Introspection Is the New Scapegoating
Who should we blame for America's problems? Probably ourselves. The most salient and audible critiques these days aren't about finding some "Other" to blame—they're about turning our gaze within to see what's broken (hint: the fundamentals). From the Tea Party to Occupy Wall Street, Americans are taking a closer look at the individual and collective decisions that have added up to so many wrong turns. People are analyzing and rethinking the idea of the American dream we've been fed all our lives.
Of course there still are plenty of fingers being pointed—Congress, Obama, banks, and the wealthy are among the easiest targets. We're far from arriving at some ideal form of discourse where simplistic ideas are thrown out the window or ignored in favor of complexity and nuance. But those solutions that involve blaming China, immigrants, or the gays just seem less relevant. Let 2012 be a year for introspection.