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Want to make a difference? Inform people of the meaning of Demagoguery

One issue that has surprised me in recent years is that citizens from other countries to which I have spoken know precisely what demagoguery is while the word seems to have been stricken from mainstream vocabulary in the United States.

From Dictionary.com:

Demagogue - (noun) a person, especially an orator or political leader, who gains power and popularity by arousing the emotions, passions, and prejudices of the people.

to demagogue - (verb) to treat or manipulate (a political issue) in the manner of a demagogue; obscure or distort with emotionalism, prejudice, etc.

If you want to make a difference, tell someone about this vital - yet seemingly forgotten - concept. Let's get this word the attention and level of use that it rightfully deserves in Our society.

Demagogues have long known that people are easier to manipulate (against their better judgement) when under emotional strain. 9/11 meet Iraq War, Afghanistan War, the Patriot Act, the DHS, & the TSA. Analogously, Sandy Hook meet gun control.

Demagoguery is an age old ruse. Awareness of its existence will be the only effective tool to combat it. Please do your part to help this definition go viral.

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Great post.

thanks for it.

Ron Paul is My President

Arousal of passions

What is wrong with that?


Truth and reason are superior...

People making decisions solely based on emotions is at the root of most poor choices.


But what about those fight or fight situations? :O


In a true fight or flight situation there is no time...

for discussion. If a person has prepared themselves for such a situation through training, instinctual responses will serve them better. In such a situation, however, emotions cloud judgement and tend to lock people up.


Now that's a five star idea, thx dw.

Thanks dducks...


"We will know our

"We will know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." William Casey CIA director (1981) We know that doesn't happen today. American citizens are to smart to fall for that.Right?

Bob Marshall



Christians should not be warmongers! http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance87.html

Perfect timing

I've been arguing this very thing but didn't connect what it was called. I've been calling it "bat boy sighting" rhetoric.

Yesterday morning the Tea Party's Facebook feed has another "bad Obama" posting. Various conservative groups run this sort of thing almost weekly. The latest is a repeat of how "bad" Obama is because he vacations in Hawaii and he's off to do it again soon and it costs $4 million and "ew, isn't that horrible". It reads like something you'd find in a sensationalist rag right below the newest bat boy sighting; rhetoric that attracts lemmings and does nothing to change minds.

I listened to a CATO podcast last week entitled "Be Charitable to Your Oponents' Views" and it changed the way I argue about things like this. It's my hope that all who listen get as much out of it as I did. It made such a huge impact in the way I think I've left it in my RSS feed to listen to again.

This latest Tea Party posting is an excellent example of how we (fiscal conservatives) are phrasing arguments without insight or intelligence. Instead of arguing on an emotional level, we need to make reasoned arguments on why we see the philosophy behind the behavior is misguided. We need to make the opportunity (and argument) to change minds instead of just collecting nods from those who already agree with how we feel.

Here's the cut to the chase piece on this "Obama wasting tax payer money on vacation" rhetoric. Before we can hope to make a reasoned argument about it, we must understand how Obama thinks. He believes in wealth redistribution and Keynesian principals of stimulus. When we start with that premise, we understand he thinks he's doing a good thing, stimulating the economy. By shortsightedly couching the argument as "Bad Obama", we're spouting unconvincing conservative rhetoric. People who don't think the way we do immediately stop listening and we've lost the argument.

So, the conversation needs to be rephrased. We need to make the reasoned Hayek versus Keynes argument. We need to educate. We need to explain why spending of tax payer money on vacations (or most everything else the government does) is based on proven flawed reasoning and the result is a reduced economy.

We're failing because we're voicing the message ineffectively. We need to argue the principles behind the philosophy and why they're wrong. We need to shy away from the bat boy sighting rhetoric.


Engaging in advanced citizenship

Me like words!!!

Never underestimate the power of defining a word. I used to cut and paste the definition of Demagogue into Barry's weekly addresses.

Oh, they HATED it, but it works.

ytc's picture

Joη's LibertyDefined.org has a beautiful page on "Demagogues"

. . . in RonP's own words.


A timely post. Right in the

A timely post. Right in the nick of time. Thanks, dwalters.

School's fine. Just don't let it get in the way of thinking. -Me

Study nature, not books. -Walton Forest Dutton, MD, in his 1916 book whose subject is origin (therefore what all healing methods involve and count on), simple and powerful.

Yes, Ron Paul Discusses Demagoguery In His Book On Mises


"Bipartisan: both parties acting in concert to put both of their hands in your pocket."-Rothbard

Debbie's picture

Excellent point!

Thank you for bringing this up as it is so true!


Funny, as soon as I saw your thread

this is what came to mind immediately - remember this quickie from 2007?


Ron Paul is My President

First new video I've seen in

First new video I've seen in years (it seems like)!

Piers Morgan came to mind

as soon as I read your title.

Piers is a good example for sure of a demagogue...


Good word to enlighten.

I rarely try to converse with my television, nor do I cuss. I don't watch Piers as a rule either. The few times I've watched Piers, when Ron Paul and Ventura were a guest, did utter a few choice names to Piers. Don't recall Demagogue being one of them. I wasn't as kind. :) More along the lines of questioning the existence of a lawful union between the parents when born and possibly, shocking myself,..... a few pertaining to an unnatural association with the mother.
The man brings out the worst in me.
Thanks for all your posts dwalters, I look forward to reading them. Always interesting and informative.