Everybody loves a scapegoat. Sure, it may seem as if they are hated as they become outcast while blame is thrust upon them. But secretly, everybody smiles a bit inside when they know there is a scapegoat to be found. It means they cannot be to blame. It means that they’re in the clear, they can point fingers at somebody else. But at what expense?
Some jobs come with the obligation to be a scapegoat. The most obvious example? The president, of course. When something goes wrong in government, all index fingers point towards the oval office. I don’t think this is right. Granted, I’m not one much for politics, but I know enough to know that it’s not as if the president has absolute say over everything that goes on. Recently, Obama has even been blamed for blaming. He receives criticism for not fixing problems but instead blaming Bush for them. So even after Bush has left office, he is still acting as a scapegoat for our problems.
This happens to those that own companies as well. They are the face of the company so, naturally, it is “their fault” when something about the company goes awry regardless of who it was that made the actual mistake.
I think that a person placed in one of these jobs has to be willing to take his/her place as a scapegoat. It is naive to think that the public might not look for somebody to blame. I mean, when mob mentality takes over what’s there to do? But, at the same time, I don’t think it’s right. And I think it’s something for everybody to consider. Who’s to blame? And how often, really, can the blame be placed on only one individual?
Who do you blame when something goes wrong?
Also just a definition of scapegoating that I liked: “Scapegoating is a hostile social – psychological discrediting routine by which people move blame and responsibility away from themselves and towards a target person or group. It is also a practice by which angry feelings and feelings of hostility may be projected, via inappropriate accusation, towards others. The target feels wrongly persecuted and receives misplaced vilification, blame and criticism; he is likely to suffer rejection from those who the perpetrator seeks to influence. Scapegoating has a wide range of focus: from “approved” enemies of very large groups of people down to the scapegoating of individuals by other individuals. Distortion is always a feature.” From: http://www.scapegoat.demon.co.uk/