A now debunked scientific finding claimed that 93% of communication was nonverbal with 38% of that communication being tone of voice. The idea was that a person could say something but that the body language and tone of voice were more influential than the actual words being said. While the numbers are ridiculously skewed and we all know that words matter a lot, it’s also accepted that tone of voice and body language do matter to communication — just ask any parent who has an eye-rolling sarcasm-mouthed teenager. “Okay, mom,” can mean many things.
So it is with our politicians. It’s not just their words that people pay attention to, but their body language and tone of voice. Why is it that after terrorist attacks American leaders like Barack Obama and Paul Ryan respond with bland indifference? Rather than condemn the terrorists and those who would use America’s freedoms against itself, both leaders chose instead to chastise Donald Trump — the guy who actually seemed upset that Americans just got slaughtered while dancing with friends.
A normal response, a non-politically correct response, to an Islamofascist terrorist laughingly shooting over one hundred Americans on American soil would seem to warrant more than a tut-tut, but tut-tutting and expounding about terminology seems to be the sum of the outrage our President, especially, can muster for our fellow countrymen.
The normal emotional response to such wanton killing is grief and then rage.
A healthy person faced with the loss of a loved one (and a fellow American is a loved one) feels sadness the way Anderson Cooper did. He grieves. He feels the pain of the loss and empathizes with others closer to the loss. He imagines their helplessness and sorrow and feels the pain of it all over again.
Then, the healthy person gets angry. If his loved one got hit by a drunk driver, he doesn’t curse all cars. No, he gets angry at the driver who weaponized his vehicle by getting behind the wheel while impaired. His anger motivates him to act. He does not want that person and people like him to do something like that again. Maybe he testifies in court. Maybe he develops an app to test for sobriety. Maybe he invests in Uber. His anger, hopefully, is not wasted, but transformed into something useful and helpful. Drunk driving is complicated and there are no easy solutions and because he’s mature, he understands that, but that doesn’t mean he has to pretend it didn’t happen.
In the aftermath of Orlando, unhealthy responses abound. The most offensive responses include blaming Christians and white men. The most absurd responses include blaming guns and worrying about the “backlash” that never happens.
The psychological term for these unhealthy responses: Projection. Here’s the definition:
Psychological projection is a defense mechanism people subconsciously employ in order to cope with difficult feelings or emotions. Psychological projection involves projecting undesirable feelings or emotions onto someone else, rather than admitting to or dealing with the unwanted feelings.
The whole of the Left from the President, to the media, to the average sign-wielding gun-grabber is projecting upon guns, white men, Trump, “Daddy.” It is easier to blame anyone or anything besides the Muslim terrorist, one’s own suicidal worldview (see also Kohn, Sally), or one’s own incompetence and impotence before a wily and determined and hateful foe (see also Obama, Barack.)
Barack Obama petulantly complained about the term “radical Islam” while average Americans wondered to themselves, “Is there any other kind?” A cursory understanding of Islam reveals a virulent and murderous hatred of gay people specifically and of INFIDELS, i.e., anyone outside of Islam, generally. It’s a big group of people. For those on the Left, that includes you. It always has.
Americans are tolerant, but they’re not stupid. They know that when someone points a gun, or plants a bomb, or wields a knife in the name of Islam, it’s not the gun or bomb or knife that is the problem. The problems are multifold: Islam itself, inadequate immigrant screening, and problems with assimilation. These challenges are vexing but not impossible.
It’s not okay, for example, for American Imams to be using American mosques as platforms for radicalization. Tolerance for intolerance and murder and enslavement is not noble, it’s being complicit with criminals. Hurt feelings (a Christian sermon on sexual sin) is not the same as a gun or knife wielding psychopath killing a victim. Everyone knows the difference — everyone, that is, besides our President and the elites who rule Americans with a dismissive wave of the politically correct hand.
Then there is Donald Trump. He may be inartful. He may sputter. He may offend the nobles’ sense of decorum but his rhetoric matches the outrage perpetrated. He’s angry.
A nightclub full of innocent American people were slaughtered. These people happened to be gay. The Islamic terrorist had also set his sights on Disney World. These people happen to be every kind of American. See the pattern? Americans. Freedom-loving Americans mowed down in glee by a radical, hate-filled devoted Islamic terrorist.
This event should provoke grief and anger. That’s the normal reaction.
President Obama acting nonchalant when faced with homegrown Islamic terrorism seems ridiculous. He spares more anger for a political foe — Donald Trump. It’s not just his words, but his body language and tone that convey more anger with political enemies than actual enemies.
Time to wake up and get angry at the right people, Mr. Obama.