Saturday, July 17, 2021
The tell-tale phrase has the opposite meaning from what it is supposed to signal: the speaker has no respect whatsoever for the object of his scorn; he's not being at all serious. So when Joe Biden repeatedly used some version of the phrase "without hyperbole" this week in a big speech on the state of American democracy, you knew instantly that he was exaggerating wildly. "We're facing the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War. That's not hyperbole," he told a friendly audience at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. What is this threat the president identified " without hyperbole " as the greatest challenge to the integrity of the American republic since half the states seceded in defence of the right of their citizens to own slaves, triggering a conflict that resulted in the deaths of roughly one in 40 Americans? The end of drive-through voting in Texas.
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