Tuesday, February 07, 2017

The Art of Hyperbole

“A hyperbole is an extreme exaggeration used to make a point.”

For those of you who are screaming at the top of your lungs about (now) President Donald J. Trump, I doubt that you will believe any of what I’m about to write. You’ll write me off as a Trump apologist. That is not true, I am Anti-Hyperbole; I don’t care who the person is or what the subject is. I hate to see people whipped up into a fervor based on half truths.

I say half truths because great hyperbole (like a great joke) is based on a truth. So hear my words because I know what I am writing about. I do so not to change your mind, I do so to encourage you to think for yourself for your own well-being. People use these half-truths to inflame you; don’t fall for it. It’s OK to be against someone or something, but do so based on the TRUTH.

Here comes the disclaimer …

I'm not saying Trump was the right or wrong choice; that's up to you to decide. What I am writing about is a great example of blatant hyperbole and it shouldn't be a part of the argument. Yet people use this like an ABSOLUTE fact to bolster their argument. It makes them look like mindless followers. The following serves as a great example of how people are being hoodwinked.

Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, so she should have won the election.

The truth - Neither candidate was campaigning for the “popular” vote. They were campaigning for the “Electoral College” vote.

For those that may not know, here is the description of the Electoral College.

“The Electoral College consists of 538 electors. A majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the President. Your state’s entitled allotment of electors equals the number of members in its Congressional delegation: one for each member in the House of Representatives plus two for your Senators.”

With two exceptions (Maine and Nebraska) it’s “winner take all”, win the state and you win the votes for that state.  The bigger the population, the more votes. California earns you 55 votes; Wyoming, 3. So the strategy of winning a Presidential election is based on that model.

In 2008 Barrack Obama annihilated  John McCain by winning 365 (68%) votes to McCain’s 173 (32%). Based on that you would assume Obama won a clear majority of the states. In fact, he won 28 (56%)  of the states. The popular vote (for the two candidates) that year was 129,391,711. Obama received 69,498,516 (53%) and McCain 59,948,323 (46%). A difference of 36 points in the Electoral College vote vs 8 points for the popular vote.

in 2016 Donald Trump had a significant Electoral College victory over Hillary Clinton. Trump won 306 (56%) votes to Clinton's 232 (43%). Trump won 33 (66%) states. As we all know the popular vote of 132,824,833 went 65,844,954 (48.2%) for Clinton and 62,979,879 (46.1%) for Trump. A difference of 2 points of the popular vote in favor of Clinton compared to 32 points in favor of Trump in the Electoral College vote.

My point (and why I forced you through the mind numbing numbers) is that the difference in the gaps of the results (Electoral College vs Popular) show there is an obvious focus towards the Electoral College. If this was not true, the gaps between them would be similar.

Saying because a candidate won the popular vote means they should be President it like saying that a losing football team should have actually won because they gained more yards. In a football game the only thing that is counted are the points scored. In a Presidential Election, the only thing that is counted is who won the state.

Before you say that it’s just these elections, I went back and compared elections back to 1960 (current history) and the results are similar. Wide margins for Electoral College vs small margins for the popular vote.

My only point here is not to allow some partial truth to be a part of your decision making process. Don’t let someone else tell you what to think. Do your own research, base your opinion on truth …

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Putting the Extreme in Vetting

I’m the son of an immigrant and I know very little about immigration. My father came here from Hungary at the end of World War II. He came in on a ship through New Orleans (not everyone saw the Statue of Liberty) with a suitcase and a wooden crate that was 18” wide by 24” tall and 36” long.

He never talked much about what it was like to come here or what meant to become a US Citizen. I didn’t even know about the crate until after he passed  away. He never spoke Hungarian in the house (unless he hit his thumb with a hammer) and didn’t teach me Hungarian either. I never asked him why, but have always assumed he believed in assimilation, because he just wanted to be an American, not a Hungarian-American.

So I don’t know what he would have thought about “Extreme Vetting”. But it seems to me, that when it comes to who we allow to come into this country there are some pretty extreme positions coming from both sides.

If you were to ask those that are against whatever it is President Trump’s idea of vetting is what they believe will be on his “vetting questions” I believe they think it will be something like this:

Trump Extreme Vetting Questionnaire

Note: As you ask these questions stare menacingly at the “immigrant”. Make sure they know you mean business and if they hesitate in any way they must have something to hide; reject them immediately. They must answer no to every question but even if they do, go with your gut.

  1. Are you or do you know anyone that is a Muslim?
  2. Do you own a prayer mat?
  3. Do you know which way Mecca is?
  4. Do you like bacon?

If you were to ask the folks that support the Trump immigration policies what they people who oppose them would like their vetting questionnaire to look like they would tell you this.

People That Oppose Extreme Vetting Questionnaire

Note: Hold the hand of the person you are interviewing. Make sure you empathize with them and validate them as a human being. Your chance of approving someone that would actually do anything is virtually nonexistent. Remember, there are no right answers.

  1. What is your favorite color?
  2. Do you like kittens?
  3. How do you feel right now?
  4. Do you want to enter the United States?

As with everything political, the answer probably is somewhere in the middle ….

Friday, January 27, 2017

From the Peanut Gallery

I have to admit opposition to Trump has become quite entertaining. It really boils down to this … the louder they yell, the less they’re being listened to. The humorous part is that they can’t seem to understand why.

I’ll even identify who I’m speaking of. If you have ever done the following on social media:
  • “Not my president”
  • “Trump is a misogynist, racist, homophobe”
  • “If you voted for Trump you are a misogynist, racist, homophobe”
  • “He didn’t win the popular vote, he shouldn’t be President”
  • “The Electoral College should not exist”
  • Used the term “pussy grabber”
  • Posted the image of the Obama/Trump Inauguration crowds side by side
  • Posted an image of Trump tinted orange
  • Can’t engage in a civil exchange with someone who voted for Trump
You are wasting your energy and time. For the next 4 years you should take up a hobby, like Doomsday Prepping. After all, aren’t you sure that's what’s going to happen?

I can’t blame you; your feelings are being echoed by the media, which seems to be fueling your anger. With the exception of Fox News and some conservative web sites, the media seems obsessed with showing Trump in a bad light.
As evidenced by what happened on day 5 of Trump’s Presidency:
  • By Executive Order he reactivated the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines. An extremely controversial project that had been halted by President Obama.
  • A report surfaced that many governmental agencies may be subject to a “gag order”
  • He removed the US from TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership), also a very controversial action
  • He had instituted a federal hiring freeze
Yet at that day's Press conference what topic seemed to get focus? Questioning if Trump really believes that there is voter fraud and if so, will he call for an investigation. Clearly, just wanting to make it look like he’s obsessed with insignificant issues, while he should be focused on the business of running the country.

Did they not notice what he had done that day?

It’s like the press is saying “AHA! See, we TOLD you he wasn’t going to be a good President. All he cares about is his image. He’s not politician, he’s just a Reality TV star”

Exactly … that’s why he doesn’t care. He’s not a politician. I’ve come to the belief that he could care less if he’s re-elected. I believe he sees his Presidency as his service to the country. If it lasts 4 years, so be it. Make no mistake, during the time he has he will do what he feels he been tasked to do.

Scream all you want, the only people listening are those who agree with you. Your attempts to get your point across by demeaning and name-calling his supporters has gotten you tuned out. Your actions have made you look like a bully to these people and they are treating you as such.

Very few will stand up to a bully, most will choose avoidance. That’s what’s happening to you now. They’re going about their business. They’re not discussing politics at work and they’re watching Fox News at home.

So good luck with your strategy; you’re getting what you have earned. Try the Xanax, I heard its amazing …