In a post-Citizens United World, however, the real power lies with big-monied groups that can overwhelm person-to-person networks.
They want to reduce you to unflattering stories; instead, you overwhelm them with unforgettable pantomimes.
On the negative side, the sheer tonnage of opinions can overwhelm and cause a degree of amnesia.
early 14c., "to turn upside down, to overthrow," from over- + Middle English whelmen "to turn upside down" (see whelm). Meaning "to submerge completely" is mid-15c. Perhaps the connecting notion is a boat, etc., washed over, and overset, by a big wave. Figurative sense of "to bring to ruin" is attested from 1520s. Related: Overwhelmed; overwhelming; overwhelmingly.