During the recent presidential campaign, candidate Trump turned hyperbole into an art form, creating supposed facts to suit the sort of American mythological claims many think are true. Like the notion that vast numbers of immigrants come here illegally in order to commit crimes (the crime rate among immigrants is roughly equal that of the population in general), vote in our elections (voter fraud requires the collusion of hundreds of local poll workers at every level), and other claims for which neither he nor anyone else has an supporting evidence.
Now that he has won election to the highest office in the land, some had hoped that president-elect Trump would move to more reserved, judicious, comments based on substantiated facts and actual truth. After all, when a president speaks his words have consequences, both at home and abroad. But this weekend Trump returned to his old form, Tweeting on the topic of a three-state recount that the reason Hillary Clinton won the popular vote was due to "millions" who voted illegally for her. Claims for which no one has any supporting evidence.
Campaigning by hyperbole is one thing. Governing by it is quite another.
When one campaigns by hyperbole, their statements are often dismissed as political rhetoric or mere puffery - the kind of statements the stereotypical used car salesman might be expected to make when attempting to sell a car of dubious quality and value.
When one governs by hyperbole - making up supposed facts and using them to justify policies that obviate, obfuscate, and contravene the constitution - mere hyperbole becomes propaganda.
The kind of propaganda Trump attempts to sell - that elections are tainted by voter fraud (though only affecting those who voted for someone else), that illegal immigrants are stealing our jobs, that globalism doesn't work, that we can withdraw from the world economically while imposing our will militarily - not only lays the basis for constitutional crisis, but turn us away from an electoral republic toward a dictatorial empire and the death of everything we claim to value about America.
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