Donald Trump and the Truthful Hyperbole by R.M. Holt

Donald Trump isn't the conventional billionaire. He wasn't the traditional political candidate in 2016, and he's made it clear he's even less of an orthodox president, only 100 days in office. Instead, he is a brash, arrogant, egotistical narcissist with an undeniable god complex.

His use of pompous language has become trademark and his inability to see himself as wrong, is a staple in the Donald Trump discussion. His unfettered use of rhetoric, specifically the truthful hyperbole, exempts him from accountability in both political and social landscapes. In The Art of the Deal, a book co-authored by Trump in 1987, Donald highlights one of his rhetorical tools as the “truthful hyperbole.” He both defends and praises it as “an innocent form of exaggeration; and a very effective form of promotion.” A hyperbole by definition is untrue, yet it will usually hold an anchor in the truth. Trump uses this anchor to deviate away from factual evidence and relies on exaggeration by fabrication to credit his claim. This can easily be combated by "fact checking" his statements, a practice that has become more and more common by the media during interaction with both the President and the White House.

In June of 2015, during his presidential candidate announcement speech, Trump made some very insensitive comments regarding Mexican immigrants. "When Mexico sends it people, they're not sending their best... They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people." This statement sparked international uproar and scrutiny, and set the tone for the negative rhetoric of the Trump campaign.

What makes Trump's broad interpretation of fact versus fiction dangerous is that he feeds off people's own insecurities and social hostilities and uses them to promote his own agenda. If we harbor racism towards minorities, or fear terrorist attacks by Muslim extremists,or feel as if American jobs are being stolen by Mexican immigrants, then Trump will essentially turn a public rumor into a political debate. If his "truths" are questioned and his ego challenged, then he will re-actively target the media, claiming that they are a "fake news" and will try to discredit and belittle their credibility.

As a country, we must take everything Donald Trump says with a grain of salt, diligently conducting our own research to identify fact from fiction. After only 100 days in office this is looking to be the most dramatic and turbulent presidency to date, and the United States will require the strength of the entire nation to keep itself afloat.

http://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2015/06/25/exp-presidential-candidate-donald-trump-immigration-intv-erin.cnn

http://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2015/06/25/exp-presidential-candidate-donald-trump-immigration-intv-erin.cnn

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