I’ve seen a lot of stories here recently trying to come to grips with our recent tragedy by placing blame. While many do an admirable job, they do not possess any logical or scientific rigor, and so leave the reader with a vague sense of uneasiness, as if he or she might somehow share in the blame. This is counterproductive to good mental health.
In this article, I will take a different approach, a thoroughly scientific approach using rigorous logic that will enable you, the reader to completely absolve yourself of all bad feelings or frightening notions that you might need to change your behavior in the future. Because, scientifically speaking, absolving ourselves is the entire reason for placing blame.
So let us start with the most important principle: I don’t want to feel bad. This should be obvious from the definition of “feel bad.” It’s not something anyone wants to do. The next principle is, “I don’t want to change” and honestly this just follows from the first: change is scary, and leads to feeling bad. Finally, we have “If you are anywhere where you could do me emotional or physical harm, I don’t want you to feel bad.” If I make you, dear reader, feel bad, you might endeavor to do the same to me, if it’s in your power.
With just these three scientific principles, we can begin our hunt for the culprit or culprits.
Was it me? Am I to blame in any way? Obviously not, as this would make me feel bad, and probably make me want to change. As the statement is in clear violation of premise one and two, we can rule it out.
Was it you? Are you to blame? This one’s trickier. I wouldn’t feel bad directly, if it were you. But you are reading this story on a site with comments. If I made you feel bad, you might insult me in the comments, and so, by principle three, we can rule out you. Don’t you feel better? It wasn’t your fault!
Was it Hillary? Well, I voted for Hillary, and I told other people to vote for Hillary. If it was Hillary, I would feel pretty bad. So, no. Definitely not her fault, she was perfect and could not have done anything different.
Was it her supporters? No, As I mentioned above, I supporter her, so it can’t be “Her supporters” in general. Whether it could be some generic supporter unrelated to you or me is up in the air, but given the number of her supporters who are here on the site and might yell at me if I implied it were their fault, I’m going with “no” to be safe.
Was it Bernie Sanders? Well I voted for Bernie in the primaries, so no. Of course it was not Bernie Sanders, and we can rule out his supporters because it appears as though, even though many were viciously driven away from this site, they have returned for some unknowable reason. And I don’t want to get yelled at, so I won’t blame them.
Was it the DNC? This one is tricky, I don’t really know much about them except that they are supposed to help democratic candidates get elected. But I have a sneaking suspicion that they read this site and might yell at me, so just to be safe I’ll rule them out.
Was it this site? Did Kos fail us? What, are you stupid? He could ban me if I blamed him, so obviously not!
Was it the voters? By this I mean, “everyone who could vote but doesn’t read this site.” Aha! It’s not me, or you, and they don’t read this site so they won’t yell at me for blaming them. I can blame the voters and still feel good. I feel no desire to change when I blame “the voters.” I think we’ve found our first culprit!
Was it the racists? Nobody cares what racists think, being yelled at by racists actually makes me feel good. Guilty. They are definitely to blame. We can apply the same logic to sexists. And to the GOP in general, but I repeat myself.
Let’s look a little further afield. Was it the common housecat? Well, cats don’t really care when you blame them, but I like cats and I would feel bad if my cat were to blame, so nope. Not cats.
Same thing applies to dogs. But what about possums? Nasty little things, pointy faces, angry looking eyes, frightening hissing noises, I think it definitely could have been possums. By extension, therefore, we can blame any animal I don’t like, but to be safe, I won’t list them here in case you like them and decide to yell at me. I think I’m pretty safe with possums though, nobody likes them.
So there we have it, a complete and scientific assessment of blame. It was the racist sexist GOP and the ignorant voters, in league with the possums. Quad erat demonstrandum.