The historians Andrew Burstein and Nancy Isenberg weigh in on the present state of politics (spoiler alert: it’s not pretty). They note the long history of demagoguery in the U.S., but they also point out what is different today: “a pliant media and a reality TV culture.” These two additional factors make today’s demagogues significantly more dangerous.
This excerpt sums up the problem: “We have no indication that Trump thinks very hard about consequences. Half-baked generalizations roll off the tongue of the superlative-seeking demagogue. Will his followers ever demand facts from him? Probably not. When you are a demagogue, you only have to promise stuff, identify and threaten the bad guys, make bold declarations like, “I’ll be the best president for the military,” and keep the fans excited. Nothing is real. That how politics operates when it’s all reality TV. And don’t forget to wear your flag pin in the next scene.”
Read the article here: Donald Trump is our creepy new face of demagoguery – Salon.com