Flip Wilson once had a hilarious comedy routine using the phrase “the devil made me do it.” It was hilarious because of course no one makes anyone do anything. We all make choices and have responsibility for those choices.
Almost as hilarious as that comedy routine is the Des Moines Register’s recent editorial blaming fans for steroid use in baseball. Do they not see the fallacy in this argument?
That logic could be applied to any favorable opportunity in our society. Any legitimate opportunity will have someone cheating to try to take advantage of it. But that doesn’t mean that anyone else is to blame for the cheating other than the “cheater.” If the Register’s editors logic is used in other situations then what about cheating on a:
Test for a scholarship (blame it on the university or benefactor)
Lucrative business contract (blame it on the customer requesting bids)
Application for a good job (blame it on the “market” setting the salary)
Insurance claim (blame it on the insurance company)
Voter Fraud (blame it on government offering an elected position)
Your Taxes (blame it on the rich people who don’t pay enough in taxes)
No…of course not. The cheater is always responsible for his actions.
The underlying problem they really have is a problem with a free market which rewards some above others. In their mind it’s just not “right” that those who get ahead took advantage of a legitimate opportunity and made something of it. Therefore, when someone cheats to do the same thing – it’s a problem with the “system” and ultimately a problem with the American Way.
As Eleanor Roosevelt once said,
“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”
Just like the kid standing before dad saying, “Johnny made me do it” is wrong. So is the idea that fans are at fault for athlete’s using steroids. A-Rod used steroids and A-Rod is responsible for using them. End of story.
Photo Credit: Steoridstoday.com