It’s used in politics and religion as well. One reason Spacey’s shenanigans stayed secret so long was his refusal to come out of the proverbial closet. There are defamation repercussions as well as social dynamics too complex to chart. It’s like gravity, the tide, and changing seasons. Several people he encountered kept silent because you don’t announce to the the world another person’s sexual orientation. Spacey hid behind that smokescreen—now we know it.
The tactic has been used before. Rob Bell remained silent on the belief of “Christ as our substitute” in his sermons; that irritated the evangelical community. Trump and Obama both avoided many issues; no one knows Trump’s true politics, then you have Obama’s ambiguous positions on religion and respect for America.
By not announcing which side they are on—or by not “flying their colors” as sailors might say—people can act, in some ways, like pirates: Avoid direct assault and sneak up close enough to do great damage. · · · →