To Begin Healing the Nation, Accept Responsibility

Shame! Shame! Come Back Shame
By Joel Hirschhorn / October 3, 2008

Shame on them (the politicians) and shame on us (the public). We live in the United States of Shame. Why? Because everywhere we see nothing but disgrace, dishonor and infamy, yet a complete absence of shame. In a nation where religion supposedly plays such a big role, people seem to have used it to suppress shame and avoid blame.

Republicans should feel nothing but shame over the worst presidency in American history. Democrats should feel utter shame for a Congress that has sold out ordinary citizens. Lesser evil voters should feel heart-attack pain for their shameful behavior in maintaining the status quo two-party plutocracy. All those millionaires and billionaires that made it big in corporate America should have SHAME tattooed on their foreheads.

I have been thinking about shame as I reflect on how our nation has sunk so low and how little confidence I have that any Democrat or Republican – not Barack Obama or John McCain – will truly reform a totally corrupt and dysfunctional political system. I keep waiting to hear either of these two or any of the so-called leaders in Congress say something as simple as “As an American and an elected public official I feel nothing but shame for being part of this awful political system that has let you down.”

When those with power feel no shame over their incompetence and ineptitude they clearly have no ability to own up to it. Without the expression of shame there is no genuine apology.

I do not want to keep seeing a grinning John McCain and a smiling Barack Obama. I want to see them and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and all the other losers in Congress plea publicly for forgiveness from the nation they have shamed. This is what we all should demand of them. Say this clearly; say it every freaking day every time you get in front of a microphone and camera: “I am ashamed to be part of this system. Forgive me. I will set aside all my ambitions and excuses and try to earn your forgiveness.” Write it 1,000 times every damn day. Make it your mantra. Say it every time you shake the hand of an American.

When you automatically say yet another lie to the public stop yourself, pause and say “Forgive me, bad habits are so hard to break. What I just said is really a lie. I am ashamed. Here is the truth…”

Until all those with power in the public and private sectors totally recognize, accept and proclaim their shame there is no hope for returning our nation to greatness.

Until ordinary people also accept their shame for their cowardly behavior in supporting our shameful two-party plutocracy that has given us nothing but a fake democracy, there is no way that we will vote our way out of this awful mess.

Where there is no shame there is no acceptance of blame. And we know who to blame.

Shame! Shame! Come back shame.

[Contact Joel S. Hirschhorn through]

Source / Associated Content

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1 Response to To Begin Healing the Nation, Accept Responsibility

  1. We should also say shame on you to our children and grand-kids.

    My children are grown; they were given plenty of ‘shame on you’ from me, just as my grand-father and parents did the ‘shame on you, Diane’ when I fouled up.

    When was the last time you saw something on television that you said, ‘that’s just shameful’.

    For too long, television has challenged us to ‘not feel shame’. We’ve been told ‘that’s a guilt trip that I’m not taking’.

    We’ve been programmed to believe that ‘anything goes’.

    From sit-com to movies made to show us ‘no shame’; shame has almost meant you were chicken-shit; lacking courage; a ‘woose’ (or however you spell ‘woose’ which might not be in the dictionary).

    Men lacked ‘balls’ if they felt ‘shamed’ or ‘guilty’ for their wrong-doings.

    Even the court system doesn’t ‘punish’ as it should.

    The police aren’t vigilant and often are as ‘naughty’ as the citizens they arrest. A friend of mine said he made a good ‘state trooper’ because he’d been just as BAD as the rest of the drivers on the road.

    We don’t use the word ‘humble’ either, except to say they lived in a ‘humble abode’ – as if it was ‘simple’; as if they’re living in poverty, rather than understanding what humble really means.

    When did you last hear the world ‘gentle’….

    There is courage in real gentleness and gentleness in real courage – thanks to the media; to the entertainment industry – to the propaganda and programming since 1963, we’ve shown little ‘shame or remorse’, and have been told to ‘move on’.

    Just as Pelosi says we have to ‘move on’ – Buffet says we have to ‘move on’ – it’s all about moving on; nothing about shame, and certainly little about bringing the criminals to justice.

    And what is justice except by how much you can afford to pay your attorney.

    O. J. Simpson was found ‘guilty’ – he lost his ‘dream team’ – he had no money this time (compared to what he had before), and now he is brought to justice for the recent crime he committed.

    The wealthy buy themselves out of the crimes they commit; our president belongs in prison for the rest of his life, but do you see any signs of him going there? Do you think he’s ashamed? He continues to show his face among our citizens; grins – wines and dines.

    If our leaders do not represent honesty; ethics, honor – integrity, where is our role model? In the news media? In the movie house? On the television? In our homes?

    Parents will have to be ashamed of their own greed and lack of prudence and self-control before any child will learn ‘shame’.

    Remember the word shame, and if you don’t, you will see most of it in the word ‘shambles’…./ds

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