To put it simply, hyperbole is a grand overstatement – a tremendously fat lie, with a hint of truth. In his book Art of the Deal, Donald Trump cites “truthful hyperbole” as one of his rhetorical tools. He describes it as “an innocent form of exaggeration – and a very effective form of promotion.”
Trump’s empire is 93% image based. You will watch Apprentice for the same reason that some hotel in Morocco pays top dollar to put Trump’s name on their roof – the Trump name goes a long way.
With truthful hyperbole, Trump enhances his image. When Trump tells us that he will have the best administration EVER, he is using truthful hyperbole. Hyperbole is his use of words like ‘best’ and ‘greatest’. Another use of truthful hyperbole is when Trump says that Obama is “the worst president ever.”
Does Trump know something that I don’t? The last I checked, Obama is leaving office with soaring approval ratings. But his supporters are not Obama’s biggest fans. What do you think their reaction will be to Trump claiming Obama is the worst president ever? Do you think anyone in that crowd will question Trump’s legitimacy?
Approval ratings at the end of the second term:
• Reagan: 51%
• Clinton: 57%
• Bush: 25%
• Obama: 57%
Negative hyperbole is also utilized in that statement of Trumps’. Trump claims that he will have the best administration ever. You really can’t disprove that. Technically, such a statement can not be considered a lie. If he wins the presidency, whose to say he wouldn’t have the greatest administration ever? Thus, we have a truthful hyperbole, which is the same thing as a false fact. A perfect oxymoron. A truthful hyperbole is exactly as true as it is false.
But if he stands at his podium during his speech, and just repeats hyperbole after hyperbole, when he is finished, those supporters will probably respect him even more.
Trump may not be the sharpest politician, but he is a great salesman. He would be a greatly used car salesman. He could sell something that the customer doesn’t want to buy.
A truthful hyperbole isn’t really a lie, its just a stretch of the truth. For example, Donald Trump told Larry King once that he was paid more than $1 million to give a speech. Actually, the cost was more like $400,000. Trump once boasted that membership to the Trump National Golf Club was $300,000. Actually, the cost was $200,000. Trump once boasted that his new Trump International Hotel and Tower in Las Vegas had 1,282 units but they all sold out in less than a week. Actually, when he made that statement more than 300 units had not been sold.
Trump’s Art of the Deal was about pulling the wool over people’s eyes. The book was a national best seller, about what a superb salesman Trump is. One of his rallies, early in the campaign season, Trump faced a crowd in the lobby of Trump Tower, and said, “We need a leader that wrote ‘The Art of the Deal.’ ”
When Tony Schwartz, author of Art of the Deal heard that, he tweeted: “Many thanks Donald Trump for suggesting I run for President, based on the fact that I wrote ‘The Art of the Deal.’ ”
Schwartz had ghostwritten Trump’s 1987 breakthrough memoir, earning a joint byline on the cover, half of the book’s five-hundred-thousand-dollar advance, and half of the royalties.
Truthful hyperbole is a crafty oratory skill created by one of the greatest orators in history, Hitler. If you wanted to rule the world and never held an elected position, Hitler would be a great role model.
In a 1990 Vanity Fair interview, Ivanna Trump said that her ex-husband, Donald, used to keep a book of Hitler’s speeches by his bed.
“He learned how to become a charismatic speaker, and people, for whatever reason, became enamored with him.” Professor Bruce Loebs told the Business Insider. Loebs teaches the Rhetoric of Hitler and Churchill at Idaho State University. “People were most willing to follow him, because he seemed to have the right answers in a time of enormous economic upheaval.”
Adolf Hitler called it the ‘credible’ ‘big lie’. He wrote in his memoir, Mein Kampf:
All this was inspired by the principle – which is quite true in itself – that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying. These people know only too well how to use falsehood for the basest purposes.
Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels condensed the same message with:
If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.
Both Nazi sayings offer an insightful glimpse into how a small and insecure man was able to start a world war.
Imagine if you wanted to create a following. The first thing you would do is find a group of uneducated people who are easily persuaded. Get them passionate about something. No subject is more sensitive than patriotism!
Tell them that some people celebrated the terrorist acts of 9-11. Is this a lie? I’m sure at least one person in America, celebrated what happened on 9-11. By saying that one sentence, you will sensationalize the crows, and no one will be able to prove that you lied. A win-win statement! Continue the hyperbole by claiming such celebrations were filmed. Making such accusations are providing proof. Although no one ever saw these videos, they do exist, according to you. Hence, you just gave your supporters some evidence to defend you in arguments. “It’s true, there is a video of them celebrating. He has seen it!”
No one ever saw these videos of thousands of Muslims celebrating 9-11, so we must assume that Trump was lying. This lie fed into fear, racism, and religious intolerance. That lie undoubtedly compelled at least some hatred in someone’s mind across the country. Essentially, those people who believed Trump’s lie, will become scared that there are people hiding in the shadows celebrating when America is attacked. Most likely, they will support Trump. Maybe even after the election, when Trump TV is available, they will pay the $14.95 subscription fee.
I doubt they’ll be able to afford it though.
When a salesman wants to sell you a total lemon, they can’t talk about the car, or else they would be flat out lying to you. Instead, they need to talk about things that are true. Like how cool you’ll look driving down the street. In a similar fashion, Trump is limited to what he can tell his supporters. He can’t talk about the benefits he will be stripping from them so that he could provide the wealthy with a larger tax break. He can’t talk about the healthcare he wants to take away from their parents. He can’t talk about the school districts he wants to condense. Instead, he speaks in truthful hyperbole.