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“STOIC” VS. “EXPRESSIVE”
by Maurice Hamel, ©2020
(Oct. 8, 2020) — Now that we have had the vice-presidential debate, what have we learned?
Many of us who had not watched the Democratic candidates’ debates last year were generally unfamiliar with Kamala Harris, having only seen brief clips and sound bites of her.
Now I will admit that much of what I saw of the vice-presidential debate had the sound on mute, but surprisingly, I learned a lot in doing that.
Mike Pence showed very little expression on his face. He appeared to be stoic, as he tried to convey an image of being presidential. Kamala Harris’s face, on the other hand, was very expressive, communicating throughout the times when the two of them were shown on split screen as Mike Pence spoke.
Her body language told me a great deal about her personality and how she relates to the people around her; in effect, about her leadership style.
Her body language was dominated by facial expressions on a very one-to-one level. There were signs of her being pleased and displeased, which came across not as taking notes for points to be made in the debate, but rather as her communicating whether the personal relationship was warming or cooling. Her leadership style seems to be, in part, based on having those around her want to please her.
Now that is not a particularly effective way of decision-making when being briefed by your close advisors, but it is certainly going to be effective when dealing with Xi Jinping or Putin, who will not care whether a future President Harris is pleased.
I don’t want to come across as being derogatory, but this first impression reminded me of the girls in high school who were able to wrap their boyfriends around their little finger. It was the behavior of a manipulative 16-year-old.
No matter how bright Ms. Harris may be, this use of body language, whether done deliberately or just out of habit, is a trait that does not give me confidence in her as someone who could be the leader of the free world.
Maurice Hamel is a retired environmental scientist living on a small New England farm. He is author of “NATURE – GOD’S GROANING CREATION: Biblical Perspectives for the Environmentally Concerned” available through his website, healingtheland.org. He continues to write on the intersection of faith and world events, counseling husbands, devotional Bible study and “the need for people to grow in their relationship with God who loves them.”