Examining all sides is not fashionable any more. But Blame and Hate, Blame and Sue, Blame and you’re off the Hook are. For Blame Gamers compromise is not necessary. Simply siding with whoever reinforces your beliefs and selects the “facts” that appeal to you is all it takes. Now, are you still ready to pick up the lance, provided by “your side,” and charge?
Author Gene Hull is a Graduate of the University of Notre Dame and former book reviewer for Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers.