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Dear Publius Americanus:

If Trump is, indeed, merely using hyperbole to make his point — which I can only assume is true, otherwise he’d be either a demagogic fear-mongerer or a person who plays fast and loose with the truth, when of course we know him to never attempt to instill fear and division in our country, just as we also know him to be a deeply honest man — which other of his many over-the-top statements, may I ask, are also mere hyperbole? That thousands of Muslims danced in New Jersey as the Twin Towers crashed to earth? That he’ll deport 11 million “illegals?” That he’ll ban all Muslims from entering the U.S.? That “81 percent” of white homicide victims are killed by African Americans? That “in the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby?” That he’ll get Mexico to pay for that promised “wall?” That “Wikileaks also shows how John Podesta rigged the polls by oversampling Democrats, a voter suppression technique” (or does that gross mischaracterization merely show his ignorance of polling techniques)? How about his claim that “14 percent of noncitizens are registered to vote?” Or that Clinton’s energy policy would “cost the U.S. $5 trillion,” that she has said that she “wants to raise taxes on the middle class,” and that “she wants to release the violent criminals from jail; she wants them all released.” Or one of my all-time faves, a veritable maserpitece of Breitbartian blame-throwing with no basis in either facts or historical understanding, “The Obama Administration was actively supporting Al Qaeda in Iraq, the terrorist group that became this Islamic State,” and that Clinton had received “a classified intelligence report” outlining that supposed “fact.”

I could go on — and on, and on, and on — but I assume you get my point. It’s incontrovertible that a high percentage of Trump’s more outlandish statements are simply untrue, impossible, or intentionally misleading.

So my question is: how do you suggest we separate the mere hyperbole from the intentionally manipulative bullshit?

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