Category Archives: Election 2016

Trump Visits Obama at the White House: Body Language/Speech Analysis + Bonus Trump Admin Predictions

First we’ll cover the White House meeting, then in the second part, Trump’s 11/21/16 announcement regarding the status of his transition team’s progress.

 

If this is the first body language/speech analysis post of mine you’ve ever read, a brief re-cap: the 3 things I’m looking/listening for are 1) what’s being said (the words coming out of Trump and Obama’s mouths), 2) what’s really being said (in other words, what they really mean when they say something, and 3) what’s not being said, also described as, what has been left unsaid. And usually it’s that third component that’s most revealing.

 

For those wondering, well, ok, but what is your bias? Surely whether or not you like these men personally will influence how you interpret what you see and hear? Yes, it’s probably true that my feelings toward them will affect my perception of their words/actions in this short video. So, full disclosure: I voted for Obama twice and Trump once (so far).

 

They start interacting at 1:03 in the video below, and the footage flips back to George Stephanopoulos at 4:18.

 

 

Now, lets start with the 1:05 freeze frame. Interestingly, Trump is sitting in a slightly smaller chair. Both men are doing the man-spread “I am a dominant male” posture with their legs open. Then President Obama says, “Well, I just had the opportunity to have an excellent conversation with president-elect Trump” — and the word “well” here is significant. The use of the word well means that he’s conceding or admitting, it actually was excellent and that he wasn’t expecting it to be.

 

But now look at Trump’s hands while Obama is speaking, specifically from 1:04 – 1:17. His hands are in a pensive, self-steadying pose, but his fingers tap each other intermittently, and at 1:14 he looks away from Obama and starts to open his mouth as if to speak, then he closes it at 1:15. I’ll tell you what this means: it means that he’s thinking about something that just happened, immediately preceding the cameras and the press entering the room. So he’s either recalling something that he was just told or something he just saw, and whatever it was, it was so significant that he’s still thinking about it now and at the same time, concentrating on what President Obama is saying. Now Trump is a classic alpha male, an alpha’s alpha so to speak (Obama is a sigma male and maybe I’ll do more analysis of him later) and so it’s likely a very simple and practiced task for Trump to listen to what people are saying in conversation and mull something over simultaneously. Still, it’s telling that he is tapping his fingers like that. Whatever it was, it wasn’t something pleasant. But, by the time he looks back at Obama at 1:17, he has his fingers firmly pressed together and his face is set. This is the facial expression you will see on an alpha male when they have come to a decision. Who knows what the decision was? But notice that the tapping of his fingers — an unconscious indicator of indecision — stops.

 

At 1:20 the camera zooms in on President Obama and we see him warmly gesture toward Trump several times on the words or phrases “coming 2 months” and “transition” and “ensure” and “president elect” and “successful.” These are inclusive hand gestures and we can determine that they are sincere because President Obama unconsciously gestures closer and closer to Trump with each word. I will briefly make the case that Obama is not sad that Hillary lost (his body language toward Trump makes it crystal clear, but my argument here deals with Hillary and Obama’s personal history). First, let’s recall that President Obama and Hillary were not and are not friends. And for those who think that Obama appointed Clinton to the State Department because he liked her, I present an alternate view. What better way to get that final jab in, after a bitter prolonged primary contest in 2007, than to hire your rival to work for you so that not only did you defeat them resoundingly in a public display of dominance, you take it a step further by making them your employee so that every day they go to work, they have to wake up in the morning knowing you are their boss? Yeah, Obama is the ultimate player. (Hey, don’t hate the player, hate the game.)

 

With that in mind, it wasn’t surprising to me that there wasn’t a hint of animosity coming from Obama toward Trump in this video. Obama is probably of two minds on the Trump victory: ambivalence is all over his impassive face (especially indicated by the limited amount of eye contact he makes with Trump, which we’ll get to momentarily). The reason he keeps talking about the country, and doing what’s best for the country (he says it’s his “number one priority”) might be because he isn’t actually sure that Hillary wouldn’t have been worse for us. In other words, Obama most likely didn’t want Trump to win because he doesn’t personally like the birth certificate brew ha-ha that Trump promoted and at the same time, he knows Hillary is deeply corrupt (google “state department pay to play hillary clinton foundation” or read all about her corruption here) and, as Obama pointed out so perceptively in 2008, “Hillary Clinton will say anything and change nothing.”

 

Do you doubt that Obama is not nearly as upset about Hillary’s defeat as Hillary and her weeping followers are? Watch this (it’s embedded to start right at 8:39 – stop after the press laugh at Biden’s joke a few moments later). Now, was that a man who is sad that his replacement is DJT? Was that the voice and facial expression of a man who feels sorrow over Hillary’s loss? Note the jovial manner with which he compliments VP Biden at 8:40 for never having lost an election before. If I had more time, I’d do an analysis on this video alone. Suffice it to say, there is most likely a tiny part of Obama that is filled with glee that Hillary lost after everything — one dirty lowdown smear campaign after another — she hurled at him back in the ’08 Dem primary.

 

Back to the Obama-Trump meeting. When, at 1:40, President Obama says, “I have been very encouraged by the interest in President-elect Trump’s wanting to work with my team around many of the issues this great country faces,” he’s not only encouraged, he’s happily surprised. His word choice here, again, indicates that Trump approached him with an inquisitive, “teach me what you’ve learned” attitude, and Obama is glad. (Also, try closing your eyes and listening to him say “my team” — the pitch of his voice goes up a bit; this means that his team is comprised of people that he deeply loves and cherishes; please notice that his pitch goes up on “great country faces” too.) It’s not really surprising that Trump would ask Obama for advice though. As an alpha, Trump knows instinctively that one strategy to master a task (or role) is to learn from the challenges, regrets, and mistakes of others so that they don’t become his mistakes and regrets. (As a wise fortune cookie sage once wrote, “Intelligence is learning from your mistakes; wisdom is learning from other people’s.”) There were likely a lot of, “what did you do when …?” and “what do you wish you had done differently when _____ happened?” type questions from Trump to Obama. And Obama’s words and tone here indicate both encouragement and relief.

 

Now, let’s look at President Obama’s hands between 1:29 and 1:55. Notice that whenever his hands come back together he either a) steeples them casually as in 1:08, 1:15, and 1:20 or b) he tucks his left hand into his right hand so that his right hand conceals his left hand’s fingers, as in 1:29, 1:45, and 1:50. The first gesture is a practiced signal to convey that he is calm, cool Barack and the second is an unconscious indicator of anxiety. It’s literally hand-ringing, which is a self-comforting motion. Who knows what he’s worried about? I imagine the list is quite long when you’re president. It would be more odd if he had no anxiety indicators — what is he, a robot? No, he’s a human being emotionally influenced by the domino effect of every single decision he makes. (We’ll see if Trump’s hair doesn’t have a few patches of silver in 8 years. Maybe he won’t and that would be cool — however, I wouldn’t judge him negatively for it if he did.)

 

Now at 2:41, Obama looks at Trump and makes eye contact with him as he says, “I want to emphasize to you” but then, as he continues to speak, he lowers his gaze, then looks away, then looks back, but keeps his gaze lowered. The camera zooms out, and Trump, still looking at Obama, waiting for Obama to re-make eye contact, finally looks away and toward the press at 2:50. First, I think that Obama is very distracted by the constant noise of the cameras flashing — it’s extremely loud. Second, I think Obama is trying to remember some memorized lines. Notice how much more comfortable he is at the very end when he’s joking around about the press with Trump (at 4:02). And finally, as I mentioned before, the lack of eye contact also indicates feeling of two minds (or two emotions) toward Trump: Obama can’t help but like him because most likely, Trump greeted him (earlier in the day, prior to the cameras rolling) with a “let’s let bygones be bygones” disarming kind of alpha introduction and handshake. Obama was probably prepared for hostility — genuine warmth was not what he expected at all (which is why it’s so disarming and why alphas use it as a strategy. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer by turning them into assets.) Trump nods in genuine agreement as Obama says, “We now are gonna want to do everything possible to help you succeed because if you succeed, then the country succeeds.” Then he hands the floor over to Trump.

 

Now, there are two Trumps. Trump from the Apprentice and the real Donald Trump (which is why it’s so fitting that his twitter handle is @realDonaldTrump). Trump from the Apprentice sits as if he’s sitting on a throne — always. Without exception. His posture commands respect and to some degree, fear.

 

 

Real Trump always hunches a little bit forward, as he does throughout the majority of this scene with President Obama. And if you watch him in the interview on 60 Minutes with his whole family, again, he hunches forward, and I believe that this is to obscure his stature so that no one feels threatened or relegated to the background (I’ve seen many alpha males do this; if you go onto youtube, you can see videos of both the CIA and FBI directors sitting in a very similar way: slightly slouching even, in order to make the interviewer feel less uncomfortable.) At the same time, Trump doesn’t hesitate to use his stature to command respect when appropriate — the Anderson Cooper “backstage” interview comes to mind. Fascinatingly, when Trump was on the campaign trail, he seldom evoked the king posture, but by using expansive hand gestures, he still made the people around them feel as if they were in the presence of the classic “benevolent ruler” archetype. This is a strategy to make people feel enveloped in safety without actually touching them. And Trump is really good at it.

 

Now watch Trump’s hands as he begins to speak at 2:56 (and notice that Obama is watching him intently. Obama has a good poker face but look closely, and you will see pleasant surprise in his expression). All of a sudden at 3:01, Trump remembers he should do something with his hands. As noted earlier, Trump is a classic alpha male — an alpha’s alpha — and they know intuitively that hands speak and worse, tell secrets, and so they start practicing early in life holding their hands still. But they’re also brilliant strategists; this means that it’s likely that Trump would have sat down and brainstormed various hand motions that would be useful in conveying an honest and trustworthy persona long before that fateful escalator descent announcing his candidacy, and then begun practicing them prior to his campaign so that they would come across as naturally as possible. So it’s fun for me to see the two Donald Trumps fight each other for dominance in this last bit of footage. He has probably been doing the common hands-steepled-together pose since his 20’s; it’s steadying, nonthreatening, calming to whoever he’s interacting with, and conveys a thoughtful reflective (not impulsive) person. Good. Meanwhile, it appears, some of the hand motions that he added to his body language arsenal, pre-campaign, pop up from time to time: at 3:02 when he brings his hands out and then together, and then back out again (signaling that he is putting things together, that he has a hold on the or a situation): at 3:22, he says, “we discussed a lot of situations,” and then, almost as an afterthought, as if he is reminding himself to use his hands again, Trump says, “some wonderful and some difficulties” and he brings his hands together with the palms up to show that he is holding the situation up, that is to say, “handling it.” I LOVE how at 3:11, after stating that originally Trump and Obama were only going to meet for 15 minutes, Trump reveals, “the meeting lasted for” — he looks warmly at Obama — “almost an hour and a half.” Now, this is old school alpha rapport-building technique: he is glancing at Obama as if to say, “let’s tell them, shall we?” as though he and Obama are letting us in on a little bit of gossip, a tidbit we otherwise would never have known about: the audience or viewers then feel special, invited, accepted, enveloped in the Trump cocoon. The secret is now between Trump and Obama — and 330 million American people. We’re ALL in. This is how alphas make everyone in the tribe feel valuable and accepted.

 

At 3:22, he says they discussed a lot of situations, “some wonderful and some difficulties” and again, his hands come together with the palms up to show us that he is holding up any problems, that he is “handling” it. Then no hand motions again until at 3:43, when he remembers to incorporate the 3-fingered OK symbol when saying that he and Obama discussed some of the “really great things that have been achieved.” At 3:53, they shake hands and neither man attempts to dominate the other. THIS IS GOOD. Trump has his lips pressed together in the facial expression that suggests that he is willing to acknowledge that Obama is a cooler guy than he thought (or in some way, better than he’d originally thought). Now, the handshake is very quick, suggesting residual bad feelings on both sides, so let’s acknowledge that too. At the same time, the way that they make eye contact as they shake signals that they each accept the other’s appeal to millions of people.

 

And, in an interesting display of camaraderie at 4:02, Obama taps Trump on the arm and says, “it’s always a good rule: don’t answer any questions when they just start –” and Trump smiles and jokes, “it’s always the last one!”

 

ICE BROKEN!!!

 

Then Obama lets the press know he’s done with them and they are free to leave by saying, “no questions” and “come on, guys, let’s go” (the song, “Closing Time” comes to mind) and at 4:10, Trump says, “very — very good man.” Then he repeats it (“very good man”) and looks down and to the right, as if he’s recalling something he was told recently about President Obama. I conclude that this is ultimately good; a president is only one man and the whole purpose of Congress and the Courts is to stop that man if he tries to go farther than the people want. To see Obama or Trump as either all good or all bad is simply not accurate, and so I look forward to learning what it was that Obama did specifically that Trump was referring to when he said, “very good man” twice.

 

PREDICTIONS!

Some of you are aware that I predicted back in October of 2014 that Hillary could not and would not win this election and that that was why we needed to start finding a viable alternative back then (and I suggested Bernie Sanders).

I do enjoy making predictions.

Even when I’m wrong! That said, here goes:

 

  1. Trump will negotiate with CEO of Apple (in 2017) and some i-phones will eventually be manufactured in the USA.
  2. Trump will further walk back remarks on torture. I believe this will happen very soon after he’s sworn in, after he speaks with DNI Clapper and CIA Director Brennan. (Let me know in the comments if you would like a post on the Brennan-Trump feud going back to this past summer. Two alpha males circling each other at the CIA? Get out your macrame invisibility poncho and hop on the DARPA cloud — wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall to witness that first meeting?? All kidding and teleporting aside, I predict that it will end well, and that the Iran Deal will be salvaged too after Trump is let in on the less public details. Briefly: alphas are human lie detectors, value loyalty above all other traits, and are extremely protective of “their people.” Once John Brennan and Donald Trump realize they have more in common than not, they will get along amazingly well. They should each give each other a chance, at the very least.)
  3. Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) will be repealed and replaced in January 2017. It will keep the option to have coverage through one’s parents’ plan for people up to age 26, keep the rule that insurers cannot deny coverage to anyone with a pre-existing condition, but repeal the requirement that employers offer health insurance to all full time workers, providing a huge boon to the economy as companies and especially retail stores/companies, offer full time opportunities to their employees again. (If we’re going to go true free market solution, we’ll have to disconnect the purchase of health insurance with employment — in other words, remove the burden on employers and allow insurers to sell to anyone in any state in order to break up the regional cartels, driving down prices in order to reduce the burden on consumers as well. I just took Microecon over the summer and am taking Macro right now, so these free market solutions are on my mind. And of course, fellow Berners, I remain a staunch fan of a Single Payer National Health Care System; I’m simply open to multiple ways of solving the problem of people not getting the health care they need.)
  4. The House will pass a law repealing Medicare and it will narrowly, with in 5 votes, lose in the Senate in 2018.
  5. The House and Senate will keep a Republican majority until 2020, when the Senate will turn Dem majority.
  6. Trump will win re-election in 2020; Minnesota will go red for the first presidential election since 1972.
  7. NAFTA will not be significantly altered until Trump’s second term — but then it will be gutted (to the benefit of both the American and Mexican people; remember that comparative advantage, the economic theory upon which these unethical “free” trade agreements are based, means an advantage for the ruling and corporate classes, not the People).

 

Obama Trump

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please comment below or tweet at me at @Sarah__Reynolds.

 

Body Language/Speech Analysis: FBI Director Comey & the Inevitable Hillary Indictment

Logic is hard. Critical thinking is no longer taught in our schools. Most colleges do not require a course in logic to graduate, and because the media can legally lie, even if people were skilled at drawing reasonable conclusions, they would often be basing those conclusions on false information anyway.

 

That said, let’s try applying a little logic to the Hillary implosion — aided and abetted by one Associated Press. Fact: The number of delegates required to “clinch the nomination” is 2383. Fact: Hillary does not have that many today. She did not have that many on June 6, 2016, the night someone blackmailed/bribed someone else at AP to discard all journalistic integrity and declare that she had enough superdelegates to “clinch the nomination.” AP claims that they polled all the superdelegates and that there were just enough to give her the win. This would be like polling all the members of the Electoral College and declaring that Trump had enough electoral votes to win the presidency! (Does it sound like I’m speculating when I use big words like “blackmail” and “bribery”? Well, that’s because I am. Simultaneously, I’m extending AP the benefit of the doubt — the doubt that they could ever do something so unethical, immoral and unjust unless they were under the incredible pressure of being blackmailed or bribed.)

 

 

FACT: There’s a date on the calendar when the superdelegates vote. That date — JULY 25, 2016 — has not come and gone according to the passage of months, days and hours that we measure using time-keeping devices and subsequently label “history.”

 

 

 

TRUTH: Hillary has not received the nomination. She is not the presumptive nominee. She is exactly where she was a year ago: Not the Democratic nominee for president in the 2016 election cycle.

 

Further, we can analyze FBI Director Comey’s word choices, body language, and tone of voice and see (and hear) that he does indeed plan to recommend to the Department of Justice that Hillary be indicted under the Espionage Act. Why? Because that is the law she has broken by allowing Special Access Program emails to go unencrypted on her private server for three months (from NBC: “the special access program in question was so sensitive that McCullough and some of his aides had to receive clearance to be read in on it before viewing the sworn declaration about the Clinton emails“). Author and columnist H. A. Goodman explains the basic legal facts in the excellent video below (it will start at exactly the point in the video where he gets to that, 12:32). In summary, yes, some of the emails were retroactively classified, but that’s not relevant. Convicted whistleblowers sit in prison right now for transferring retroactively classified emails, so it’s a crime and one that gets indictments and guilty verdicts. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The SAP emails were born classified. There is no “retroactive” for those emails. They were above Top Secret from the get go.

 

 

But don’t take Goodman’s word for it: the recent release (5/26/16) of the State Department Inspector General report concluded that 1) Hillary violated the federal records act by not turning over all official emails before she left the State Dept and 2) that there was no evidence that she ever received approval to use her own email account for conducting official State Department business (or ever even requested such approval). So there’s ample evidence that she should be indicted. Will she? She’s betting she won’t. Her alienating presumptuous arrogance is embarrassing enough (for example when she says that the report won’t affect either her campaign or “my presidency”) but the disrespect and disregard for the law she doesn’t even attempt to hide is really over the top.

 

Frankly, I thought that there was a good chance that corruption would thwart the release of the State Dept IG report and, that even if it were released, it would likely be false. (And it’s damning — very damning.) The FBI, on the other hand, I have far more faith in (or rather, less doubt). There is no way to get inside Director Comey’s head and know what he intends to do, however, there is a fascinating theory that people are always confessing (literally, that people are always subtly revealing the truth with their words, tone and body language) and that if you listen well enough, you can hear what they’re really saying. In other words, there are three elements of communication. First, the words that are coming out of a person’s mouth; second, what they’re really saying; and third, what they’re not saying.

 

Cenk Uygur explains below that Director Comey, at a May 11 “Pen & Pad” Briefing with Reporters, was very direct in clarifying that there is no “security inquiry,” that in fact, Hillary is being investigated as part of a criminal investigation. Comey says, “I’m not familiar with the term ‘security inquiry.’ We’re conducting an investigation. That’s what we do. It’s in our name. There are no special set of rules for anybody that the FBI investigates.”

 

 

But there is no audio in this segment from TYT. Those phrases are really an amalgamation of several things Director Comey said in two separate exchanges with a reporter. Here’s the first one, copy/pasted from the FBI’s website (except, it wasn’t a complete transcription so I edited it). Turns out, it’s not so direct after all. In fact, the way he square dances with the truth is far more revealing. Pen & Pad briefings are audio only, so we can’t see Director Comey, but in a way, that’s easier, at least for me. Undistracted by facial expressions, I can hone in on “weak” spots in his speech (this means, places where the societal mask we all wear disappears for a second or two).

Starting at 21:04:

 

Catherine: On the e-mails, Director Comey, are you doing a security inquiry?

Director Comey: (long pause – awkward!) I’m sorry?

Catherine: On the e-mails are you doing a security inquiry?

Director Comey: I don’t know what that means.

Catherine: So it’s a criminal investigation?

Director Comey: We’re conducting an investigation. That-that’s the bureau’s business. That’s what we do. And (pause) that’s probably all I can say about it.

Catherine: The reason I ask is that Mrs. Clinton consistently refers to it as a security inquiry, but the FBI does criminal investigations. I just want to —

Director Comey: Right —

Catherine: — see if you can clear that up.

Director Comey: — it’s in our name.

Catherine: Okay.

Director Comey: Yeah.

Catherine: Okay. So it’s not —

Director Comey: I’m not familiar with the term security inquiry.

 

BEST PART EVER: “I’m sorry?” he says, as if he has no idea what a security inquiry is and in fact, has never even heard such an bizarre off-the-wall term! A what??? A dinglehopper inquiry? A security yackamadoodle? How odd! I’ve never HEARD of such a thing!! Silly Catherine. Surely you jest! From what alternate realm do you descend where FBI stands for Federal Bureau of Inquiry? Inquisition maybe, inquiry — NEVER!

 

Ok, so he’s just a little too ready to respond with confusion to that question and a little too ready to feign innocence. It’s so funny, so actually hilarious that if it were say, Chris Parnell playing Comey in the SNL version of this exchange, Chris would not even have to exaggerate his intonation on “I’m sorry?” I think James Comey means, Sorry, not sorry. #sorrynotsorry

 

Let’s keep breaking it down: Cat goes, “on the email, are you doing a security inquiry?” and Directory Comey is all, “I don’t know what that means.” He’s actually being quite kind to Catherine in particular (she is one of the few people he addresses by name), so what does his faux-surprise pretend-ignorance MEAN???? Well, if we were using something I call “red neon sign translate,” he would be holding up a red neon sign that says, “the concept of a security inquiry is so absurd, so silly, and so illogical because the concept of actually and truly being investigated by the FBI is so measurably tangibly serious that downplaying it that much can only mean one thing: that Hillary is actually dumb which is measurably untrue OR she’s very very afraid; either way, I am not even going to acknowledge the insult to the entire Bureau that her euphemism conveys; if there’s anything I can do about it, she will never be our boss.”

 

Ok, that would be a big red neon sign. Fine. God, split hairs.

 

But WAIT — there’s more! Cat tries to make him admit on the record that it’s a criminal investigation when she says, “So it’s a criminal investigation?”

 

Now we get to hear his dad tone. All of a sudden he gets — just a little — pissed. “We’re conducting an investigation,” he barks says in a clipped tone. He’s not angry with/at Catherine, but again, he’s sick and tired of saying that they’re conducting an investigation because conducting investigations is all a bureau of investigation does. What else would it do? Really?

 

Then Catherine, taken aback by Comey’s departure from his generally jovial low key tone slips into hedge language: “the reason I ask” — she doesn’t have to give a reason; she’s a reporter, she asks questions for a living, we know why: it’s her job. But she feels compelled to gently rephrase her question because he barked at her and she felt bad for a second. She concludes with “I just want to see if you can clear that up.” This kind of hedge language is what we use on parents, bosses and other authority figures when they’re “in a bad mood” because we don’t want to get snapped at. Phrases that couch our request, such as “I was just wondering …” or “how would you feel if I possibly …” or “Do you happen to know by chance if/when/what ….?” instead of a direct question. She could have said, “You know why I’m asking — it doesn’t make any sense. Will you please state for the record that the FBI is conducting a criminal investigation of Hillary Rodham Clinton?” But, he answers affirmatively anyway! TWICE!

 

He says, “Right. It’s in our name.” Listen to the way he says it: “Right.” As in, yes, obviously. Hillary is being criminally investigated. And then when Catherine starts to use a placating tone to communicate to him primally that she is not a threat (“Okay, okay”), he communicates back to her with his calmer tone, “yes, I know you’re not a threat; you’re good, and yes, you’re 100% correct — yeah.” He uses affirmative language twice here, with the word Right and the word Yeah. This is not a coincidence. This is a man who chooses his words extremely carefully, and has no problem with hesitating if he hasn’t found the right words yet (wise man — as my mom used to say, “Once words come out of our mouths, they can never go back in, just like bullets from a gun. And words can be even more dangerous.”).

 

There’s more. At 14:21:

 

Eric: I know you don’t want to talk about the Hillary e-mails but I’m asking anyway.

Director Comey: [Are you ashamed?]

Eric: Yeah, I try not to. You’ve indicated publicly, in Niagara Falls and a few other places that you were going to finish this up on your own schedule. You were in no rush. The convention wasn’t a factor, nothing else was a factor. Is there a concern in the director’s office that this investigation is now the subject of so much scrutiny and speculation that you’re affecting a presidential election, in a negative way?

Director Comey: All I would do Eric is repeat what I said before. In any investigation, especially one of intense public interest, and I felt this about San Bernardino. We want to do it well and we want to do it promptly. And so I feel –I feel pressure to do both of those things? (passive aggressive up-talk) What I said at some places, I don’t — I don’t see — I don’t tether to any parTICular external deadline? (passive aggressive up-talk) Look, I understand the interest in this particular investigation. I do feel the pressure to do it well and promptly. As between the two, we will always choose well. That’s the same general answer I hope I’ve [been giving] before.

 

Director Comey’s uptalk is pronounced in this exchange. When noticeable in a teen-aged girl, this voice mask is used to hide her intelligence because she feels compelled to hide any trait that could be a threat to others. In the head of the FBI, it’s super condescending. And he totally insulted “Eric” when he asked rhetorically, “are you ashamed?” Here’s what we know now about Director Comey (but could really have already guessed knowing that he was a US Attorney because they are lawyers who use words as tools and weapons to persuade juries): he can be mean. So, he has that streak of meanness. Now, we haven’t seen him in twenty different situations — we aren’t omniscient either — so we can only make an assessment based on the available data. Plus, he wasn’t mean to Catherine — he was only a little tetchy. The only time he was actually unkind was with Eric. And after all, we might be mean too if we had to keep dealing with idiots who asked stupid questions, especially if they were attempts to put concerns words in our office mouth disguised as questions.

 

So in order to truly gauge his character and make a well-rounded analysis, we need to look at at least two more interactions, with varying power dynamics. In the Pen & Pad briefing, the reporters were subject to him. He was most likely standing at an elevated podium, and they had to get permission to speak to him, to even be in the room. In this next video, he is on an equal level with the person interviewing him — they are both sitting (this is a position of non-dominance, and if the other person is standing, it is a position of subservience) and he was invited to be the interviewer’s guest. And in the third video we’ll look at, he is subject to a Congressional Committee, sitting below the members of a Senate Select Committee, looking up at them (looking up TO them, as a public servant, where the Senate represents the public — or the 37% of the public that bothers to vote in Senate elections).

 

I’ve capitalized or bold/italicized some words that Director Comey speaks, for a specific reason, below the video:

 

 

He says:

“Somebody asked me -uh- in the States about whether I’ve -uh- I think the question was, is the Democratic National Convention a, I forget what the question was, a hard stop for you or is that a key date for you or are you doing this investigation aimed at — and I said, NO. I — we aspire to do all our investigations in two ways: well and promptly. I’m personally close to this investigation because I want to enSURE [pause] that we have the resources, the people, the technology, and the SPACE [pause] to DO those things. And to do it in the way I hope we do ALL our work which is competently, honestly and INDEPENDENTLY. Um, and, I’m CONFIDENT it’s being done that way.”

 

So in communication element 1, the words that are coming out of his mouth, we can hear him say that he’s committed to concluding the investigation well, professionally, above board, the right way, quality over speed, etc, etc. It’s the same party line he’s been repeating for months.

 

But what is he really saying (communication element 2)? He says: I’m personally close to the investigation. Now, as we know, from a logic standpoint, the director of the bureau technically oversees all investigations but he says he’s “close” to it. The word close here is important. He could have said, “I am watching over my agents” or “I am doing everything I personally can to ensure the integrity of the investigation” but he doesn’t.  He says he’s close. What he’s really saying is that he’s close to finishing it. Now why does he mention space? That’s weird. Really weird. You don’t bring up space until you feel like you don’t have enough space, until you feel that your space is being encroached upon. For example, people who say they “need some space.” Space is also a word where his voice mask slips for a split second. Why? Because someone is likely hovering over him or attempting to infringe upon his space, probably someone who would rather the investigation stop.

 

DISCLAIMER: THIS IS ALL SPECULATION — DON’T FREAK OUT, EVERYBODY. IT’S PSEUDOSCIENCE — IT MEANS NOTHING. FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY.

 

Now, to deduce what he’s not saying, the most revealing of all the three elements of communication, we’re going to “do the math” and take all the pressure points or weak spots in his speech, every word or syllable where his mask slips (this is not a face mask, this is a voice mask) and add them together.

 

NO + SURE + SPACE + DO + ALL + INDEPENDENTLY + CONFIDENT

 

We then treat this like putting a ripped up handwritten note back together that is missing some of the pieces. No, we’re not reading it in context, but it could still be a very valuable source of information. The fun part here is that we get to fill in the blanks and move the pieces around into different orders (this also means that we are doing art, not science, and therefore the accuracy rate of our conclusion goes down).

 

So imagine that we heard him say, “No sure space do all independently confident” and we were like, what did he say?

 

There’s no sure space to do it all independently or confidently (?)

OR

There’s no confident space to be sure or all independent (?)

OR, what I think it is,

There is no sure space (secure space); [I’m] doing all (everything) independently and confident [ially].

 

 

Yes, it is a stretch. And we’ll never know if this was the right analysis or not. The only thing we can verify (and I’m happy to be wrong — this is fun for me because I’m often right, but not always!) is that he’s close to being finished with the investigation, from communication element two. I predict it will be August of 2016 when the DOJ finally indicts Hillary.

 

I predict it will be August of 2016 when the DOJ finally indicts Hillary.

 

Additionally, watch his hands when he says he’s close to the investigation — his hands hold — nay, grip! — an invisible object. It’s very close to him indeed. There are other very pleasant aspects of his body language; I’m not going to specify all the indicators in his voice and hand movements and posture, etc, but they mean that he is probably a protective person, a thoughtful person, a person who can be violent sometimes but defensively, not aggressively, that he would not hurt women, that he has some regret (people who don’t feel regret don’t have an intact moral compass — we WANT indicators of regret), that he is very gentle toward children and domestic animals and vulnerable people, also that he’s methodical, logical, reflective, and talkative. Negatives? He likes the sound of his own voice, he likes giving advice and keeping people rooted to the spot while they listen to it because they feel obligated to, is moderately arrogant (the regret off-sets this and neutralizes the effect in his everyday life), is self-righteous, assumes that he is smarter than most people (although there are indicators of high intelligence and an excellent memory so he probably IS smarter than most people). Finally, there is also an interesting indicator of humility: it tells us that there was an event in the recent past where he realized just how powerful his influence on changing the outcome of a situation for the better really is (within the past 5 years, probably 3 years ago).

 

 

Now let’s go to that Hearing on Worldwide Threats, the Senate Select Committee hearing I mentioned earlier, where Director Comey is acting as a public servant and is thus the subordinate one in the power dynamic. Click here and then forward the feed to 1:04:46 to see the opening question from a Senator and then his response.

 

 

There’s no text for me to copy/paste and this hearing is long and sad and boring so suffice it to say, there are more indicators that Comey is logical, methodical, respectful of authority (both kinds, that which is endowed by rank and that which is endowed by We the People), humble, kind, protective of vulnerable peoples, along with new interesting indicators: that he is curious, deferential (he shows the most deference to Jim Clapper in this video; his body language indicates respect and admiration for the DNI), patient (listen to the way he explains concepts to Congress — he goes out of his way to not sound condescending toward them) and also happily married.

 

 

Finally, there was a second exchange Director Comey had with Catherine at the Pen & Pad briefing that really encapsulates my whole conclusion.

Catherine: I’m hopeful that you can answer this one.

Director Comey: Is it Hillary Clinton related?

Catherine: Yeah, but this is a really important issue though.

Director Comey: I don’t doubt that all of your questions are important. I’m just telling you I’m predicting the answer. As short as you can.

Catherine: I actually keep my questions very short (Cute — she knows she’s special and the favorite). [crosstalk 00:56:06] I consistently hear from security clearance holders that if they had done a fraction of what had been done by Mrs. Clinton’s team that they would already be in jail. Can you assure people that Mrs. Clinton and her team are being held to the same standard? That there isn’t a special set of rules because they are powerful and politically connected?

Director Comey: I’m not going to comment (pause) other than to say there are no special set of rules for anybody that the FBI investigates.

 

So, first he says that he’s not going to comment … then he comments — lol. So WHY does he comment? Because his moral compass compels him to. If he really doesn’t say anything (or regurgitates the same old non-answer he gave to Eric), then he’s not denying what everyone already thinks, that people like the Clintons get special treatment and everyone else gets a SWAT team at 4:00 a.m. breaking down the door and terrifying the entire building/block. It annoys him that he even has to say this (because in his ideal Just World it’s a given) but he grudgingly (after a pause) agrees exactly with Catherine’s word choice and echoes her phrasing exactly, “no special set of rules,” and goes beyond that — for anybody the FBI investigates. So now we know he’s idealistic and has an aversion to hypocrisy and bullies. Good! And what else do we know? That he is a person who is compelled by his moral compass. In the end, he will not be able to keep from doing the right thing and seeking justice.

 

So Bernie, you better stay in the race, Senator!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**Did you enjoy this body language/word choice analysis? Great! Please let me know on twitter and comment below!

 

***If you are the FBI, I would like a mug, please. An oversized one with the seal on it. You can send it to me at

Sarah Reynolds | 1299 Grand Ave #304 | St Paul, MN 55105

 

****But I would like Hillary indicted more than the mug, so if I have to choose, then the indictment.

 

Organize & Galvanize: Democracy Awakening 2016!

GUESS WHAT???

This April, thousands will mobilize in Washington, D.C., to spark a Democracy Awakening like never before. From April 16-18, we will gather in our nation’s capital to Rally for Democracy and call for a Congress of Conscience.

 

 

The movements for voting rights, money in politics reform, climate change measures, labor rights, peace, and justice for students, women, immigrants and the LGBTQ community are coming together to deliver a resounding message to our nation’s leaders:

We demand a democracy that works for all of us – where we have an equal voice and elected officials are accountable to the people and the public interest. There will be teach-ins to learn more about advancing voting rights and reforming money in politics (the #GetMoneyOut movement, including the movement to pass a Constitutional Amendment that will overturn the two disastrous Supreme Court decisions, Citizens United vs FEC & McCutcheon vs FEC, which both made it legal to donate unlimited amounts of money to election campaigns — anonymously! (They call it “dark money” for a reason.) AND there will even be a day of real lobbying where we meet with our Senators and Representatives (or their aids) on Monday April 18.

If that’s a vision you want to be a part of, join me in signing up to stay engaged. The Awakening will feature exciting panels and workshops, music, and inspiring speakers and activists like you from around the country, joining together to demand solutions.

When the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Citizens United back in 2010, it undermined the integrity of the vote by allowing billionaires and wealthy special interests to drown out our voices. And in 2013, the Supreme Court dealt democracy another blow when it gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act in its Shelby County decision.

We are mobilizing in April to counter these undemocratic rulings and ensure both the right to vote and the integrity of the vote are upheld in this crucial election year.

Our elected officials have yet to act and it’s critical that we hold them accountable.

Whether you care about climate change, racial justice, fair wages or ever-increasing student debt, change is possible only when we stand together.

A coalition of more than 110 groups, from the NAACP to MoveOn.org, the LGBTQ Task Force to the National Organization for Women, the Postal Workers of America to Public Citizen, have jumped on board to make this April action historic. More are joining every day.

Join the fight: click here for more info. It’s a FREE event!

It will take all of us. But together, we’ll awaken the democracy we all deserve.

 

 

Want to send me to DC? Click here!

gofund.me/88u3r5fw

 

Here’s my pitch:

 

 

Thank you for your support!

 

Bernie, I want you to win: An Open Letter to @BernieSanders from a Millennial Who’s Reading the Writing on the Wall

Dear Bernie Sanders,

 

My name is Sarah, I’m a millennial who voted for Obama twice, and I see you being railroaded by a media who refuse to acknowledge you as a legitimate Presidential candidate and the only Democrat candidate who can win the general election. I have previously blogged about Hillary Clinton’s lack of electability, and unlike her followers who are literally blind to her flaws, I am not only aware of hers, I see a few of yours as well. And I want you to win the Dem nomination because if you don’t, I feel very strongly that we will be looking at a President Bush or Trump thirteen months from now. Writing an open letter to her would be a waste of time because her greatest flaw is a sense of entitlement that causes her to think in terms of how much she deserves to be president instead of how much work it requires to earn votes. You, on the other hand, know all too well how hard the fight ahead will be. You’ll have to fight tooth and nail, not only against your opponents and the superpacs but against the media itself who have already decided you can’t win. I think you can win by implementing a few specific strategies. But the number one demographic you need to start concentrating on right away is the Millennials.

 

 

Here a Millennial, there a Millennial, Everywhere a Millennial

 

There are more millennials than boomers!
There are more millennials than boomers!
And more millennials than every other generation!
In fact, there are more millennials than each of the other generations.

It turns out that there are more Millennials alive than Baby Boomers, (87 million compared to 76 million) and now that we’re all officially old enough to vote, we are the most influential demographic politically (notice that no major news outlets are rushing to announce this). This means that Millennials need to get registered to vote so every time you’re on TV, Senator, don’t waste an opportunity to remind us to if we aren’t already. And, point out that in 31 states and in Washington, DC, people must be either registered *as a democrat* in order to vote for you, Bernie, or they must declare their party affiliation at the polls. (Click here to find out if your state is one of them.) Hey, fellow Millennials, think having to declare loyalty to a political party, in and of itself part of the divide-and-conquer-method, is a load of steaming cow pie? You’re not alone; lots of millennial, gen x-er and Boomer lawyers agree. I have talked to a few and apparently it will take a series of lawsuits against individual secretaries of states (but we have to be careful which states we start with) for infringing on our 1st Amendment right to free speech. The argument will go something like this: if I am prevented from voting for someone on a ballot because I have not registered with my secretary of state as a member of a certain political party, then I am being prevented by that state government from “speaking” my support for a particular candidate. Now if you think that’s a stretch, keep in mind that when Citizens United vs the FEC (federal campaign commission) and McCutcheon vs the FEC were each heard by the Supreme Court regarding whether or not money is speech, those sage robed upholders of our constitutional rights decided that money IS speech! (Obviously, money buys volume or silence, it is not in and of itself a type of expression, for crying out loud.) So if money is speech, voting is definitely speech. And how about our right to privacy also being violated by making us disclose to the secretary of our state which party we intend to vote for? Bernie, those two issues would be a great thing to bring up during the debates.

 

 

 

What’s a democratic socialist?

Do we really need a fly on the wall of HRC’s war room to guess she’s rubbing her hands together and grinning, “Berrrrnie. Sannnnders,” then leaning forward on her throne to command her minions, “Destroy him”? Do we actually need someone to secretly screenshot her whiteboard and tweet the image of the hashtag thereon, #OperationRedSmear? No, we don’t. We just need to acknowledge that it’s probably already begun. By saying that you are a democratic socialist (or, to put it another way, admitting that you are one), Hillary probably sees you walking into a trap of your own making. For example, you say something like, “with a small transaction tax on high frequency stock trades, we could pay for socialized health care, just like in Canada and France, or fund college tuition at all public universities at no charge to students.” She’ll grin into the camera (amused at your ignorance), announce this isn’t Denmark! and then shake her head back and forth condescendingly (pitying your ignorance). Then she’ll pounce and declare: sometimes we need to save capitalism from itself, [everything up to this point she’s already done] conflate socialism with communism, use nasty throwback trigger words like “Marxist” and “the USSR,” and you’re going to lose, sir.

 

Now, the only day we can go back to is today.  So let’s rewrite that chapter right now.

 

 

“Senator, what’s democratic socialism?” Here’s where it’s really important to answer the question, directly, before you go off on your trademark soapbox style “Bernie Sanders says NO to Wall Street’s greed” tangent. We love those tangents; we love them because they indicate passion, idealism, and confidence. Those aren’t the problem. You know what a tell is in poker? Well, your unwillingness to just put it out there, what democratic socialism is, tells us that for some reason, you aren’t quite comfortable with your fondness for it, or perhaps the discomfort is with dem-soc itself. Here’s your usual way of answering the question:

 

 

That’s right, you tell us what dem-soc means, to you, connotatively, instead of denotatively. Hillary will eat that right up, like butterscotch pudding, Bernie. When you don’t answer a question directly, you look like you’re trying to hide something or that you can’t handle the question. I want you to win; that’s why I want to tell you how I think HRC will turn this hesitation around and use it against you. I think she’ll interrupt you talk over you say, “Senator Sanders, why don’t you just admit it? It means there’s voting but the means of production are socialized. And we all know that’s a stone’s throw away from communism.” So I want you, as part of a premeditated strategy to appeal to the large number of libertarian millennials whose interest you have already piqued, to be the first to reference the Bill of Rights in your answer.  So here is one way you could define democratic socialism in a forthcoming way that does the most damage control:

 

Democratic Socialism is where you have a democratic political system, where people vote just like we have now, and a socialist economic system. Now, when the economic system is socialized, it doesn’t mean it has to be run by the government – there are probably people out there who belong to a co-op, and if you do, you know the profits are socialized, meaning spread out among all the members, everybody gets a dividend at the end of the year. But it often does mean state-run programs. And the truth is we already have tons of socialized — meaning government run, in this case — programs in our country. The FBI, the CIA, the NSA, the military, our entire Justice System. Do our judges get paid per decision or per trial? Do our FBI agents get paid per case? No, they all get paid on salary so there is no motivation for them to serve anyone’s interests but the American people’s.  (Later, you could tie that into why you co-sponsored the Stop Outsourcing Security Act.) And let’s not forget the bailouts; a taxpayer bailout is known as socializing a loss — instead of spreading the profit or benefit around, we spread the loss around. People will tell you we have a capitalist system but not only do we already have a ton of socialized services that benefit everyone, like our national security apparatus, already in effect, the negative effects of the casino capitalism, they don’t trickle down, they flood down. All those bets Wall St made? When they lose, the taxpayer picks up the tab. That 2008 TARP bailout under President Bush? It was $700 billion. Divide that by the population of the US at the time: 309,557,862.  That works out to be $2258 for every man woman and child in the country. Now how much did you pay for your health insurance last year? In student loan payments? In credit card payments? Crony capitalism’s gambling losses are always socialized, but when they make a killing on the stock market and we ask them to pay the same tax rate on capital gains as other income, they balk! Now, obviously, we have a constitutional republic (this phrase is a trigger phrase for libertarians) and one democratic socialist president is not going to undue the system of checks and balances designed by the framers of the constitution, and I wouldn’t want to. The Bill of Rights is designed to protect us from a corrupt government. But the income inequality in this country, where 95% of all income gains since 2009 have gone to the top 1%, where only 2% of this country makes more than $250,000 a year, is scandalous. Only 5% of Americans make more than $150,000 a year. The founders wanted the Bill of Rights to protect us from a corrupt government but they could never have imagined we’d need just as much if not more protection from a corrupt Wall Street.

 

imageEmphasize that socialism has nothing to do with corrupt fascist regimes. If anyone asks you if you are a Marxist, say, “No, Marx advocated the abolition of private property; that kind of extremist ideology has no place in our country.” If you don’t believe that, start practicing in the mirror now. You will be asked. The GOP is just waiting to accuse you of it. But Hillary will be worse. She will say, “the rich need to pay their fair share” but then refuse to pick an income level or an income tax percentage that corresponds to her vision of “fair.” Instead, she’ll use your desire for high income tax rates on high income as evidence of you being “out of touch.” Point out that during the 1950’s and early 60’s, the top bracket income tax rate was over 90% and the economy boomed.

 

 

Pot

Thank you for getting totally real on marijuana; more than half of Americans support legalizing marijuana (58% according to Gallup’s Oct 2015 poll) and an overwhelming majority of millennials do. But HRC is going to pounce on this issue because even though more than half of Americans support legalization, they are not the half you can count on to go register to vote in advance or make sure they’ve declared a party affiliation. So, here’s how you could play it. You want marijuana to be legal not only because the drug war is imprisoning young people instead of the banksters (this is deflecting, by the way, and Hillary will hone in on that like a predator drone) but because prohibition doesn’t work. It doesn’t make sense. Did prohibition of alcohol work? No, but a massive campaign against drunk driving and drinking while pregnant have worked. Why not legalize pot and put warnings on the packaging like we have with cigarettes? If growers of organic pesticide-free fair trade marijuana want to sell their plant at the farmer’s market, then we require them to hand out a little warning pamphlet (with side effects on fertility/virility, memory, and citing studies of irreversible IQ point decreases in people under age 25, etc.). In other words, you can and should acknowledge that there are negative side effects of pot use and say, “I want buying and using marijuana to be legal; no one should spend a minute in jail for smoking pot. That doesn’t mean I want you to use it!” The DEA spends boatloads of taxpayer money trying to override people’s free will decision to use drugs, a fool’s errand in this blogger’s mind. Far more logical to regulate their sale and educate people (especially on the horrific side effects of meth and heroin). And, Senator, when the topic of legalizing marijuana comes up, you could also suggest using the sales tax revenue it would generate to fund national health care, including treatment programs for those addicted to alcohol and drugs.

 

 

Speaking of Health Care

Lots of people who voted for President Obama blindly supported anything he proposed after he took office because of his star power and magnetism. And you want that demographic to vote for you too (look them up on twitter with #UniteBlue). You need that demographic to vote for you. So start out praising Obamacare, and segue to single payer by pointing out that the best part about the ACA is the provision allowing each state to set up its own single payer system. Besides, as long as there’s going to be a mandate, why not take the middle man/insurance company out of it so that the mandated number of dollars we all pay is even less? And why not put doctors on the federal payroll? Judges are on the federal payroll and get paid from our tax dollars. What is a doctor but a judge of disease? What is a prescription or treatment but a sentence for wayward health? What is a hospital but a jail that doesn’t need bars because the people inside are too sick to get up and walk out of it? (Kidding! It’s way more fun to visit people in the hospital than jail! Unless they’re dying, of course.)

 

 

Guns

You’ve continued to associate the epidemic of gun violence with our disenfranchising health care system that doesn’t get the mentally ill the treatment they need. HRC may not realize it but “gun control” is a trigger phrase too — and what it triggers is a knee jerk reaction in many Americans to buy more guns. Tread as lightly on this issue as you did in the first debates; emphasize your concern for prevention and national health care. Then after you’ve won the nomination, you can reference the 2nd Amendment specifically to relate to libertarian voters. You’re going to need them in the general election. This is a very difficult issue because clearly something must be done; but in this millennial’s opinion, your suggestion that what must be done is getting people access to doctors to prevent these shootings in the first place is the one that will earn you the most votes in our current electoral college voting system. If presidential elections were a strict popular vote, I’d say push gun control because roughly a third of Americans own guns (not the majority by any means). But you’ll need to win many of the states with a high rate of gun-ownership if you want to win the electoral college, so your emphasis on healthcare is strategically your best bet.

 

 

Are you a pacifist? How you can align your conscientious objector past with Daniel Ellsberg & Edward Snowden and appeal to the greatest number of Americans

You said you weren’t a pacifist and you clearly aren’t or you wouldn’t have voted for the AUMF after Sept 11. Use the phrase “just war” sparingly to describe our nation’s right to defend itself if attacked on our own soil; and remind us again and again that you voted against war in Iraq.

 

Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers Whistleblower
Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers Whistleblower

 

Most people won’t doubt the validity of your being a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War. We should never have been there in the first place, as the Boomers who lived through it (or lost loved ones who died for it) well know. Many of them, including over 7 million living Vietnam war vets, explained that to their gen x-er and millennial offspring. If you align yourself with Daniel Ellsberg who blew the whistle on the government’s false narrative of success in Vietnam by releasing the Pentagon Papers, (which is why you objected to it too, right?) you’ll not only tap into our country’s collective regret over the Vietnam War and how it could have been prevented or at least cut short, you’ll simultaneously appeal to the Millennials’ admiration of Snowden (70% of us think he’s a whistleblower) because Daniel Ellsberg has been such a vocal supporter of him. In fact, many younger Millennials had never heard of Daniel Ellsberg before Snowden came along.

 

You are wise to say Snowden should have a trial in a court of law though, rather than that the Department of Justice should drop the charges against him or that he should be pardoned because this is what the majority of Americans think. But we’re a funny people; the majority of Americans were glad to learn from the Snowden disclosures that our 4th Amendment rights were being violated by the NSA too. So while I get it that you may feel reluctant to say anything beyond, “I think Snowden played a very important role in educating the American people to the degree in which our civil liberties and our constitutional rights are being undermined,” as you said at the first debate, there are 61 million Millennial Americans who more than agree with you. Evoke memories of Ellsberg, and many other civil libertarians and peace activists and unjust war protesters, especially Boomers, are sure to notice too. And remind us again that you voted against the PATRIOT Act.

 

And be sure to mention that as a contractor, Snowden was not eligible for any whistleblower protections. Not from President Obama’s executive order …

 

… or from the Whistleblower Protection Act of 2012.

 

 

No low blows, just acknowledgement of the systemic corruption of campaign finance and the need for reform

Citizens from Hell United
Citizens from Hell United

 

Bernie, it’s so awesome that you haven’t said one bad word about Hillary. Millennials hate — with a PASSION — that bullshit. WE HATE IT. Thank you, Senator, for sticking to the facts! It’s awesome to point out that the % of your donors who are small donors is extremely high compared to the average campaign, and great to point out how much money has gone into the superpacs since the Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions in order to show how flagrant the attempts to buy this election are, and even better to highlight that you aren’t taking a dollar of that superpac money. We know which candidates are in Wall Street’s pocket and that you aren’t one of them.

 

Politicians pointing out each other’s flaws instead of focusing on solutions to very real problems we would prefer to have solved doesn’t make them look better than their opponents. On the contrary, it reveals their personality weakness. Thanks, Bernie, for being the kind of politician who focuses on society’s flaws, not people’s personality flaws.

 

Below is a tweet from someone who has the opposite view. And as far as a winning strategy, I couldn’t disagree more. (This was one of the ways HRC embarrassed herself in 2008 — by insulting Obama over and over. It didn’t even faze him!)

 

 

 

Ease off the Revolution Rhetoric

There’s only one thing I’d recommend you completely eliminate or significantly reduce in your campaign, Senator, and that is any reference to a revolution. Especially during this time of recovering from the disappointment of President Obama’s promises of hope and change, the concept of revolution is a bit much. When someone says revolution to me, I think of two things, the Revolutionary War (and that we won it) and then I think of the Beatles’ song, and this line from it: “You say you want a revolution, well, you know, we’d all love to see the plan.” Revolution is a big word, Senator, and it has all kinds of terrible connotations, like no clean running water and the grid going down and rape in the streets. And death and blood and corpses and horrific fighting — and war. Even when you specify a political revolution, it just doesn’t ring true. All revolutions are political revolutions. Yes, “a revolution” has a better ring to it than “Get off your butts and participate; show a little gratitude for your freedom to vote that people died for. Apathy’s not gonna cut it. You actually do have to vote to remind Congress that they work for you and will be fired if they don’t do what you want, and this means voting every 2 years, not every 4.”  While apathy-shaming won’t work, I think the concept of revolution in this sense will make people think of a rebellious uprising more than anything else, and that will turn off a very large important demographic (Boomers) and won’t turn on any of the others.

 

Your campaign is still young and I’m positive there’s a far better slogan to be had, one that will appeal to people of all generations and socioeconomic backgrounds who favor overcoming income equality and seek social justice.

 

To Do List:

  1. Don’t miss an opportunity to remind people to get registered to vote, including tweeting reminders that in many states, you must be registered as a Democrat to be able to vote for you
  2. Define democratic socialism within the context of it already being part of our constitutional republic (saying we live in a democracy is not factually true)
  3. Use trigger phrases like constitutional republic and democratic republic; explain they are synonyms
  4. Answer questions directly even if being direct requires a lie; a straightforward lie is always better than a hesitant justification*
  5. Continue your habit of not intentionally lying
  6. Use trigger phrases like “the truth is”
  7. Explain that capitalism is voting with our dollars; then contrast that with our current rigged “capitalist” system using both “casino capitalism” and “crony capitalism” interchangeably to explain how it really works in practice
  8. Use the 3 phrases “framers of the constitution,” “founding fathers,” “Bill of Rights” and the 3 phrases “Wall St” “income inequality” “the 1%” at a ratio of 1:1 in order to appeal to both liberals and libertarians (also, a lot of people are just plain patriotic and those first 3 words mean something to them)
  9. Hillary overuses the phrase “the middle class” — don’t make her same mistake! Explain socioeconomic classes as they pertain to income inequality; there are the working poor, then there’s a working class, a lower middle class, a middle class, an upper middle class, the rich and the super rich. Below are 2 videos to help explain the insanity of the ratio of CEO pay to average worker and how much worse the reality of income inequality is compared to what we think it is.
  10. Acknowledge the working poor in the debates, those who work but can’t get full time hours because their company’s policy is no more than 32 (or however many) hours a week and consequently, they qualify for SNAP and subsidized housing. They don’t vote because no one acknowledges they even exist! And there are millions of them. If you use the phrase, “the working poor,” they’re going to look up at the TV and go, oh, my God, someone’s talking about us! The other reason they don’t vote is because they literally can’t get time off work on election day and are unaware that in many states, employers are legally required to allow workers to take time off to vote. These votes are ripe for the picking, Bernie. Snatch them up with your #15now rhetoric.

 

 

 

 

 

I know you’ll make a great president, Senator Sanders!

 

Sincerely,

Sarah

 

*Example: Hillary’s concise “no” when Anderson asked her if her flipflopping on issues meant she was changing them based on the demographic (“Will you say anything to get elected?”). She was verifiably lying but it came across as honest.