Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Donald Trump: a dangerous demagogue
dem·a·gogue ˈdeməˌɡäɡ/ noun
a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than by using rational argument.
synonyms: rabble-rouser, agitator, political agitator, soapbox orator, firebrand, fomenter, provocateur
In the Republican field, Mr. Trump has distinguished himself as fastest to dive to the bottom. If it’s a lie too vile to utter aloud, count on Mr. Trump to say it, often. It wins him airtime, and retweets through the roof. This phenomenon is in fact nothing new.
Politicians targeting minorities, foreigners or women have always existed in the culture. And every generation or so, at least one demagogue surfaces to fan those flames. [...]
This isn’t about shutting off Mr. Trump’s bullhorn. His right to spew nonsense is protected by the Constitution, but the public doesn’t need to swallow it. History teaches that failing to hold a demagogue to account is a dangerous act. It’s no easy task for journalists to interrupt Mr. Trump with the facts, but it’s an important one.
The Washington Post:
These are not random errors. All of them appeal to the basest instincts in supporters; they reinforce fears and prejudices. All of them, Mr. Trump knows by now even if he did not know when he first stated them, are false, but he does not care.
The amplification of the lies is accompanied by growing intolerance in his campaign, with Mr. Trump praising supporters for beating a protestor, crudely denigrating anyone who challenges him and penning reporters into designated zones so that they cannot speak with his followers.
And all of this matches the brutality of his policies: mass deportation of longtime U.S. residents, torture of foreign detainees, expulsion even of refugees who are here legally .
The New Jersey Star-Ledger:
Donald Trump must apologize to Muslim Americans and to Jersey City for his untrue, divisive and reprehensible comments perpetuating an old rumor we thought had rightly died.
By repeating – and indeed embellishing – this hateful rumor, Trump once again ratchets up the ugliness in the current political climate.
Thousands and thousands of people in Jersey City did not cheer the destruction of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Period. End of story. There is no need to continue to "fact check'' his words.
Damon Linker at The Week:
In its nativism and xenophobia, in its willingness to use inflammatory, demonizing rhetoric against minorities, in its deployment of demagogic lies to whip up and mobilize populist fury and whet appetites for Blackshirt-style political violence — in all of these ways, the Trump campaign (along with its opportunistic imitators) is undeniably toying with fascism, as some commentators are beginning to recognize. And most distressingly of all, an alarmingly large number of Americans appears to approve of the organized illiberalism.
The far right's flirtation with Donald Trump, a dangerous demagogue, has gone on long enough. When will sensible people say NO MORE! No more to Trump's divisiveness, to his lies, and no more of his brownshirt tactics.
His supporters are responsible for sustaining his lead in the polls. What they don't understand, or will not face, is that America will not choose him to lead this country. A great many of us believe we will not turn this country over to a man who is not fit for anything except as a teevee entertainer. What we're seeing is Trump's support coming from frightened, ignorant, and vengeful people.