I’ve noticed that the term “demagogue” has been used it the news lately. Lest anyone has forgotten, the following definition from Wikipedia is worth repeating:
A demagogue or rabble-rouser is a political leader in a democracy who appeals to the emotions, prejudices, and ignorance of the poorer and less-educated classes in order to gain power.
Demagogues usually oppose deliberation and advocate immediate, violent action to address a national crisis; they accuse moderate and thoughtful opponents of weakness.
Demagogues have appeared in democracies since ancient Athens. They exploit a fundamental weakness in democracy: because ultimate power is held by the people, nothing stops the people from giving that power to someone who appeals to the lowest common denominator of a large segment of the population.
Please Note: Several people have had similar questions about this blog, which I found quite interesting.
One felt I was referring to the anti-republican class warfare scare tactic. Another felt I was referring to the anti-democrat socialism/fascism scare tactic.
It is true that each party has accused the other of demagoguing. However, I was referring to neither in particular. I simply feel that awareness of the concept is what is important. You can apply it as you will to either political party.
Either way, the light of awareness heals and the definition of this term does shed some light on the nature of politics.