Just in case you thought it wasn’t working or that everyone protecting the 1% were sociopaths, the message is sinking through to some. The micro-expressions of the “insiders” at Eric Cantor’s December 6th fundraising event as it was being protested by OWS tell a different story than Republicans’ glib attempts at contemptuous dismissal. Shifting eyes, covered faces, and backs turned on cameras telegraph fear, loathing, contempt, impotent rage and finally, at long last, some shame.
Eric Cantor has already demonstrated his cowardice by canceling an income inequality speech at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School, when he realized that the public would be allowed and that various groups including Occupy Philadelphia were going to be allowed on campus (gasp!Share the hallowed air with The Eric Cantor?).
The protectors of the 1% can’t face the condemnation of the protesters and the public, so they hide. But the people working for them don’t have that luxury.
Watch here, frozen frames to follow below:
There is actually a science behind micro-expressions, as dramatized in the TV series “Lie to Me.” Dr. Paul Ekman (upon whom the character of Dr. Lightman was based) explains: “When people deliberately try to conceal their emotions (or unconsciously repress their emotions), a very brief-1/15 to 1/25 of a second- facial expression often occurs, invisible to nearly everyone who has not trained with METT: the micro-expression training tool.”
It’s safe to say that the expressions caught below are not of happiness or surprise. The seven basic micro-expressions are disgust, anger, fear, sadness, happiness, surprise, and contempt. None of the emotions caught below are positive; they are all micro-expressions that the individual is trying to hide from view. For that reason, they suggest that these folks are feeling uncomfortable emotions when faced with the Occupy protesters.
Insider working the door, this is his face as he looks at the Occupy Protestors:
If you watch the video again, you can see this man’s face squeeze into a fake smile when greeting attendees, only to revert back to flickering micro-expressions of fear, contempt and shame.
Cantor worker turns back to the camera to answer questions:
Another Cantor worker in the background looks down in shame:
Cantor worker answers questions with her back to reporter, hiding in shame:
Their faces speak for them of the fear that OWS won’t stop, of the rage that OWS is going on and they can’t control it, and also of the shame they are trying to suppress, for most people are aware that a vast income disparity exists in this country and that the top 1% have been bailed out while the 99% got sold out.
Republicans have been distancing themselves from the value of compassion for years now. The OWS movement has simply crystallized their position against empathy, as evidenced in Newt Gingrich’s “get a job and take a bath” rant at the Thanksgiving Family Forum, of all things.
Really, he said this at a Thanksgiving event; a time when he should have been thanking his God for all that he has been privileged and lucky enough to have, but instead, Newt’s sense of entitlement jumped the shark and he not only scorned and mocked the 99% for not being as privileged as he is, but condemned them as deserving of their fate. We note that Newt is the evangelical favorite in Iowa currently. Perhaps Republican Jesus hated the poor.
Even right leaning “Democrat” MoJoe host Mika Brzezinski was morally outraged by Newt’s utter lack of compassion:
Mika Brzezinski: “That was about the most arrogant and un-self-aware – and those are about the only words I can use – thing for any politician in this Republican field to say.
Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute: “Disgusting.”
Brzezinski: “Disgusting…Someone needs a bath, and I don’t think it’s the people from Occupy Wall Street. That’s all I’m gonna say. I got nothing else. I’m so disgusted by that…Am I alone here? Am I overreacting? I’m sickened by that.”
Mika’s face while discussing Gingrich:
Condemnation and Contempt:
When Mika is defending the message of Occupy, which she does in this clip clearly and passionately, saying even that while there are “some crazies” who get their pictures in the papers, the message is real – it suggests that most Americans can have empathy and compassion for the protesters. Mika points out that Newt is the biggest hypocrite of all, casting aspersions on the 99% when he has cashed in on the system for all of these years.
Let us not forget that in spite of being heralded as the last person to “get something done” in Washington DC, Newt is also the God of Gridlock, as discussed on A Bad Day for the 1%.
Newt is also known for having issues with his “temperament” and “ethics”. When Newt Gingrich is calling OWS out, it’s almost as good as an endorsement among those who are familiar with Newt, which apparently excludes the Tea Party evangelical base of the GOP.
Peggy Noonan tried to capture the essence of Newt today, and between odes to his “intelligence” (perspective alert for the nauseous: recall when she publicly praised Palin but got caught on a live mic speaking the truth) managed to sum up the concerns of the Republican establishment:
Former New Hampshire governor and George H.W. Bush chief of staff John Sununu told The Wall Street Journal this week: “Listen to just about anyone who worked alongside Gingrich and you will hear that he’s inconsistent, erratic, untrustworthy and unprincipled.” In a conference call Thursday, Jim Talent, who served with Mr. Gingrich in the House from 1993 through 1999, said, “He’s not reliable as a leader.” Sen. Tom Coburn, a member of the House class of 1994, called the former speaker’s leadership “lacking,” and according to a local press report, he told Oklahoma constituents last year that Mr. Gingrich was “the last person I’d vote for for president of the United States.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham told a reporter that Mr. Gingrich could be a historic president if he has “matured as a person and is, for lack of a better word, calmed down.” That is as close as most of those who’ve worked with him get to a compliment.
But Noonan does give us this:
But he goes too far, his rhetoric becomes too slashing, the musings he shares—when he rose to the speakership, in 1995, it was that women shouldn’t serve in combat because they’re prone to infections—are too strange. And he starts to write in his notes what Kirsten Powers, in the Daily Beast, remembered: he described himself as “definer of civilization . . . leader (possibly) of the civilizing forces.”
Back in the 90’s women were “prone to infections” and now the victims of Newt’s policies need to “take a bath.”
No wonder the Republican establishment is nervous; Tiffany Newt embodies the crazy cruelty of the modern day conservative movement.
Republicans have taken protecting the 1% too far when they offend the morality of those around them and when they cause shame and outrage in the their own supporters. Frank Luntz urged Republicans to tell Occupiers that they understand why they’re angry and then to pin the trouble on Obama and urge them to “Occupy” the White House. But this isn’t working. Apparently some Republicans aren’t listening to Luntz’s advice to pretend to have compassion. After all, compassion went out of style with the Tea Party base a while ago, if it was ever “in” with them.
Maybe people like Eric Cantor and Newt Gingrich have escaped the fallout of their hubris and self-aggrandizement for so long that they believe themselves invincible. But it’s clear from the looks on the faces of the people around them that they are alone among their peers in their self-assessment.
And if they can’t convince party members, workers and pundits of their entitlement, that means OWS is winning the biggest war: the war of ideas. Occupy Wall Street is having a huge impact on the dialogue about income disparity in this country. They have even captured the hearts of some of the 1%, because what they stand for speaks to the American value of equal opportunity for all.
OWS has brought fear and loathing to the protectors of the 1%, and contempt for those protectors to the compassionate.