FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Bush’s Troubling Non-Verbal Communication

by RAYMOND J. LAWRENCE

A very significant part of human communication is non-verbal. Anyone who attends only to words, and ignores the non-verbals is apt to be blind-sided.

The non-verbal aspects of President George W. Bush’s final State of the Union address were remarkable. He offered numerous winks and nods, with knowing smiles, to the audience at various times and in various directions, presumably but not necessarily directed to particular individuals in the audience. It was not possible from television viewing to tell who may have been the intended individual recipients, or even whether the winks and nods were directed toward anyone in particular.

It probably matters little whether the President’s gestures were aimed at individuals or simply to everyone in general. The substance of his non-verbal gestures was in either case deeply troubling. Here was a president discussing lives sacrificed in war, the continuing sacrifice he was asking for years to come, the economic downturn and the critical need for action, and other matters that are deeply troubling to citizens of this country. But the President through all this was occasionally winking, nodding and smiling as if he were an adolescent schoolboy who just played a prank on the teacher.

Perhaps the President’s self definition as prankster was in fact the substantive, though subliminal, message in the State of the Union address. He has indeed played a six-year prank on the nation, taking the country into a war with no end by passing off phony data as fact, and he likely believes he will never be called before the bar of justice to account for his prank.

Or perhaps the prank that inspired him to feel so full of himself was that his highly touted tax reductions had been a windfall to the wealthy like himself and a meager sop to the average wage earner.

On the other hand, perhaps his prank was forcing Nancy Pelosi (front and center on television) and her fellow Democrats to stand and applaud for claims that surely they surely knew were false, for fear of appearing unpatriotic

Or perhaps it was all of these little pranks and more that inspired George W Bush to grin, wink and nod during the most solemn political liturgy of the year. Maybe it was all of the above and more, possibly including pranks we are yet to hear about.

RAYMOND J. LAWRENCE is an Episcopal cleric for 46 years, recently retired Director of Pastoral Care, New York Presbyterian Hospital, and author of numerous opinion pieces in newspapers in the U.S., and author of the recently published, Sexual Liberation: The Scandal of Christendom (Praeger).

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

RAYMOND J. LAWRENCE is an Episcopal cleric, recently retired Director of Pastoral Care, New York Presbyterian Hospital, and author of numerous opinion pieces in newspapers in the U.S., and author of the recently published, Sexual Liberation: The Scandal of Christendom (Praeger). He can be reached at: raymondlawrence@mac.com

November 20, 2017
T.J. Coles
Doomsday Scenarios: the UK’s Hair-Raising Admissions About the Prospect of Nuclear War and Accident
Peter Linebaugh
On the 800th Anniversary of the Charter of the Forest
Sheldon Richman
Assertions, Facts and CNN
Ben Debney
Plebiscites: Why Stop at One?
LV Filson
Yemen’s Collective Starvation: Where Money Can’t Buy Food, Water or Medicine
Thomas Knapp
Impeachment Theater, 2017 Edition
Binoy Kampmark
Trump in Asia
Curtis FJ Doebbler
COP23: Truth Without Consequences?
Louisa Willcox
Obesity in Bears: Vital and Beautiful
Deborah James
E-Commerce and the WTO
Ann Garrison
Burundi Defies the Imperial Criminal Court: an Interview with John Philpot
Robert Koehler
Trapped in ‘a Man’s World’
Stephen Cooper
Wiping the Stain of Capital Punishment Clean
Weekend Edition
November 17, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Thank an Anti-War Veteran
Andrew Levine
What’s Wrong With Bible Thumpers Nowadays?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The CIA’s House of Horrors: the Abominable Dr. Gottlieb
Wendy Wolfson – Ken Levy
Why We Need to Take Animal Cruelty Much More Seriously
Mike Whitney
Brennan and Clapper: Elder Statesmen or Serial Fabricators?
David Rosen
Of Sex Abusers and Sex Offenders
Ryan LaMothe
A Christian Nation?
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Finger on the Button: Why No President Should Have the Authority to Launch Nuclear Weapons
W. T. Whitney
A Bizarre US Pretext for Military Intrusion in South America
Deepak Tripathi
Sex, Lies and Incompetence: Britain’s Ruling Establishment in Crisis 
Howard Lisnoff
Who You’re Likely to Meet (and Not Meet) on a College Campus Today
Roy Morrison
Trump’s Excellent Asian Adventure
John W. Whitehead
Financial Tyranny
Ted Rall
How Society Makes Victimhood a No-Win Proposition
Jim Goodman
Stop Pretending the Estate Tax has Anything to do With Family Farmers
Thomas Klikauer
The Populism of Germany’s New Nazis
Murray Dobbin
Is Trudeau Ready for a Middle East war?
Jeiddy Martínez Armas
Firearm Democracy
Jill Richardson
Washington’s War on Poor Grad Students
Ralph Nader
The Rule of Power Over the Rule of Law
Justin O'Hagan
Capitalism Equals Peace?
Matthew Stevenson
Into Africa: From the Red Sea to Nairobi
Geoff Dutton
The Company We Sadly Keep
Evan Jones
The Censorship of Jacques Sapir, French Dissident
Linn Washington Jr.
Meek Moment Triggers Demands for Justice Reform
Gerry Brown
TPP, Indo Pacific, QUAD: What’s Next to Contain China’s Rise?
Robert Fisk
The Exile of Saad Hariri
Romana Rubeo - Ramzy Baroud
Anti-BDS Laws and Pro-Israeli Parliament: Zionist Hasbara is Winning in Italy
Robert J. Burrowes
Why are Police in the USA so Terrified?
Chuck Collins
Stop Talking About ‘Winners and Losers’ From Corporate Tax Cuts
Ron Jacobs
Private Property Does Not Equal Freedom
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Mass Shootings, Male Toxicity and their Roots in Agriculture
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail