A demagogue /ˈdɛməɡɒɡ/ (from Greek δημαγωγός, a popular leader, a leader of a mob, from δῆμος, people, populace, the commons + ἀγωγός leading, leader) or rabble-rouser is a leader in a democracy who gains popularity by exploiting prejudice and ignorance among the common people, whipping up the passions of the crowd and shutting down reasoned deliberation. Demagogues have usually advocated immediate, violent action to address a national crisis while accusing moderate and thoughtful opponents of weakness or disloyalty. Demagogues overturn established customs of political conduct, or promise or threaten to do so. Most who were elected to high office changed their democracy into some form of dictatorship.
Well…that’s not like The Donald at all, right?
Okay, I’m being a smart-ass. That is EXACTLY like The Donald! Gaining popularity by exploiting prejudice? CHECK! Shutting down reasoned deliberation? CHECK! Advocating violent action? DUDE, HAVE YOU SEEN HIS RALLIES? Accusing moderate and thoughtful opponents of weakness or disloyalty? YEP!
Now, all of that is bad, but it’s the last bit of the demagogic definition that really keeps me up at night. It’s that bit about changing democracy into some form of dictatorship. Folks, this is where we must heed the call to action. The USA is the world’s oldest constitutional democracy. To peoples who have known only dictatorship, we have been a beacon of freedom for our entire history. We can not, must not, and will not let that beacon go out!
Resisting Trump is thus an act of high patriotism and the clear duty of every American who understands the term “demagog” and would rid the Earth of such leaders.
By Clayton J. Callahan