In recent weeks we have heard about “fake news” or “alternative facts.” Let’s be honest with ourselves. Blown out of proportion headlines and misleading information has dominated our televisions, mailboxes, homes, and workplace for decades. While all cameras and microphones turn towards Donald Trump, perhaps we should reflect a moment and ask ourselves if we have ever had a Trump moment in our lives.
When I read headlines of “serial spree” or “massive demonstrations” or other colorful and perhaps misleading rhetoric, then I sometimes think that sort of talk is similar to what Trump says on a daily basis. People tend to exaggerate the facts and replace them with almost folklore comment to raise the quality or excitement level. Another problem is that our news and daily conversation does not seem balanced or centered. In fact, our language is emotional in nature to persuade our listeners. It is similar to those that claim “I am swamped with work overflowing on my desk” when in fact the desk is clean but the data to be entered in the computer is backlogged a bit.
Another issue is how we take our daily language as if we are skilled attorneys. When I hear sexual assault, breaking and entering, or violent activity then I quickly assume that the crime is a horrible event. However, if you drill down and take a closer look you may be amazed to learn that the sexual assault was a slap on the butt and the breaking and entering was someone opened what was intended to be a locked door. There is nothing at all violent, but we are presented information to believe it was. Another reason our court system is clogged with minor situations deemed as crimes but in hopes that the accused will take a plea deal. Again, this is where fake news becomes lubricated.
In essence, we are all a bit like Trump. We use words we do not mean to get our point across; perhaps not as excessive as he does. However, as a capitalistic society, we do attempt to push our agenda ahead of others with sometimes false data and misleading words. Our sets of beliefs are under scrutiny today because we are not using the correct words, timeline, and events to tell an accurate story. We love pizzazz and entertainment value. After all, that is Trump. What I’m afraid of is that we will eventually become a little like Trump if we fail to become a bit more realistic and tone down the word extremism.