I was greatly alarmed by John Zaring’s letter to the editor that ran last Friday! In it, he declared that “The Constitution and We the People are under daily assault.”
I immediately grabbed The Mighty Signal and scanned CNN/Fox for the latest-breaking news.
For, surely, news of these assaults must be screaming from every news outlet!
I looked for news of the re-institution of slavery.
Nope. No pictures of long lines of people chained together or working in cotton fields singing wonderful spirituals.
It must be the elimination of freedom of religion!
Surely, there must be pictures of the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City on fire or the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove in ruins.
Nope. Not even one little Jew being chased with a pitchfork.
I know. It must be the elimination of Congress and the judicial system that Zaring is referring to. I certainly have heard enough about that silly 9th Circuit Court.
Nope. It’s all still in place.
Then, it has to be the quartering of soldiers thing. I’ll bet the Pentagon ran out of money so they have to store Marines in private homes.
I called my wife and she said, “Nope, no Marines here.”
Ah. Its gotta be the 19th Amendment — women’s suffrage. Things have gone to heck in a handbasket since we let women vote.
Nope. Called my wife again and she said that she can still vote. And she said to apologize for that heck in a handbasket crack. I’m sorry.
So, it must be that the Constitution, as in the original document, must be under attack.
I checked online and the original is stored in a concrete 50-ton vault guarded by around a million soldiers armed with M-16s and pointy sticks.
Nope. The paper is safe.
It sounds like the Constitution, both literally and conceptually, is perfectly OK.
Well, Zaring must be referring to massive attacks on “We the People.” I guess he means everyone living in the United States. Surely, Americans must be slaughtered in the street in great piles. Like “The Purge” in real life.
Nope. Nothing there either.
It’s gotta be an invasion.
Maybe those sneaky Canadians have come across the border and seized Billings, Montana? Or, maybe Mexico has invaded to save us all from really bad Taco Bell fake Mexican food?
Nope. CNN has nothing about that, either.
Zaring must be referring to the massive mind-control that Trump uses every time he speaks. You know. He wears those little glasses with the spinning hypnosis design that plants crazy ideas into our heads like, “America is great,” and, “You want to pay less taxes.”
No, I don’t see that either.
Now I am confused. All of our news outlets must either by lying to us (and I doubt that is true since I think it is nearly impossible to get CNN and Fox to agree on anything political) or that maybe Zaring’s statement is a little bit hyperbolic?
I looked up the word “hyperbole” in my trusty Wester’s Third Edition Dictionary (that I keep by my desk — no kidding!) and it says “exaggerated statements not to be taken literally.”
This definition seems to fit Zaring’s comment perfectly. I am sure he is being good-intentioned and expressing what he truly feels, but such phrasing is not to be taken seriously. It is a mere exaggeration that does not warrant further consideration.
Contrast this to Maria Gutzeit’s excellent recent opinion column entitled, “It’s No Time for Extremists: Work Together.” Instead of demonizing people who think slightly different from us, Maria rightly asserts that we “don’t have the leisure of working solely with a fraction of the population registered in the same political party as we are.”
Exactly. Zaring’s extremist hyperbole, besides being ludicrous on its face, does nothing to advance our culture and society.
Gutzeit’s comments, in sharp contrast, show us a path forward to work together as we always have.
America is a great idea that cannot be torn down by a single person. Look back in our history and we can see many difficult times that Chicken Little types like Zaring would have us believe that the sky is falling.
Nope. It isn’t. The Constitution is still strong. So are We the People.
Steve Lunetta is a resident of Santa Clarita and uses hyperbole too but only to poke fun. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.