Eons ago when I was in the single parent role, I would come home from work to hear the strident tones of my younger son protesting from the upstairs, “NMF!” Even in the pre-acronym age, I knew that meant “not my fault.”
I still wave the “NMF” defense at times. I appreciate the artful use of a knee-jerk defensive screen. After all, I tell myself, NMF affects only the self-determined innocent accused. By hoisting his NMF defense Steve impugned no one and did no real harm to another. It remained to the potential accuser – me — to nab the miscreant. In other words, he deflected but did not blame.
Today the nation is paralyzed by a far greater evil, the pervasive and pernicious plague of Blame. Not content with a simple NMF defense, politicians, corporate giants, the media, the clergy, bankers, educators and too many mere mortals go on the offense by hurling Blame with abandon.
Blame is a charge that resists certain confirmation with the added power that it diverts the attention of the accuser.
Our litigious and political systems exist on Blame – that’s where the profit is, that’s where the votes reside. While most of us are content with an NMF posture, the Deciders deftly use Blame to shape our perceptions. Well-orchestrated Blame can basically rewrite the narrative.
Still, Blame serves no particular purpose other than to deflect, even abnegate, responsibility for decisions and actions.
Whether it’s weariness, apathy or a feeling of powerlessness, We the People fret from the sidelines as the Deciders play an endless Blame game – a pervasive and pernicious plague on the nation. Clearly, it’s NMF, so who can we blame for our collective complicity?