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 …

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