Daniel Henninger had a thought in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal on the relationship between the Wuhan Virus situation (my term, not his) and apologies.
I have my own thought on the broader matter of apologies themselves.
…difficult this year to tell which is greater—the number of people infected with Covid-19 or the number of politicians issuing apologies….
Other than Operation Warp Speed’s chief, General Gustave Perna, I’ve heard almost no politician apologize for anything. In truth, though, the apology was killed long ago.
What is issued in lieu of apology, and not only by politicians, has long been an expression of “regret” for “any offense that might have occurred.” Never mind that offense plainly was taken, or there’d have been no objection. Doubting that is dishonest.
On top of that, the utterer piously announces his regret—for an offense that he’s not convinced even occurred—but he has not a syllable of actual apology for his misbehavior that led to the offense. Masquerading his utterance as an apology is a very large lie.
Aside from that, “accepting responsibility,” “owning the matter,” and similar self-serving claims are cynically meaningless phrases, uttered only to distract from the fact that the speaker does nothing to change his behavior or otherwise to correct his error.