Uhm, I’ve must have overlooked a bad something in my life that requires my apology. Surely, I’ve said something that offends, requiring a “I’m so, so sorry.”
But I’m not saying it. I’m sick of all the demands for apologies, a plague that is turning America into a nation of whiners who are unable to withstand the slightest annoyance. Umbrage, while not mentioned in the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence, has overtaken liberty as the sine qua non of the American way of life.
Take former Vice President Joe Biden, who groveled in a desperate attempt to keep his presidential hopes alive after being accused of sniffing hair. Obviously, his public touching is out-of-place and embarrassing for the touchees.
But apparently Creepy Joe didn’t crawl far enough. He hasn’t apologized, his far-left critics have hissed. Chris Cillizza, CNN’s politics reporter, ponders why in “Joe Biden just made things much worse”
Former President Barack Obama was accused of beginning his first term with an “apology tour,” for which he never apologized. A PolitiFact analysis concluded his remarks did not fit the formal definition of an apology. Even though, as Karl Rove, pointed out, Obama said such things as America “has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive” toward Europe.
So, as we are understand it, an admission of guilt is not necessarily an apology. We are now at a stage in this nonsense where the perceived quality of an apology is more important than the words. We inevitably witness an offendee griping that an apology was not genuine or insincere. Or complaining about the absence of clear contrition. Or that it was too late to apologize or that no apology is enough.
Such is the case with American slavery. Repeated apologies by Americans who had nothing to do with slavery are not enough. Reparations are required, although no one has come up with a sensible way to spread around the money and who would get it. But we certainly know who would pay.
The globe echoes with all kinds of demands for national and ethnic apologies. British Prime Minister Tony Blair in 1997 apologized for the Irish Potato Famine 150 years ago that killed a million and caused two million others to flee Ireland. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered “condolences” for the first time for the mass killings of Armenians under Ottoman rule during World War I.
Clearly, there are plenty of reasons to apologize for serious wrongs. But demands for apologies have become so frequent and incessant and for such piddling offenses that pleas for forgiveness have become meaningless.
The last depressing word about apologies comes from Glenn Geher . who regards apologies as something as a charade. As he wrote in Psychology Today, “The History of ‘I’m Sorry’: It comes down to what’s in it for us.”