The Dangers of Hyperbole

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The US presidential race has spawned the most outrageous hyperbole I’ve ever heard.

From chants of “lock ‘er up, lock ‘er up,” to “basket of deplorables,” Republicans and Democrats are resorting to absurd exaggerations.

Don’t they know that you lose credibility that way?

No, Democrats, Trump is not “a pawn of Putin.” (Close but not quite.)

No, Republicans, Hillary is not suffering from a mysterious disease. (Yes, she has pneumonia, but that’s rarely fatal these days.)

I just read in the Daily Kos that Republican Pam Bondi is “the most corrupt AG ever.” And I know that couldn’t be true.

Not just because I happen to know Pam Bondi (slightly). As a reporter for the Tampa Tribune I used to contact her for information on Hillsborough County police cases.

But I’ve read and heard about a lot of corruption in American politics, and I’m sure without doing a lick of research that Pam couldn’t be more corrupt than some of those other attorneys general. (That doesn’t mean she isn’t corrupt, of course.)

I wonder whether the warring political factions ever considered toning down their rhetoric?

Just because you disagree with someone, that doesn’t make them “racist, sexist, homophobic xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it.”

Yes there are folks like that in America, and they’re definitely in Trump’s camp, but calling them names won’t make them change their minds. Hillary would’ve been better advised not to point them out.

We voters can see them clearly for ourselves.

This must be the most negative election campaign ever. And I am sure most of the negativity is wasted.

Very few people are going to believe that Hillary is a mass murderer or that Trump is a Russian secret agent. Most people surely know Hillary is a well meaning grandmother who has spent her life trying to help the downtrodden, especially women and children.

And they probably know that Trump is a spoiled brat who is used to getting his own way, doesn’t pay his bills and suffers from delusions of grandeur.

Stripped of the hyperbole, the choice is clear – Hillary is not going to tax the middle class if she is elected. Trump might not blow up the world if he gets his hands on America’s nuclear codes.

Surely, voters will realize which choice is safer – without the hyperbole.

See how well Pam has done for herself.

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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