January 28, 2020

The Editor speaks: The Blame Game


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Colin Wilson

I am not talking about the hit British television show called “The Blame Game” where news and comedy collide in a satirical Northern Ireland chat show, where members of the public get to ask a panel of comedians their burning questions of the week.

If you haven’t seen it you can view many of the episodes on YouTube. To view one such episode go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3jB3KBuXpc

However, I said I’m not talking about that programme but I have just given three paragraphs to it!

I can only blame myself for that and I blame you for reading it.

The actual meaning of ‘the blame game” according to many dictionaries is “a situation in which people try to blame each other for something bad that has happened”.

The majority of the American press used this expression to say Donald Trump was playing the blame game yesterday when he tweeted it wasn’t him to blame for the recession fears as the US Markets plunged.

Amazingly the same press didn’t use that expression against the many Democratic politicians and themselves when they blamed Trump for the recent mass shootings.

So, why do we play this game to blame everyone else?

We can even take it to the other extreme. There are people who blame themselves for everything, even when they’ve had nothing to do with an unfortunate outcome. This isn’t just false modesty or fishing for reassurance; some people do believe they cause every bad thing all, or most, of the time.

If you are going to blame someone it sometimes, when you can’t put the finger on someone else, to blame God. Then, being religious, you can make yourself feel better by attributing the event to God testing your faith. Forgetting, of course, God already knows how strong our faith is.

I found this illustration of blame interesting, on the website Psychology Today:

“Another related area of research involves deciding whether someone who commits an immoral act is to blame. Consider what happens if two people each throw a brick off a bridge at passing cars. One person’s brick lands harmlessly on the road, but the other person’s strikes the people in the car, resulting in a serious accident. Theoretically, the person whose brick didn’t injure anyone is just as culpable as the one that did—they both had the same malicious intent. Moral luck is the belief that you should hold someone to blame only if the action causes harms to others, not what the intent was. You would therefore blame the accident-causing brick thrower more than the other.”

What sparked me to write this was the article we have published today on iNews Cayman “Horrific shootings are the symptom…the heart is the cause”.

James Gottry is the writer and he opens with:

“Two deadly shootings last weekend are two too many. Every American can agree—these tragedies need to stop. But the agreement ends there. Prayers are offered, but unbelievably they are condemned. Some politicians earnestly renew the call for gun control and “assault weapon bans,” while others staunchly oppose such measures. The debate rages on, while the families of the victims mourn their loved ones and the families of the shooters try to come to grips with what went wrong. And collectively, we all wait for what comes next. Something must change.”

He then proposes “we demand that our elected officials—those men and women who have the responsibility to represent “we the people”—stop drawing lines in the sand and start working together to address this issue.”

In other words stop playing the blame game.

If we did this and tried to find solutions to the problem(s) and work together, then there may be no need for the blame game at all.

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