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Who Is At Fault?

Released in 1964, a popular song of the 1960s was Shirley Ellis’s hit single titled “The Name Game.” Radio stations and record players often blared out the clever rhyming lyrics of that favorite tune in that decade of music.

Today, there seems to be a topic which can tweak the title of Ms. Ellis’s hit song. Instead of singing out “The Name Game,” we’re often hearing resounding choruses, all across this country, loudly singing out lyrics to what could be called, “The Blame Game.”

The soap opera, saga, mini-series and seemingly never-ending antics in Washington, D.C. today have become as childish as two kids fighting over who got the bigger piece of cake, who got more pepperoni on his slice of pizza, who got more chocolate chips in her cookie, or who had the toy first.

Government officials in Washington, D.C. were elected by American people. Unfortunately, not all eligible people chose to participate in elections, and they seem to be ones who complain loudest. But, the point is that many overpaid/over-benefitted elected officials – sitting in their overpriced offices with their overpopulated staffs, and who in many cases work far fewer hours per day and days per year than the average American – are supposed to be representing the interests of all American people. My view sometimes sees officials choosing who their special interest groups are, or just stubbornly voting the opposite of the other political party.

The political system of our country is supposed to be a system of checks and balances with three branches of government, each “checking” the other two, making sure no branch has more power than the others, with the goal that the American people reap the benefits of this balanced government.

With our current executive branch being affiliated mainly with the Democratic Party, and the House of Representatives (legislative branch) controlled by Republicans, it appears these two branches cancel each other out. Observations show that much of what Democrats try to enact, Republicans won’t let happen, and/or when Republicans propose something, the Democrats try to put the kabash on that. So, in effect, we’re down to only one branch of government, and that one doesn’t deal with proposing, creating, or enforcing legislation, programs, etc.

What seems to be happening is a series of “schoolyard arguments” with each side blaming the other side, each side not budging toward compromise with the other side, each side pointing the finger at the other side, wanting to place blame on the other side for all the problems in this country. I once remember seeing an adage which read, “If you point a finger at someone else, three fingers still point to you.”

Not only are these elected officials great at “The Blame Game,” they’re master recruiters, trying to get as many Americans on their side. It appears to be working, as many on social media today are posting propagandized pictures of elected officials next to pictures of Hitler, attempting to show comparisons, which some could consider a blatant misuse of First Amendment rights, and some are posting very disrespectful/distasteful pictures and comments of and about some of our elected leaders.

Many also post comments regarding certain religions and people who are members of them. These postings are being made by many who feel their rights are being taken away, but they have no problem wanting to get rid of people who have differences of opinion, religion and want to blame others for the problems of this country. There are many who proclaim themselves to be Christian, but don’t seem to live it. Maybe this all adds to the problems.

This “Blame Game” could be compared to a contagious deadly disease. It could be, if people are willing to admit it, that we’re all to blame for what’s happening today. Many people want to have as much as they can (or more), even if they can’t pay for it. Many want to negotiate everything, and many can’t accept limits. It appears too many have their own agenda and compromise has become merely a myth, a fantasy.

This country was founded by people who disagreed with each other but used compromise to achieve their goal of becoming a nation. I wouldn’t think that some of our forefathers looked at each other and said something like, “I’ll show you,” and then conducted their own civil war of politics, like that which seems to be happening today. They disagreed, but came to compromise regarding serious issues, which included slavery, an issue some wanted to abolish then, but wasn’t until nearly a century later.

As someone who worked (and continues to work) with children for a number of years, I often heard/hear kids take credit when something worked/works and blame others when something didn’t/doesn’t. I’ve also observed kids who were assigned to work in groups on class projects or science experiments refuse to participate if they couldn’t run the whole show. If it was a playground game, the person who brought the ball wanted to make the rules and pick the teams, or they would take their ball and go home. Sound familiar? Isn’t this similar to what’s happening in Washington, D.C.?

There’s a drawing I’ve seen, telling a story of two mules tied together with opposite ends of a rope around each one’s neck, each trying to pull in opposite directions to get to a pile of hay on his side of the field. The rope wasn’t long enough to allow each one to reach his pile, but the mules didn’t starve. They realized that if both walked in the same direction and shared one pile, then walked to the other pile and shared that one, they’d satisfy their hunger and keep from choking each other.

Who knows what would happen if today, some of those exhibiting stubborn behavior in Washington used that same thinking.