The Blame Game

     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.

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2 comments to The Blame Game

  • itaest

    What would you say to someone who has lived in three countries: Peru, Germany and the US, between 20 and 10 years in each and is able to compare government systems and policy and can attest that the Republicans want a system that is similar to the Peruvian "you-are-on-your-own" system that does not work, and Democrats want a system like the German system, which works for everyone not just the rich and powerful, with Germany having the strongest economy in Europe, the largest number of college educated adults, the smallest number of low income people (most of whom are immigrants), the best infrastructure and transportation system, the best and most affordable health care both for the goevernment as for the people? What would you say to someone like that?

    I am talking about me, of course.

    While Fox News is an extension of the Republican party and MSNBC supports the Democratic party, the facts presented at MSNBC make more sense to me, given my first hand experience and understanding of different goverment systems and what works and what doesn't!



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    • genehull

      I agree with you about the comparison between FOX and MSNBC. FOX for me is indigestible, since I am decidedly liberal.  But I find, while somewhat less offensive, MSNBC often has a gagging case of exaggerationitis. It pitches its pitch just as hard. Both channels  present a constant barrage of blaming the "other side."
      I respect that your views have been informed by multi-national experience. The the first-hand knowledge you gained I'm sure is significant. With that in mind I offer these thoughts.
      I have never lived in Germany, although I have been there many times and often did business there,  as well as in several other countries. I found the Scandinavian states, for example, have somewhat similar social ideals as Germany.
       (In my opinion this is not the case in France, England, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Greece and other European states.)
      Regarding Germany's current success: I do not believe the enviable social systems and policies that work so well in Germany will never be completely championed by Americans, or at least not for a very long time. True, Americans are for the most part encouraged to be kind and generous. But our national ego is at times monstrous, not unlike the arrogance of  a spoiled teenager who thinks he can do anything he wants. It's probably why present day political compromise here is such a dirty word.  It's something we've got to live with. 
      The reason, in my opinion, why Germany has such success in this regard is because of the Germans. Their tradition and culture present a totally social outlook. They realize more readily the benefits of foregoing personal desires for the common good. Discipline and respect are essential in family life and this shows in their national culture. Germans can be convinced more easily that a particular unified way is best for all. And they are more willing to go by the rules, once established  They certainly have set a present-day standard for others to emulate.  
      Perhaps this simplifies things a little too much, but the problem could boil down to our preoccupation with the Blame Game.

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