American Demagogue

Published: December 9, 2015

By Jim Lichtman
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dem•a•gogue: a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power.
– Merriam-Webster


Every time I post a commentary on Donald Trump, I privately vow no more! And then he says something even more bigoted.

The Washington Post: “Trump Shatters Ceiling in Modern Politics.”

The Philadelphia Daily News: “The New Furor.”

FOX News: “Trump doubles down on vow to bar Muslims.”

“…Donald Trump doubled down Tuesday on his plan to slam the door on Muslims seeking to enter the U.S.,” FOX News reports (Dec. 8), “including refugees, tourists and, potentially, even Muslim Americans returning from trips abroad.

“ ‘We have no idea who is coming into our country, no idea if they like us or hate us,’ Trump told supporters in South Carolina Monday night. ‘I wrote something today that is very salient…and probably not very politically correct.’ ”

Dear Donald: Forget political correctness, you’re not even constitutionally correct!

It was only last September that Trump told CNN, “I love the Muslims. I think they’re great people.”

Today: Out the window!

“Trump also appeared on CNN’s New Day,” FOX writes, “where he repeated his pledge.

“ ‘You’re going to have many more World Trade Centers if you don’t solve it — many, many more and probably beyond the World Trade Center,’ Trump told CNN anchor Chris Cuomo.

Among the GOP candidates who voiced objections:

Jeb Bush called Trump, “unhinged.”

Lindsey Graham: “Every candidate for president needs to do the right thing & condemn @Realdonaldtrump’s statement.

Chris Christie: “…ridiculous…”

John Kasich: “…entirely unsuited to lead the United States.”

Ted Cruz, (who clearly doesn’t want to P/O Trump supporters): “That is not my policy.”

Even Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling weighed in: “How horrible. Voldemort was nowhere near as bad.”

Carly Fiorina called Trump “a rabble-rouser.”

Sorry, Carly, while that may be listed as a synonym, a rabble-rouser is someone who has too much to drink, acts like an idiot and is pretty much ignored. Trump is a sober idiot pretending to be a candidate for the highest office in the land who flagrantly ignores facts and demagogues his way around the country inspiring hatred against Muslims, Hispanics, (remember, he wants to round-up and deport 11-million illegal immigrants) and anyone else who crosses paths and ideology with him.

However, one of the clearest objections comes from former Vice-President Dick Cheney, a man who never met a hard-line, dogmatic phrase he didn’t like, who previously said he would back the Republican nominee even if it was Donald Trump, said that the Trump’s statement “goes against everything we stand for and believe in.”

While I trust that, in the long run, the majority of right-thinking Americans will ultimately turn Trump away at the ballot box, what makes him truly dangerous is the fact that he very well may inspire some who agree with him to commit hate crimes.

In speaking out against Senator Joe McCarthy, another infamous demagogue, Special Counsel for the Army Joseph N. Welch responded to McCarthy who wrongly accused attorney Fred Fisher of being a member of the communist party. His response could also apply to Donald J. Trump.

“Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty, or your recklessness. Fred Fisher is a young man who went to the Harvard Law School and came into my firm and is starting what looks to be a brilliant career with us. …

“Little did I dream you could be so reckless and so cruel as to do an injury to that lad. It is, I regret to say, equally true that I fear he shall always bear a scar needlessly inflicted by you. If it were in my power to forgive you for your reckless cruelty, I would do so. I like to think I’m a gentle man, but your forgiveness will have to come from someone other than me. …

“Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. … Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?”

Sadly, in Trump’s case, the answer to that last question is decidedly, “No!”

Trump hasn’t demonstrated anything approaching the type of decency necessary for any leadership role, let alone that of president of the United States.

Trump is interested in one thing, the Trump brand. Maybe we should boycott of all goods, and services that carry the name Trump. I have never advocated taking this kind of action before, but the level of dangerous statements made by Mr. Trump have become intolerable.

Maybe, just maybe, if he takes a hard enough hit, economically, he might understand that his message of hate is not America’s message.


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