June 12, 2019

LIONEL SHRIVER: No exaggeration: Hyperbole makes words worthless.

Saturday night, a guest commentator on Sky News sputtered that Donald Trump has ‘normalised white supremacy’. Once the American President has floated off to the horizon after his three-day visit to the UK as an inflatable media punching bag, we will doubtless have been subjected to much further denunciation of this diabolical, fiendish, authoritarian, hate-filled, lying, misogynistic, crass, criminal, moronic, stupid … sorry, that’s a bit too close to ‘moronic’… then, you know, totally crummy leader who is also… also… fat! Sadiq Khan made a brave superlative play in labelling Trump a ‘fascist’. Now, that one’s hard to top  — which won’t have stopped fellow detractors from trying.

Welcome to the world of impotent hyperbole. That dig about white supremacy is a good example of contemporary word inflation, in some ways worse than what’s happened to grades. (The fetishistic lefty resort to normalise deserves parsing as well: the verb seems to decode ‘Maybe it’s not strictly illegal yet but we don’t like it, so it should be illegal’.) Now that white supremacist no longer refers specifically to Anglo-Saxons who proudly believe their race is superior, the term means nothing. Granted, Trump may or may not have obstructed justice and he’s hardly Mr Protocol, but Khan has now used up fascist. So what will London’s mayor call the President were Trump actually to send in troops to shut down CNN? ‘Injudicious’?

Heh, indeed. Read the whole thing.™

InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.