What's the cure for demagogues?

Variant(s): also dem·a·gog \ˈde-mə-ˌgäg
Function: noun
1 : a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power

A literate and well-informed populace with functional critical-thinking skills.

Good luck with that.

Did you have anyone in particular in mind? Because, y’know, it’s a little late to be bitchin’ about Bush Jr.

How about Geert Wilders a Dutch politician and leader of the Party for Freedom,

Some of his suggested policies include a tax on the Hijab (a Rag tax), street crime committed by young Muslims to reclassified as street terrorisms, abolishment of the European Parliament

He made a movie with the express propose to provoke the same reaction in Muslims world as the Danish Mohammed cartoons did.

If there were elections in Holland today his party would be one the largest, with a large percentage of the educated population voting for him.
Maybe he is more of a Populist then a Demagogue…I’m not sure

Decentralized media and, as noted above, education.

Unfortunately, what passes for public education for a large portion of the public with regard to our foreign and domestic policies is a chorus of corporate sockpuppets shouting down progressive reform at home and justifying war abroad in the name of justice, democracy and profit.

Some fucking world.

Clearly the truth will not defeat lies. They co-exist.


I just keep telling myself - As with all things, this too shall pass.


Actual response to the question posed? Or object-lesson in demagoguery? Or her hairdresser knows for sure!

Prevention is always best. As for a cure, a good public dose of reality would do the trick. Pfizer’s not working on it, however.

I don’t know if you can. People (myself included, being one) are not totally rational and a good percentage of what we believe is either comforting delusion/denial or just beliefs we haven’t evaluated very deeply.

As far as what can be used to fight prejudice and false claims, a few things might help.
Regulations on the media requiring people to apologize for and admit to lying, and to show multiple points of view. The airwaves do belong to the public after all.

Positive role models or multiculturalism. In the Implicit Association Test it was found that exposure to positive role models (Bill Cosby for example) cut people’s prejudice against certain groups. Plus having personal relationships with prejudiced groups seems to cut bigotry. Then again forcing those relationships (like was tried in the 60s with race relations) can just polarize people further.

Humanization of victims. Show people videos of gay people who have attempted suicide, or of muslims who cannot find decent jobs because of prejudice. A program like that was tried for youth offenders in gangs. Instead of just jail, they forced them to see the consequences of gang violence (medical bills, disability, families broken). Supposedly the program resulted in decent cuts to recidivism, but I can’t find it offhand. I read it over a decade ago. But some program to show the victims of lying and bigotry to be decent human beings who are suffering might help.

Overall, you can’t. Power is too tempting for people who lack moral compunction against bigotry and lying, and there are too many people who are willing to believe whatever they want to believe.