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Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014

Playing the blame game in our society

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Though I obviously have no formal training, I suspect one of the more difficult aspects of human nature is the ability to accept blame.

Few among us relishes the prospect of admitting fault.

Perhaps it runs against the grain of human nature. But our society has either gone full-tilt on shunning blame or I'm just paying closer attention.

We blame guns and not the gunman.

We blame poor upbringing and not a lack of personal restraint.

We blame food for obesity and not the eater.

We blame video games, television, cultural differences, peer pressure, junk food, etc.

Inner city gang murders are blamed on someone looking at someone else the wrong way.

The criminal justice system is largely built on the ability to shift blame or deflect fault by pointing an accusing finger in some other direction.

I'm reminded of the "Twinkie defense" in a criminal case many years ago.

We have reached the sad societal point where we blame first - long before we address the problem.

Politics especially has become the current playground of the blameless.

And yes, this administration has taken the blame game to new heights.

But they are not the first, the only nor the last to quickly blame others for their obvious missteps.

Harry Truman's famous "The Buck Stops Here" is now but a piece of historic nostalgia.

Few politicians today would dare be so bold or honest or decisive.

Today's version of Truman's desk plate would be "It's Not My Fault."

Where is Give 'Em Hell Harry when you need him?

The dog didn't eat your homework - you just failed to complete it.

The fast food didn't cause you to gain weight - your lack of restraint is to blame.

Being raised in a poor environment didn't force you to violence - your own lack of responsibility and respect are to blame.

And after four years of failed economic policies, it's not the fault of your predecessor - it's your failed mistakes that are to blame.

We all make mistakes. That is a given.

The difference is how we face those mistakes. We either "man up" and take our medicine or we intentionally dodge the truth and point the finger of blame.

We shun blame and shame and look first to some reason - any reason - why we are not at fault.

Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen