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TRUMP AND DEMAGOGUERY

March 30, 2019

TRUMP AND DEMAGOGUERY

Professor wrote recently in her blog that Trump is a master of demagoguery and that the hatred and racist venom he is peddling is shared by his base. She asked for comment, and the following, slightly edited, was mine.

Adam Schiff is a patriot and the personification of democratic values in a society where a substantial minority of the population fits Sheila’s description of those who live in a democracy but are not imbued with either the Athenian or the modern model of just what a democracy is and isn’t about, having been victimized by greed, racism and some religions that provide a setting for authoritarian values as defined by George Lakoff, retired brain scientist, and others.

Authoritarians represent the very antithesis of democracy since democracy represents a system that depends solely upon submission to authority based on consent of the governed as expressed by majority rule. Thus Hitler’s Nazi Party, like Trump’s today, was a minority party but, preying on the prejudices and victimhood (Treaty of Versailles, reparations to the French, rampant inflation etc.) of rank and file Germans, Hitler seized all power, and I need not write how that turned out.

Trump is not exactly a Hitler, but they do hold some attributes in common, chief of which is the burning desire to dictate unencumbered by those of us who believe in democratic values and institutions. If he is successful in selling victimhood, hatred, racism and vengeance with his phony populism, then like the 169 year experiment of democracy in Athens, prepare yourselves with a figurative invasion of Roman legions (aka dictatorship) and the fall of our some 240 years of democracy – all of which inspires me while there is still time to write that democracy is our most precious asset held in common and one of the last few things left worth dying for, something I hope will cause wannabe authoritarians to ponder their next step in undoing what our forefathers put together in 1789 following years of colonial status and royal authoritarianism.      GERALD         E

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