By SUSAN K. SMITH
Crazy Faith Ministries
As we have watched the ongoing reality show in Washington D.C. what is particularly striking is how much blaming of others is going on.
The president, of course, is a master in the art of blaming. Nothing he does or says is his fault. All of his problems are because of the “radical Democrats,” and he unabashedly flouts his position on the “badness” of the Democrats at every opportunity he gets.
But he’s not the only one.
Attorney General Barr recently blamed the impeachment inquiry for the Congress not getting important work done on gun legislation. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for drone attacks on a Saudi oil field, according to CNN.
Both the president and vice president have blamed the Democrats for the deplorable conditions of immigrants being held in detention, The Washington Post noted.
Republicans – and many Democrats – blame the poor for their poverty, reported MSNBC.com. After the horrendous shooting in El Paso earlier this year, some Republicans and Democrats blamed video games, The Post also noted.
This president is going to be remembered for a lot of things but one of the most stark qualities of his leadership is his willingness to blame everyone and everything else but himself for what is going on in this country, another Post report stated.
Hillary Clinton played the blame game, too, as she lashed out against those whom she held responsible for her loss to Trump in the 2016 election, according to Vanity Fair. USA Today revealed that the late Barbara Bush, wife of the late President George H. W. Bush, blamed Trump for her heart attack. Some historians, scholars, and even Germans blame Germany’s defeat in World War I for the rise of Hitler and Nazism. President Abraham Lincoln blamed the presence of enslaved Africans in this country for the Civil War. And the list goes on
It’s always easier to blame someone than to take responsibility for one’s own actions. But it’s not helpful. Blaming others is a way to avoid being accountable for one’s own mistakes and missteps. We want to be “right” no matter what. A side effect of blaming others is that it makes it hard – if not impossible – to admit wrongdoing. Saying “I was wrong,” is one of the most unpleasant and difficult things in the world to do. Few choose to do it. Most of us would rather just assign blame and move on.
But the blame game is futile; it is not good for the one doing the blaming because it gives permission to that person to keep on doing as he or she always has. Blame is a defense mechanism, it is a tool we use when we are in attack mode, and it is an excuse to lie, according to Psychology Today. But the more we blame others, the more we erode our capacity to grow, and we also erode the capacity of people around us to take us seriously or to believe us.
This president and his administration are deep into the blame game, even as they lead our country into some very dark places. While they talk about the “deep state” as being the cause of all that they are doing to “drain the swamp,” they are in actuality replacing one set of swamp creatures for another set of their own doing. The new batch of swamp inhabitants will continue to do as the former swamp did, the state will continue to be “deep,” although in a different way, and those who were blamed for everything will have to take time to lick their wounds.
But they will heal and will seek to get back in the seat of power by blaming the foes who ousted them on the hot seat. Empires fall and fail for many reasons, but one reason has to be that in the process of blaming, societies do not get better; they just become more entrenched in self-destructive behavior.
Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith is the founder and director of Crazy Faith Ministries. Her latest book, Rest for the Justice-Seeking Soul, is now available through Barnes and Noble and Amazon. She is available for speaking. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.