Tuesday, August 16, 2005

No Sense at All

It never fails. Whenever there is some kind of a disastrous event, some ass writes a diatribe to the local newspaper which includes the comment, "in a sense, we are all guilty." And the newspaper dutifully publishes the letter.

It seems to me that if we are all guilty, then no one is guilty. Maybe that is the purpose of the letter-writer, to make guilt disappear. But I will state here and now, I did not shoot J.F. Kennedy, I admired him. Nor did I shoot Robert Kennedy nor did I shoot the Rev. Martin Luther King. I can make these statements with a clear conscience.

There is some desirability for a collective guilt, as if one can hide among the masses of the guilty and not be noticed. At one time there was a popular tee-shirt whose motto in big letters was, "Jesus Is Coming." In smaller letters under the motto was printed, "look busy." Again, there is expressed the value of hiding among the masses to avoid some kind of fault or blame.

The knee-jerk reaction to assume guilt (but only in small amounts, which we of the genuinely "good" people can always afford) never fails. It seems to have its roots in a collectivist approach to social concerns and spills over into politics. Collectivism does not always sell well in the United States.

But it never fails to show up following a terrible crime. Watch for it in your local

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