Hyperbole…

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Hyperbole(ˈ/haɪˈpɜːrbəli/; Greek: ὑπερβολή, huperbolḗ, from ὑπέρ (hupér, “above”) + βάλλω (bállō, “I throw”)) is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech. In rhetoric, it is also sometimes known as auxesis (lit. “growth”). In poetry and oratory, it emphasizes, evokes strong feelings, and creates strong impressions. As a figure of speech, it is usually not meant to be taken literally.[1][2]

We are doomed as a society, as long as people use this word to blow off potentially valid views of politics.

Certainly, hyperbole is overused today. Back in November 2015, The New York Times published Jessica Bennett’s article in its Fashion and Style section: OMG! The Hyperbole of Internet-Speak. There’s a lot to be said for her points on the effect of hyperbole on current society and social media. After all, what is hype but a shortened form of the original word, and a sort of nugget of the true meaning in every clickbait article ever posted on Facebook.

The word is used most often today in sports and politics, and nobody embodies the core concept like Donald Trump.

I went searching for articles tonight, determined to pull the first ten that actually related to the US election, and the results are below. Interestingly enough, I’ve been shut down a lot in conversations because the the people to whom I was talking decided I employed too much hyperbole, that my predictions were too unbelievable and over the top.

Still think that today?

The Guardian: ‘This is not hyperbole’: Rick Perry says Hillary Clinton jeopardizes gun rights

Paste: Beyond the Hyperbole: What Really Happened at the Nevada State Convention

AP Fact Check: AP Fact Check: Trump Uses ‘Truthful Hyperbole’

The New York Times Magazine: How ‘Everything’ Became the Highest Form of Praise

Fox News: Delegates in hand, Trump says he’s got GOP nomination

Florida Politics: Michael Richardson: When Truth Is The Loser

New York Daily News: Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are huge liars, so let’s stop pretending we really value honesty

Chicago Sun Times Opinion: Friday Letters: Beware false equivalence between Clinton, Trump

Every single one of these articles promotes either the hyperbolic communication from Trump or the reactions to the election in general. False equivalency, indeed.

Earlier today I compared the issues with Hillary Clinton and those of Trump to an ant hill and Mt. Everest. She’s friendly with Wall Street. He’s Hitler.

Six months ago, my comments were considered outrageous.

Now? Well, just look at the articles above and you’ll see that I’m not so outrageous after all.

The documentation I’m building for this election cycle is disturbing to say the least. Looking not at the percentages, or at the final outcomes, but at the raw votes in 2000 and 1992 as well as 2008 and now, I’ve got a documented theme. If the Democrats outnumbered the GOP in the primaries – in popular votes, not in percentages – they won the general. If the numbers were reversed, the opposite was the case.

Sometime between 2000 and 2008, there was a shift in the reporting of Primary statistics, and a dramatic jump in the number of voters who showed up at the polls. How much of this had to do with the genuine enthusiasm President Obama’s run for the White House against Senator (and former First Lady) Hillary Clinton I couldn’t say.

In the intervening eight years, the Supreme Court’s conservatives, led by Antonin Scalia, damaged the Voting Rights Act and enacted Citizens United, and the effect (which may or may not be considered causation in hindsight) is that the numbers have reversed themselves, and now the Republicans are up by some 4 million votes to date over the Democrats, but more like roughly 10 million over 2008, whereas the Democrats are down by over 6 million so far, and the chances are good that come November, we will have President Trump unless something changes.

I started documenting these numbers way back in the beginning of March (see: Connecting the Dots, Part 4) to prove my point. There’s no way to know if I’m right until we get to November, but based on an educated guess, and not in any way hyperbolic at all, I say the chances are excellent that we are witnessing the end of American Democracy as we know it, with this election.

After all, we’ve been fed the moral equivalent of the Colosseum in sports, on television, in our news, and online for so long, we can’t tell the difference between truth and Reality ™. And now we have a  Reality Star headed for the White House, unless someone can figure out a way to stop him. The eventual goal, installing an actual Big Brother to lead the country while the rest of us scrape by with what little we’ve accumulated, the biggest deception of all (that we have retirement in our futures because we have IRAs and Social Security), it’s all an enormous lie.

I want to believe that we still have a choice, but every day I see evidence that there are no choices left. I lie and tell myself it will be okay, even as I spend the time on Google looking for the avenue out of this country in the event my worst nightmare comes to pass.

The American Experiment is over. It had such promise. But just like Walt Disney World’s Carousel of Progress needed updating to bring it in line with reality and the future, we need to adjust our thinking and come to grips with what our reality will be in January, if Trump wins in November.

 

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