Author Topic: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole  (Read 39542 times)

rightleft22

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Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« on: October 17, 2016, 04:01:20 PM »
Over the weekend I watched a documentary on Trump and Hillary – were they came from, mentors, events that influenced their lives.
I thought it was pretty good and help me understand where Hillary and the Donald came from and why people seem to really hate or like them.
http://www.cbc.ca/passionateeye/episodes/the-choice-2016

Anyway there is apart that talks about “truthful hyperbole” which I have never heard of before. I guess a kind of Colbert “truthiness”

“Truthful hyperbole” seems to be a great promotion tool but as a tool of debate how would you counter it? His Republican opponents never figured it out
I would call such a communication style dangerous but I don’t want to be call a elitists.

Trump is able to use “truthful hyperbole” very effectively but if he wins the election would he be able to stop using it if the time comes when truth is needed?
Are we looking at a future of “truthful hyperbole”?

http://blog.talkingphilosophy.com/?p=9080

Quote
In Art of the Deal Donald Trump calls one of his rhetorical tools “truthful hyperbole.” He both defends and praises it as “an innocent form of exaggeration — and a very effective form of promotion.” As a promoter, Trump made extensive use of this technique. Now he is using it in his bid for President.

Hyperbole is an extravagant overstatement and it can be either positive or negative in character. When describing himself and his plans, Trump makes extensive use of positive hyperbole: he is the best and every plan of his is the best. He also makes extensive use of negative hyperbole—often to a degree that seems to cross over from exaggeration to fabrication. In any case, his concept of “truthful hyperbole” is well worth considering.


rightleft22

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2016, 04:18:58 PM »
If you were in a debate with someone who used “truthful hyperbole” as their main tactic how would you counter it without coming off as elitist?


I think Hillary needs to call it out… something like your use for what you call “truthful hyperbole” is effective tool of misdirection and manipulation however….
« Last Edit: October 17, 2016, 04:23:00 PM by rightleft22 »

D.W.

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2016, 04:23:13 PM »
I wouldn't try.  I would embrace the elitism and try to lift up the whole of America and make "us all" seem smarter by comparison.  Being ashamed of not being an ignorant buffoon is different than treating the public like a bunch of idiots who are too dumb to understand and should just trust you.

Seriati

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2016, 05:39:31 PM »
I mean do you really think its effective to say, unlike Trump's claim that "your health insurance … is going up by numbers that are astronomical, 68 percent, 59 percent, 71 percent", that some studies found the average individual market medical costs increases 69 percent from 2013 to 2015?   Or is the idea to cite to your own favorite statistics instead?  I think its part and parcel of the fake "fact check" era that we tend to over rely on any statistic, no matter how dubious, that shows support for our favorite positions.

The problem with disputing truthful hyperbole (which is just another name for propaganda) is that there are truths behind it, and disputing a claim while having to admit the direction is true is not a strong defense.

rightleft22

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2016, 09:24:11 AM »
Quote
The problem with disputing truthful hyperbole (which is just another name for propaganda) is that there are truths behind it

 ‘Truthful hyperbole’ has been very effective tool for Trump an elitist way of dressing up “innocent fabrication” – his words – as the truth while confusing the truth.  The ends justifying the means.

From a logical standpoint, “truthful hyperbole” is an impossibility. A pig with lipstick is still a pig.

The danger with employing such rhetoric is that it can to easily get away from you especially when you start to forget its rhetoric as you start to believe it yourself

“Magic itself is never black; only the uses to which it is put, but mind magic is already tinted a deep, dark gray.” ― Christine Amsden

He isn’t the first “leader” to use such methods never ends well for those around them.

The thing that fascinates me is that by using these tools Trump is being an Elitist and essentially expecting that those who follow him are too stupid to notice they are being played. 

Truth is no longer stronger than lies.

cherrypoptart

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2016, 10:46:32 AM »
Truthful hyperbole... is that like Hillary Clinton saying she won't raise the national debt by even one penny?

TheDrake

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2016, 11:33:36 AM »
Truthful hyperbole... is that like Hillary Clinton saying she won't raise the national debt by even one penny?

That one blew my mind out my earhole. Even if she meant deficit it is still ridiculous. No president can make that claim, regardless of policies. What if more wars break out? What if tax revenues decline independent of policy?

rightleft22

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2016, 01:28:28 PM »
I don’t think that is an example of “truthful hyperbole”

Saying something like “the national debt such a total disaster that the world is going to end and everyone is going to die and only I can fix it” might be an example

The sliver of truth – national debt is an issue, the world will come to an end someday, and we all die.

rightleft22

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2016, 01:33:46 PM »
Actually I didn’t pose the question very well

I’m looking for advice on how to counter someone whose arguments comes from a place of “truthful hyperbole”. 

I usually get so dissimulated I don’t notice what’s happening till the conversation is over.
Like the fire booming discussion getting suck in the sliver of truth parts, of the rare factual instances of voter fraud.



cherrypoptart

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2016, 02:37:53 PM »
I'm going to preface this comment by noting how great it is that we can have people with such diametrically opposing viewpoints having such friendly interactions as the ones we have here.

And then after that I'm going to hope that once we do get some good advice on how to counter truthful (truthy?) hyperbolic arguments we find ways to counter arguments of exactly the opposite type in which people downplay very real and extreme dangers or even go so far as to insist they aren't really any significant problem at all.

Perhaps one solution will lead to the other.

I would say one possible approach would be facts but as we all see those are neither agreed upon nor accepted regardless of the amount of evidence brought forth to support them. Yes, I'm being self deprecating there because that applies to me regarding the voter fraud situation and maybe to man-made global warming as well to a lesser extent. Terrorism might be an example where the Trump side says it's a huge problem but the Hillary side might try to downplay it and bring up the fact that more people die of many other causes like drunk drivers or cancer or something. I've seen posts and books about how humans are not good at interpreting risks and I'm sure that plays into this somehow. Going back to the solution, part of it may be Perot style charts and numbers and graphs. This is the debt. This is how much it costs to finance the debt. This is how much the debt is in relation to the GDP and if the debt goes up this much the finance charges will be this much more and so on but that's hard when you are just talking it over with someone and even Perot had a difficult time pulling it off even with preparation and a voodoo stick.

D.W.

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2016, 02:54:33 PM »
While we are terrible about rationalizing risk, Is the opinion on the red side of the street that Hillary is soft on terror?

While their tactics/rhetoric are different, I don't think for a second she's going to ignore terror threats.  Foreign affairs, they are both likely to dive in and F things up in their own special ways.  Domestically, I would think Trump is likely to alienate / radicalize more Muslims while Hillary will use any incident involving a firearm to push her agenda on that front.  Both are IMO awful results, but neither will be sitting on their hands or explaining why we shouldn't worry about it.

rightleft22

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2016, 03:38:00 PM »
My understanding is that the intention of “truthful hyperbole” is to obscure the facts and unbalance an opponent while making something appear to be better or worse than it is.
Based on my observation facts won’t sway the person you’re in dialog with, and it seems more often than not the audience.

Fenring

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2016, 04:18:19 PM »
The only real question is why you need to determine how to win arguments against people who employ truthy hyperbole. Would this be in  formal debate structure? Arguments on the internet? People you know? Or is it more about what you'd like to see people in politics say rather than what you specifically would employ?

The other question is what the purpose is of 'winning' said arguments/conversations. If the goal, for instance, is to gain the upper hand in those who believe in your statements then what you're looking at is finding a way to have superior rhetoric. Maybe Cicero could help with that. If you're looking to teach people that they are wrong you need to establish first that they want to change. If not, there's no hope. If it's people you care about, I think there are far better ways to make them 'better people' than by exercising superiority in a debate with them.

It all comes down to the specific requirements of what you're trying to achieve and in what context.

rightleft22

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2016, 04:44:38 PM »
Its not about winning or even changing someone mind.

My brother in-law tends to discus things this way using "truthful Hyperbolic" statements he's read or heard to back up his reasoning. 
I feel that at such a point the discussion is over.

I would also like to know how to deal with such rhetoric in debates.

Fenring

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2016, 04:52:56 PM »
My brother in-law tends to discus things this way using "truthful Hyperbolic" statements he's read or heard to back up his reasoning. 
I feel that at such a point the discussion is over.

Is the idea that you're concerned for him, that you feel his sense of truth is hampered by this kind of thinking? Or is it that it's just annoying to listen to bad arguments?

With regard to winning debates (and I assume you mean formal debates) there are strategies to that which I'm not experienced in, but suffice to say I believe it to be a form based entirely in rhetoric and not in truth, and therefore it holds no interest for me. I tried it out years ago and realized quickly what it was. Plato's Gorgias is an excellent text on the uses and dangers of trying to employ rhetoric to convince others.

D.W.

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2016, 04:56:09 PM »
The catch (IMO) is whether or not there is an audience.  If it's just 2 people, the tactic of truthful hyperbole borders on useless.  When there is an audience however, it's useful because it invites the listener to fill in the blanks.  At that point the speaker has enlisted the audience member(s) and leverages them as credibility that their argument is "correct".

TheDeamon

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2016, 07:06:54 PM »
With regard to winning debates (and I assume you mean formal debates) there are strategies to that which I'm not experienced in, but suffice to say I believe it to be a form based entirely in rhetoric and not in truth, and therefore it holds no interest for me. I tried it out years ago and realized quickly what it was. Plato's Gorgias is an excellent text on the uses and dangers of trying to employ rhetoric to convince others.

Ah yes, reminds me of the debate tactic of eliminating all crime by legalizing all criminal activities. If they're legal, they're no longer crimes. :)

cherrypoptart

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2016, 07:33:15 PM »
In regard to debating with family members (or Ornery posters for that matter) about massive election fraud that has been successfully pulled off for decades when in reality the amount of election fraud is actually minuscule the first step might be to take away their Drudge Report.


"4 Million Ineligible and Dead Voters on Voting Rolls...
Voter Fraud USA...
THOUSANDS OF VOTER REGISTRATIONS ALTERED IN INDIANA...
O'KEEFE: Dems Explain How to Commit Fraud...
Rigging Elections for 50 Years...
They Incite Violence at Trump Rallies...
Pay homeless to cause disruptions...
Activist who bragged about starting Chicago riot was on Hillary payroll..."



AI Wessex

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2016, 08:01:21 PM »
Jeez, Drudge and O'Keefe in the same breath.  I need to get some air.

TheDrake

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2016, 01:27:34 AM »
Its not about winning or even changing someone mind.

I would also like to know how to deal with such rhetoric in debates.

Responses:

What is your plan? How will you accomplish that?
Why do you say the economy is a disaster, compared to what?

Etc.

But, you to make an argument that sways, your audience has to have an open mind. So how do you stop someone from believing statements unhinged from reality and substance? Guess you'd have to ask a philosopher. But then, that person would have to be capable of logical construction.


rightleft22

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2016, 09:23:34 AM »
Thanks everyone.

Seriati

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2016, 11:28:57 AM »
I would also like to know how to deal with such rhetoric in debates.

You can often demonstrate the falsity of a claim, but if you can only do so by showing it was an exaggeration you're not going to change a mind.  If he says health care costs are rising at 120% and you demonstrate they are only rising at 30% you've just effectively conceded that health care costs are rising too fast and validated his thinking.  You could always try to flip the debate off the statistic, sure health care costs are rising, but its worth it because (or if you prefer fear/your own truthful hyperbole, "but would you rather we let people die in the street").

If you really want to persuade, drop the topic then and come at it later when you can frame the discussion in a more positive way, like getting suggestions on what healthcare should look like, and making him answer about weaknesses in the philosophy he's putting forward (that sounds great Bill, but what about all those sick people who can't afford that?).

TheDrake

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2016, 11:33:08 AM »
Or rock it like Socrates. Though he might have had his hands full with Trump.

Trump: I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me.

Socrates: These generals, how much time have they spent studying ISIS?

Trump: Not nearly enough, Socrates.

Socrates: Have they not spent more time than you?

Trump: Wrong.

Wayward Son

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2016, 01:46:42 PM »
Quote
The only real question is why you need to determine how to win arguments against people who employ truthy hyperbole.

When it comes to politics, we need to change people's minds in order to reach a consensus.

For instance, take border security.  If hundreds of thousands of Mexican rapists, murders and welfare cheats cross the border each day, threatening our lives and safety, then it makes sense to spend billions of dollars and probably start another recession to build a 12 foot wall to keep them out.  But if its only a dozen or so of poor, hard-working peasants who are looking for a low-paying job to send money back to their families, then it isn't quite so urgent. :)

Or take voter fraud.  If hundred of thousands of illegal aliens are voting, then it makes sense to require a strict voter ID law, even if it means thousands of legal voters are prevented from voting as a result.  OTOH, if more people are struck by lightning each year than there are instances of people voting illegally in person*, then it makes no sense to disenfranchise voters to prevent a handful (at most) of voter fraud.

So when we are trying to make decisions, as a society, on how to spend our limited resources, truthy hyperbole clouds the issues, but making them seem worse than they are, and thus encouraging people to overreact to the problems.

*Which happens to be accurate. :)

LetterRip

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2016, 04:05:56 PM »
Wayward,

of course both extremes are misrepresentations.

The immigrants are coming across the borders - and they are likely no more likely to be rapists and murderers than anyone else; but they aren't just looking to take the 'low paying fruit picking' jobs that the Democrats tend to portray.  They have a devastating impact on the ability of the poor to earn an income, drastically driving down labor costs and making domestic born labor noncompetitive.

Voter fraud is predominately a boogie man created to disenfranchise legitimate voters; but it isn't a complete non issue either.  There likely have been elections that have been impacted by people 'voting early and often'.

Fenring

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2016, 04:54:29 PM »
They have a devastating impact on the ability of the poor to earn an income, drastically driving down labor costs and making domestic born labor noncompetitive.

In New York City it's obvious to anyone that to get a low-level job in certain areas - such as in a restaurant - you're going up against the illegal Mexican labor. I had friends who were citizens who found it very hard to get jobs in restaurants as barristas or busboys because the Mexicans filled up that niche and would work longer and for less than anyone else. It's one thing if you have established creds as a waiter, for instance; in that case you can find work if you're good. But for entry level jobs, for artists, and for students who need to make some money on the side, the illegal labor makes it very hard.

Wayward Son

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2016, 05:44:30 PM »
Yes, both are real issues, and should be addressed. 

But when people say, or worse, believe in "truthful hyperbole," we can't agree on solutions, or even recognize when a solution is appropriate or an overreaction. :(

cherrypoptart

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2016, 06:55:43 PM »
Are some other instances of truthful hyperbole possibly issues like Obamacare and man made global warming?

Maybe even the Jews in 1939 or the people who many years ago warned about what's happening in Argentina right now?

What happens when truthful hyperbole is an accusation against the position you support like man made global warming or when it turns out to be correct like the current Obamacare death spiral or the economic collapse of Argentina because of socialism?

Fenring

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #28 on: October 20, 2016, 11:26:29 PM »
Maybe even the Jews in 1939

Not even trolling you, I'm curious exactly what you mean by this. And as I ask this I recognize that it might not be in your interest to expand on it, so I'll understand if you don't.

Quote
economic collapse of Argentina because of socialism?

To be fair, nothing that happens in South America happens in a vacuum. It's pretty well established that whenever a nation there tries to break away from a) capitalism, b) the oil market, c) the IMF doom follows swiftly behind. They always think they can break away, and always are left disappointed with the result. The results in those cases have little to do with the system they are trying to embrace, and everything to do with how no nation with a struggling economy can survive under the burden of sanctions and other pressures. This is not to say the systems they try to adopt are good or bad; it's just beside the point.

cherrypoptart

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2016, 11:53:05 PM »
I just meant that sometimes what seems like truthful hyperbole might in fact actually be correct and an accurate dire warning about impending doom. Another example might be that letting the millions of unvetted refugees into Europe would result in huge problems and lots of deaths due to Islamic terrorism. People were called racist and Islamophobic and were assured by the leaders of Europe that they were exaggerating the danger but it turned out to be very real as the attacks in Nice and Brussels proved and may even be worse than even the truthful hyperbole made it out to be because nobody expected anything like the mass rape of German women on the streets that happened in Cologne. And by all accounts the situation is going to get much worse before it gets any better.  It will never again get as bad as it was for the Jews in Germany but I have to wonder if the Jews who did try to sound the alarm back in 1939 would have been called purveyors of truthful hyperbole as well. In other words sometimes the alarmists are right.

Maybe the left even feels that way about man made global warming where the right sees that as truthful hyperbole. If someone wanted to see how to convince another person about the error of a specific case of truthful hyperbole, and that person happened to believe in the calamity humanity will experience because of man made global warming, then that person might want to think about what it would to convince them out of their own belief in the possible truthful hyperbole of man made global warming.



cherrypoptart

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #30 on: October 20, 2016, 11:55:35 PM »
I just meant that sometimes what seems like truthful hyperbole might in fact actually be correct and an accurate dire warning about impending doom. Another example might be that letting the millions of unvetted refugees into Europe would result in huge problems and lots of deaths due to Islamic terrorism. People were called racist and Islamophobic and were assured by the leaders of Europe that they were exaggerating the danger but it turned out to be very real as the attacks in Nice and Brussels proved and may even be worse than even the truthful hyperbole made it out to be because nobody expected anything like the mass rape of German women on the streets that happened in Cologne. And by all accounts the situation is going to get much worse before it gets any better.  It will never again get as bad as it was for the Jews in Germany but I have to wonder if the Jews who did try to sound the alarm back in 1939 would have been called purveyors of truthful hyperbole as well. In other words sometimes the alarmists are right.

Maybe the left even feels that way about man made global warming where the right sees that as truthful hyperbole. If someone wanted to see how to convince another person about the error of a specific case of truthful hyperbole, and that person happened to believe in the calamity humanity will experience because of man made global warming, then that person might want to think about what it would to convince them out of their own belief in the possible truthful hyperbole of man made global warming. Or if that's not your issue think about an issue that someone on the other side of it might be convinced is truthful hyperbole and what it would take to talk you out of it.

AI Wessex

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #31 on: October 21, 2016, 07:17:46 AM »
Cherry,  I know you use your man Trump as a prophet of doom because he knows what's really going on. Note the year:
Quote
“Trump began by telling the people who were there that he wouldn’t run for president in 1988, which disappointed some, especially Dunbar. Then Trump railed, with no notes, and for roughly the next half hour, about Japan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Washington, Wall Street, politicians, economists and “nice people” of whom he had “had enough,” he said. This country was facing “disaster” and was “being kicked around.” Other countries were “laughing at us.”

“It makes me sick,” Trump said.

"If the right man doesn’t get into office,” he warned the Rotarians, “you’re going to see a catastrophe in this country in the next four years like you’re never going to believe. And then you’ll be begging for the right man.”

cherrypoptart

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #32 on: October 21, 2016, 09:57:56 AM »
Wasn't that when the Bush Presidential dynasty started? So you think the Bush's were good for America then?

AI Wessex

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #33 on: October 21, 2016, 10:15:28 AM »
Wasn't that when the Bush Presidential dynasty started? So you think the Bush's were good for America then?
Me personally, not at all.  Do you think GHW Bush was a disaster?  Who do you think he was referring to when he talked about "the right man"?

cherrypoptart

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #34 on: October 21, 2016, 10:45:27 AM »
He was part of a chain that set the stage for what we have now. I didn't think he was a disaster at the time but he was more than a butterfly flapping its wings on the other side of the world as far as his effects on the terrible situation we're currently in. It's nice to see Democrats defending the Bush dynasty though. Personally I think Trump helped us dodge a bullet this time around by taking out Jeb. He really would have been a disaster.

AI Wessex

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #35 on: October 21, 2016, 11:05:36 AM »
At the risk of it sounding like I agree with you on this (I'm sure we would disagree about every detail of our seemingly mutual disapproval), Bush I's huge mistake was the invasion of Iraq/Kuwait and the bigger one was rigging the outcome so that the job was left only half done.  In order to assemble the coalition that supported the invasion he had to agree that this was not an attempt at regime change in Iraq, but a containment approach using sanctions after the inevitable battlefront victory.  That teed up the destruction of the country as it festered in corruption and oppression for the next decade.  The could have been corrected under Clinton, but he accepted the risks and instability in Iraq because the coalition deal Bush I had worked out was binding on the US and he believed that the mess was contained within the country's borders.  I think he hoped that there would be a revolution in Iraq that never materialized because Saddam Hussein was more viciously successful with his brutal control over the population than expected.

That was followed by the absolutely disastrous second invasion of Iraq by Bush II.  I understand the feeling among our military soldiers and veterans that we could have and should have finished the job the first time and were in a way glad to see the second invasion take place.  The unbelievable incompetence of the entire Bush II military command apparatus, starting with Rumsfeld and Cheney, created the whole mess in Iraq -- and the entire Mideast region -- that we're now living through and will continue to live through for at least another generation.  Mind-boggling stupidity, mendacity, hubris, not to mention their own xenophobic view of non-westerners (Arabs, Muslims, undemocratic governments) coupled with hyped and misinformed intelligence and unquenchable unrealistic beliefs about US exceptionalism as an extension of their own unconstrained egos are the direct antecedents of the mess we're in now.  Don't blame Obama for creating anything, even if he has proven unable to fix it.

But having said all of that, Trump would be far, far worse.  He raises any and all criticisms of either Bush, Bill Clinton or Obama into a new realm of self-promoting narcissism and fantasy.  The same level of self-awareness that attaches to his claim that "No one has more respect for women that I do" applies to every other area where he contemplates the world from his gold toilet seat.

Wayward Son

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #36 on: October 21, 2016, 11:28:18 AM »
Are some other instances of truthful hyperbole possibly issues like Obamacare and man made global warming?

Sure, there are "truthful hyperboles" in both.

Someone once said that you could keep your doctor under Obamacare.  Others have said that Obamacare has made rates rise tremendously faster than they normally would have.

Some have said that AGW will cause the Earth to become another Venus soon.  Others have said that snow in January proves that AGW is not happening.

All of these hyperboles disguise the kernel of truth they may contain, and lead people into extreme solutions to smaller problems.  That is where the danger lies.

Quote
Maybe even the Jews in 1939 or the people who many years ago warned about what's happening in Argentina right now?

What happens when truthful hyperbole is an accusation against the position you support like man made global warming or when it turns out to be correct like the current Obamacare death spiral or the economic collapse of Argentina because of socialism?

Ah, but remember, it is not the opposition that calls things "truthful hyperboles."  It is the supporters, who try to excuse the misstatement of the facts as being "innocent," "a rhetorical device," or "revealing the core of truth that the other side ignores."  It is basically a half-assed excuse for not stating the facts accurately, and an excuse to appeal to emotions instead of confronting the problem directly and in a balanced approach.

Supporters call it "truthful hyperbole" when they know what they say isn't true.  The opposition just calls it lies and exaggerations, like they always did.

cherrypoptart

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #37 on: October 21, 2016, 11:38:41 AM »
Actually I will indeed blame Obama, Al. Everything you said has merit but the coup de grace was when Obama pulled out of Iraq too early. I think everyone knew this would be the result, and it was. Hoping otherwise was just wishful thinking. All of the other mistakes you point out could have worked out for the best had we stayed in Iraq in force, against the will of the Iraqi government if necessary, just like we stayed in Japan and Germany and have been there in force ever since their defeat. McCain was right that we should have stayed in Iraq for another hundred years if necessary, and as it turns out it was necessary. Obama is not getting off the hook for that.

In fact, staying in Iraq like we have been in Germany, Japan, and South Korea is the only way that what Bush, Clinton, and Bush again did made any sense. It is all a massive blunder if we don't carry through all the way to the end, and Obama made sure that we didn't. That exposes a serious weakness of our system of government, with each administration undoing all the hard work of the previous one. If you agree that Obamacare is fundamentally sound but just needs some tweaking, which I don't of course, but if you do believe that and Trump is elected with a Republican Congress and it gets completely thrown out then that will be another example of this weakness. I think it usually works out in our favor and trying new things with new administrations and a new Congress helps us more than it hurts us but sometimes the inconsistency and lack of long term carry through you might see from a government like China's hurts us and badly.

McCain's predictions about what would happen if we pulled out like Obama did may have been seen at the time as truthful hyperbole but if anything he wasn't hyperbolic enough and it's been worse than almost anything we could have imagined.

Greg Davidson

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #38 on: October 21, 2016, 12:53:55 PM »
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Actually I will indeed blame Obama, Al. Everything you said has merit but the coup de grace was when Obama pulled out of Iraq too early.

What would have been the cost of your recommendation here? How many years, how many American military and national guard troops there on multiple tours due to stop-loss orders, many Americans killed, and how many hundreds of billions of dollars spent each year? This is even assuming that you could get around the signed agreement with the sovereign nation of Iraq to keep troops there?

And what good would have off-set these costs?  Do you believe that the American presence with ground troops in Iraq would have stopped terrorist attacks, and if so why, because the average annual number of terrorist attacks actually went up when Americans had over 150,000 troops in Iraq? How would American troops in Iraq have addressed the growth of ISIS in Syria?

Since you so strongly know that what was done is wrong, please lay out what your alternative would have been and why it is better.

cherrypoptart

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #39 on: October 21, 2016, 01:31:51 PM »
That's a long story to be asked to write. It sounds like if I did it I could make it into an alternate universe novel.

Best case it would have looked like Germany, Japan, and South Korea. Worst case it would have been like Vietnam or how Afghanistan was for the Russians. If all we accomplished by executing McCain's plan was to avert the Christian genocide in the Middle East and the mass sexual enslavement ISIS succeeded in carrying out it would have been worth it. We should have treated Iraq like we treated Germany and Japan after WWII. Staying in Germany and Japan right now when they aren't even problems makes a whole lot less sense than it would have made to stay in Iraq which was and is still a huge problem.

To answer your question directly I have no idea how many dollars and how many lives it would have cost. Or saved. That's pure speculation. All we know for sure is that what actually happened was a total disaster. Alternatives may have turned out worse or better and we'll never know which.

AI Wessex

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #40 on: October 21, 2016, 02:25:58 PM »
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Actually I will indeed blame Obama, Al. Everything you said has merit but the coup de grace was when Obama pulled out of Iraq too early.
Of course it was too early, or perhaps way too late.  Your fave Trump said we should have gotten out in 2007 and taken the oil with us.  Was he wrong?  If so, how do you know he's right now when he *promises* he has a no-muss, no-fuss secret plan that will solve the whole ISIS problem so fast you'll be tired of winning.

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To answer your question directly I have no idea how many dollars and how many lives it would have cost. Or saved. That's pure speculation. All we know for sure is that what actually happened was a total disaster. Alternatives may have turned out worse or better and we'll never know which.
Feel free to criticize and condemn, even though you have no suggestions to offer and no idea how many lives or how much money it would cost, even with the benefit of years of hindsight and 1000's of analyses.

Wayward Son

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #41 on: October 21, 2016, 03:38:55 PM »
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If so, how do you know he's right now when he *promises* he has a no-muss, no-fuss secret plan that will solve the whole ISIS problem so fast you'll be tired of winning.

Ah, but there you're wrong, AI.  After months of saying how he was smarter than all the Generals and had a fool-proof plan to take care of ISIS, but he wouldn't tell us until he was elected lest someone else got the credit for it, he finally did tell us what the plan was.

Once he became President, he would call all the Generals together and give them 30 days to come up with a plan. :)

Now that's thinking!

Greg Davidson

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #42 on: October 21, 2016, 03:59:19 PM »
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All we know for sure is that what actually happened was a total disaster. Alternatives may have turned out worse or better and we'll never know which.

Let me unpack this logic salad. First, since things could have turned out even worse, you are saying that "total disaster" is just a midpoint somewhere on a scale that has "super-duper total disaster" as something even worse. Secondly, since you offer no inputs on how any other approach would work, your cannot even deny that the steps that were taken may have been the absolutely most perfect set of policies possible to implement. You have no basis for even asserting that the choice of current policies was flawed if you cannot identify any alternative that would have been better.  And you can't escape this dilemma by assuming that the people, cultures, and situation in 2009 Iraq could be replaced by the people, cultures, and situation in place after World War II.

Fenring

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #43 on: October 21, 2016, 04:10:47 PM »
The problem with the question, Greg, is that even if cherry could cite an indisputably 'better' plan, that doesn't mean there would have been willingness to implement it at that time. Even IF keeping troops there for many years would have yielded a better result, if there was too much pressure from various quarters to withdraw them then it may not even have been reasonably doable for Obama to implement that plan even if he wanted to. Even prior to W ending his second term he had already conceded that the troops would need to be withdrawn. Granted, it's still the responsibility of the President who actually withdraws them to face the consequences, but in a sense Obama seemed to me to merely be implementing what W himself said to do anyhow. Whether that was a good idea or a mistake is an entirely different matter.

To my mind the question of what to do in 2009 is peripherally interesting but trivial compared to recognizing that the lion's share of fault occurred in 2002 and 2003. Whatever fallout took place later, even if due to imperfect strategy, was nevertheless still damage control from the earlier debacle.

Seriati

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #44 on: October 21, 2016, 04:42:21 PM »
Let me unpack this logic salad.

You realize your objections also apply to the criticisms of getting into the war in the first place.  For any historical analysis N=1, there's no way to be sure what the result of any change would be.

Seriati

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #45 on: October 21, 2016, 05:00:05 PM »
At the risk of it sounding like I agree with you on this (I'm sure we would disagree about every detail of our seemingly mutual disapproval), Bush I's huge mistake was the invasion of Iraq/Kuwait and the bigger one was rigging the outcome so that the job was left only half done.

So the mistake was not letting Iraq's invasion of Kuwait stand?   Just want to be clear on this.  You think the world would be better off with a stronger Iraq under the control of Saddam Hussein and his cronies.  You don't see any risk that he would have continued to role up other countries, creating even more chaos, or even dragging us into a bigger conflict when he attacked an ally like Saudi Arabia or a Nato member like Turkey (or if they preemptively attacked him).

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In order to assemble the coalition that supported the invasion he had to agree that this was not an attempt at regime change in Iraq, but a containment approach using sanctions after the inevitable battlefront victory.

This is true, its direct consequence of our dissatisfaction with the quagmire that was the Vietnam war and general European believe in a post-war society.  The lightening successes of a modern army in this campaign impacted willingness to use force after this point, but they obviously couldn't do so for the initial conflict.

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That teed up the destruction of the country as it festered in corruption and oppression for the next decade.  The could have been corrected under Clinton, but he accepted the risks and instability in Iraq because the coalition deal Bush I had worked out was binding on the US and he believed that the mess was contained within the country's borders.  I think he hoped that there would be a revolution in Iraq that never materialized because Saddam Hussein was more viciously successful with his brutal control over the population than expected.

Very limited analysis there.  The pivot towards sanctions is what lead to the increase in corruption and oppression.  Starving a country with a strong man of resources is always going to hit the people at the bottom way more than those at the top.  The Iraq sanctions were being labeled as weapons of mass destruction and blamed for the deaths of a million children real time, if you recall.  US policy, under Democrats particularly, favors incredible disproportionate actions so long as the risks to American soldiers can be eliminated or minimized (another legacy of the Vietnam era body bags).  Boots on the ground is disfavored, particularly by Democrats, without any regard to whether that could reach the best outcome.

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That was followed by the absolutely disastrous second invasion of Iraq by Bush II.

See Greg's comments on the concept of historical comparisons.

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The unbelievable incompetence of the entire Bush II military command apparatus, starting with Rumsfeld and Cheney, created the whole mess in Iraq -- and the entire Mideast region -- that we're now living through and will continue to live through for at least another generation.  Mind-boggling stupidity, mendacity, hubris, not to mention their own xenophobic view of non-westerners (Arabs, Muslims, undemocratic governments) coupled with hyped and misinformed intelligence and unquenchable unrealistic beliefs about US exceptionalism as an extension of their own unconstrained egos are the direct antecedents of the mess we're in now.  Don't blame Obama for creating anything, even if he has proven unable to fix it.

What nonsense.  The mess in the middle east wasn't created by the second Iraq war.  Nor was the war handled in a stupid manner.  At best, you could argue the post-war was bungled, but even that was no where near as bad as the decision by the Obama administration to completely  pull out - which you want to give a free pass on. 

For goodness sakes, "unable to fix it"?   What exactly has Obama done to even try to fix it?

Again, the real lesson of Iraq is that the United States has no ability to maintain a consistent foreign policy and no one should ever rely on us to do so.  At the best we are a hammer, and will never be anything else.  More often, we are a hammer, then a crowbar, then a hammer, then a wrecking ball, then a hammer again, and we can't understand why no one really wants us on their construction site.

Greg Davidson

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #46 on: October 21, 2016, 06:40:15 PM »
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The mess in the middle east wasn't created by the second Iraq war.  Nor was the war handled in a stupid manner.  At best, you could argue the post-war was bungled, but even that was no where near as bad as the decision by the Obama administration to completely  pull out - which you want to give a free pass on. 

Let me lay a set of alternative policies that I assert would have been substantially better than what was implemented by the Bush Administration.

(1) Once we have attacked the Sunni-led Taliban regime in Afghanistan in response to the attacks by Al Qaeda on 9/11, the rational policy would have been to focus on the very challenging job of eliminating Al Qaeda and stabilizing Afghanistan enough to depart. Do not attack the largely secular Sunni nation Iraq, because it will (a) cost many lives, (b) cost significant funding, (c) eviscerate the strong international support we had for combat operations in Afghanistan, (d) significantly strengthen the regional position of Shiite Iran by devastating its Sunni neghbors to the East and West, and (e) make us responsible via the so-called "Pottery Barn rule" (if you break it, you own it.

(2) Once we have defeated the Iraqi Army and need to stabilize the country, do not suddenly disband the Iraqi Army, leaving the 400,000 men in Iraq best trained to kill other people with their weapons and no prospects for employment. (PS: Guess where the military leadership of ISIS came from). It would have been far better to keep them on the payroll as the force responsible for maintaining order.

Greg Davidson

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #47 on: October 21, 2016, 06:44:33 PM »
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So the mistake was not letting Iraq's invasion of Kuwait stand?   Just want to be clear on this.  You think the world would be better off with a stronger Iraq under the control of Saddam Hussein and his cronies.  You don't see any risk that he would have continued to role up other countries, creating even more chaos, or even dragging us into a bigger conflict when he attacked an ally like Saudi Arabia or a Nato member like Turkey (or if they preemptively attacked him).

With respect to Iraq War #1, after the invasion of Kuwait, I can on balance favor the military intervention. However, it would have been an even better policy not to support Saddam so strongly in his wars in the previous decade against Iran (where over a million people died, and where Saddam wound up using US satellite imagery to target chemical weapons use that killed 100,000 Iranians).  That covert support probably contributed to Saddam's misunderstanding that US Ambassador April Gallespie was giving him the go-ahead for the initial invasion of Kuwait.

Seriati

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #48 on: October 21, 2016, 08:22:12 PM »
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The mess in the middle east wasn't created by the second Iraq war.  Nor was the war handled in a stupid manner.  At best, you could argue the post-war was bungled, but even that was no where near as bad as the decision by the Obama administration to completely  pull out - which you want to give a free pass on. 

Let me lay a set of alternative policies that I assert would have been substantially better than what was implemented by the Bush Administration.

I don't agree with you fully.  Partially, because I have different view of the consequence of not dealing with Saddam Hussein, and of why we actually attacked Iraq than just about everyone else.  I've said it before on this board, over the years, but in my view Saddam had to go because he had a giant forum and was deliberately undermining support for the US internationally and looked like he was trying to become a international rallying point by being defiant and getting away with it.  Absent the international media forum he was provided, he'd still be in power.

For the record, very few people agree with me on that.

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(1) Once we have attacked the Sunni-led Taliban regime in Afghanistan in response to the attacks by Al Qaeda on 9/11, the rational policy would have been to focus on the very challenging job of eliminating Al Qaeda and stabilizing Afghanistan enough to depart.

Which we did, and could have continued to do, notwithstanding the invasion of Iraq.  I think you're ignoring the very real difficulty associated with focusing on Afghanistan of becoming bogged down and incapable of making the kind of gains that US citizens require to not become dissatisfied with a conflict.  Russia was as close to our level of disproportionate power as anyone and they were completely bogged down in that country.   

I'm just not sure more "focus" would have made a substantial difference there.

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Do not attack the largely secular Sunni nation Iraq, because it will (a) cost many lives, (b) cost significant funding, (c) eviscerate the strong international support we had for combat operations in Afghanistan, (d) significantly strengthen the regional position of Shiite Iran by devastating its Sunni neghbors to the East and West, and (e) make us responsible via the so-called "Pottery Barn rule" (if you break it, you own it.

Most of this is a reasonable opinion.  I just view it as overstated.  (a) costing lives is the result of any conflict, and per the international media doing nothing at that time was tantamount to murdering innocent Iraqis by denying them resources under the sanctions and by leaving them exposed to the murderous whims of a dictator, so it's a balancing act and not a one-way clear decision.  (b) maintaining the status quo was cheaper, but still incredibly costly, and if Iraq recovered and became aggressive again was nothing but a deferral of the costs.  (c) this one is mostly true, there was far less support for Iraq and far more withdrawal of support generally after this point, of course as far as combat power goes the net impact was close to zero.  The biggest "issue" is actually morally reprehensible.  Using ground troops from coalition countries prevented American soldiers from dying, which kept American morale inflated and American citizens from demanding we withdrawal because of our casualties.  (d) this was partially true, of course if we had maintained our presence and assisted the rise of an effective government, this point would actually flip on its head and substantially weaken the position of those hostile forces.  (e) true, which makes the withdrawal by the Obama administration even worse.

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(2) Once we have defeated the Iraqi Army and need to stabilize the country, do not suddenly disband the Iraqi Army, leaving the 400,000 men in Iraq best trained to kill other people with their weapons and no prospects for employment. (PS: Guess where the military leadership of ISIS came from). It would have been far better to keep them on the payroll as the force responsible for maintaining order.

To me this is a hindsight argument.  Leaving a massive army with loyalties to the prior regime in place and armed is questionable.  It is a very Roman approach to set yourself up as the new boss man and use the existing power structures.  It's inconsistent though with the expressed beliefs, however naive, of the Administration that they were going to build better institutions. 

In any event, as matter of Real Politick you'd be correct that.  As a matter of real reform probably a lot less than you think.

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With respect to Iraq War #1, after the invasion of Kuwait, I can on balance favor the military intervention. However, it would have been an even better policy not to support Saddam so strongly in his wars in the previous decade against Iran (where over a million people died, and where Saddam wound up using US satellite imagery to target chemical weapons use that killed 100,000 Iranians).  That covert support probably contributed to Saddam's misunderstanding that US Ambassador April Gallespie was giving him the go-ahead for the initial invasion of Kuwait.

Agreed. 

I'm highly opposed to this idea of supporting proxies to fight our wars.  It didn't work with Saddam, it didn't work with Al Queda, it's not going to work to our long term benefit with the Syrian "rebels" we are supporting and will ultimately betray.  Why does everyone see it in hindsight, yet let it go in real time?

Fenring

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Re: Trump & Truthful Hyperbole
« Reply #49 on: October 21, 2016, 09:15:13 PM »
I've said it before on this board, over the years, but in my view Saddam had to go because he had a giant forum and was deliberately undermining support for the US internationally and looked like he was trying to become a international rallying point by being defiant and getting away with it.

A rallying point for what? Or more specifically, what endgame would have ensued if he had been left to rally all of this support?