Blaming Is So American: Cartoons

Blame: Who is responsible? Not me!

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Republicans and Democrats blame one another for the impasse over reducing the deficit. Tea party rank-and-file blame President Obama for the decline of the U.S. “Occupy Wall Street” protests across the country blame inequality in wealth on the financial community’s greed. And the previous post dealt with policymakers and reformers, over the past century, blaming children, their families, teachers, and schools for doing poorly academically. Finger pointing is, well, so American.

It is now and has been for well over a century as this Thomas Nast cartoon about corrupt Tammany Hall run by Boss Tweed in late-19th century New York City points out (thanks to Ed Darrell).

In a culture where individualism is highly prized, where winners are glorified and losers are shunned, where if  problems go unsolved then it is someone’s fault–blame reigns. And so it is with a sampling from cartoons illustrating how common blaming is.

Blaming crosses political party lines:

And, of course, there is the historical tic described in the last post of blaming children, teachers, and schools for low performance and anything that goes awry in the U.S.

I wish I had a cartoon that shows folks blaming the turkey for the upcoming U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving, but I don’t. Here is the best that I can do.

For all of my U.S. readers, have a fine Thanksgiving. For my readers elsewhere in the world, I wish you good health and peace.



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5 responses to “Blaming Is So American: Cartoons

  1. small comment–occupyeverywhere is taking place in numerous countries–82– so ‘blaming’ must be a universal impulse. Also are all blamings equal? is the tea party’s blaming the same thing as the occupy movement blaming corporate greed?

    • larrycuban

      Whether blaming is universal, I cannot say for sure, Sondra, but it does seem that ways, given the facts. That blaming is common across national boundaries is not to say that all targets of blame are equal. Targets of blame differ institutionally and individually (from the President of the U.S. to immigrants to CEOs compensation packages to underperforming schools) In each instance different values/emotions get invoked from a desire for more personal control and less state control to seeking social justice to–you see where I am going. Blaming may be common but the values driving the finger pointing differ.

  2. Pingback: I am not to blame! « Ralphie´s Portal

  3. Gee, don’t forget the classic Thomas Nast cartoon on Tammany Hall politicians passing the blame:

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