Blame - Whose Fault is it?

• I'm comfortable not blaming today's American white community for slavery in the United States before 1865.
• I'm comfortable not blaming global warming 1920-1998 on fossil fuels used 1960-2019.
• I'm comfortable not blaming the wind and rain wrath of Hurricane Katrina on racism in the Bush administration.
• I'm comfortable not blaming poverty in the United States on the people who founded enterprises, built factories, and created jobs.

     I realize all of these run counter to popular trends in the American liberal blame game. For these examples there is a comfort in that the proposed cause comes after the effect. I think these conclusions are easy to understand even for somebody who doesn't agree with them. It requires a comfort in believing there are bad behaviors and bad results where the results are not consequences of the behavior.

     Now for the hard one.
• I'm comfortable blaming the horrors of Nazi Germany on today's liberals with today's attitudes eighty years later.
Obviously, this wouldn't pass the courtroom guilty-verdict test, but there is a notion of blame consistent with this opinion.

     Let me explain: Consider a person aiming a gun into a crowd of people. He doesn't mean any harm, it's fun, he'll claim it's his second-amendment right to have a gun, he pulls the trigger, and somebody in the crowd gets shot. In spite of his non-harmful intentions, I'm comfortable blaming the death on the shooter. He did an irresponsible action, something bad happened, and that something bad would not have happened without his irresponsible action.

     This is why we should all be comfortable blaming Hitler's Nazi Germany on contemporary progressives in 1935. (The association of the term "liberal" with American progressivism occurred around the time of Thomas E. Dewey, after Hitler's Germany, so I use the term "progressive" for the movement we call "liberal" today.) They believed in gun control, socialism, free and government controlled healthcare and education. Electing three White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and supporting Margaret Sanger's Planned Parenthood organization, they also shared anti-semitism, racism, and faith in science (eugenics) with Hitler's campaign. That blame is easy.

     Let's go back to the crowd and the shooter. The shooter who actually shot somebody is to blame for the victim getting shot. Now comes along another person with a gun who sees the first shooter, presumably sees the consequences of the first shooter's action, and fires his own gun into the same crowd. Whatever direct consequences the second shooter's shot has, is it wrong to associate him with the first shooter's outcome?

     There is a plethora of legal knots to be considered here. What if two shooters shoot simultaneously and somebody is shot. If we can't tell which shooter is responsible, then are we comfortable blaming both of them? Only one bullet did the damage, but both of them were idiots or worse. If we can tell which shooter shot the victim, then that shooter is responsible, but is the other one totally blameless?

     If the second shooter has had time to find out the damage from the first shooter, then he's clearly to blame. The first guy can put a dumb look on his face like John Belushi in "Animal House" and say, "How could I know a gun could shoot somebody?" The second person has no claim of ignorance. I knew a fellow who spent time in a real concentration camp during World War II. He voted for Hillary in 2016, really. He had to know what Hitler and Hillary stood for, not to mention the horror of the Clinton corruption. I don't suggest he deserves what happened to him eighty years ago, but I no longer feel sorry for him either.

     Does he simply no longer believe the holocaust happened? Has he become a holocaust denier like so many liberals? Does he think those numbers tattooed on his arm are from a college fraternity? I don't think so.

     Maybe he figures being in a concentration camp is like being a "plebe" in a military academy. Freshmen are treated like slaves, ordered about and beaten. They take it as a right of passage and enjoy knowing how much they're going to enjoy brutalizing the next three years of plebes. Is he okay with how he was treated for the privilege of treating others that way? I don't think so.

     I actually believe he thinks of what happened to him as something unfortunate, like an earthquake or a flood, not something caused by what evil lurks in the hearts of men. It's like the second shooter saying, "I like pulling the triggers on guns, it was just bad luck that the first guy shot somebody, what a shame, but I had no way of knowing pulling the trigger would cause the gun to fire." Maybe my concentration-camp friend tells himself that shit happens and that his values are still good even if bad things seem to happen when people have those values. Maybe he thinks it's not his fault, neither what happened to him nor what happens in the future. This is what I think he thinks.

     Blaming Pete Seeger for the horrors he supported is easy. It was the real Stalin and the real Hitler and the real Castro, et cetera. But I also reserve some blame for those who stand by Pete Seeger's politics, notably without reservation, forty, sixty, eighty years later.

     Put another way. When a liberal who supports all the progressive causes from Slavery and Stalin through Hitler and Hillary says he is just as entitled to an opinion as I am, I have to agree, Patrick Henry and all that. When that same liberal says his opinion should have the same weight and consequence as mine, well, I'm not going that far and I don't think Patrick Henry would go that far either.





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