Insinuation: the Ultimate Insult
Imagine being told that your character and spirit are pathetically weak, that your mind is too feeble to think for itself or resist the convictions of others. Now imagine this person further reveals his contempt for you by not insulting you with words directly but rather through smugness and non-verbal signals that express utter disregard for your intelligence, awareness, and integrity.
This is precisely what occurs whenever anyone tries to control our thoughts and actions through insinuation. For example: consider this video of presidential candidate Mitt Romney:
His theatrical arsenal of smirks, sneers, and comic pauses all suggest that anyone who takes climate change seriously (President Obama included), is a moron—and yet he says this without mentioning a single rational fact to support his facial theatrics. Likewise, he insinuates with his ‘promise’ to ‘help us and our families’ that Obama does not want to help American families—that anyone concerned over the state of our planet or its future is the enemy of the people.
This entire skit insinuates that Americans are too dumb, too selfish, or too psychologically weak to not fall for it… that Romney’s antics would sway American voters by feeding the “opiate of self-delusion” in those either addicted to his worldview rant or those in denial that six billion people can pollute a finite planet indefinitely without unleashing disastrous effects. Secure in his knowledge of human nature, he appears to have prepared this strategy in advance.
Sadly, a vast crowd cheers his antics wildly—snickering and applauding his every expression. Between Obama (or environmentalists) and the people Romney thrilled with his non-verbal skit, who was he really insulting, and who deserves his insults?
James P. Kelly twice served as a surrogate stem cells spokesperson for the G.W. Bush White House. He ended six years of biotech activism in protest over Conservative plans to discredit the science of climate change. As a creative means of sharing the social, political, and psychological realities he glimpsed through his stem cells involvement, he wrote and recently published The Sibyl Reborn, a speculative adventure/urban fiction that reincarnates Cassandra, the cursed prophetess from the Fall of Troy, to battle the psychological roots of global warming.