Over the last couple of months, I’ve been drawn to the word “demagoguery” for some reason. It’s one of those words I’ve read in the newspaper, heard repeatedly on Anderson 360, heard blasted from Bill Maher’s mouth, Rachel Maddow’s mouth and even Bill O’Reilly’s mouth (when I accidentally lingered on his image on television). It’s a word – quite frankly – that in my mind I scrambled from other words, forming my own special definition that had no real basis in sound logic or truth. In other words, I didn’t know what the hell it really meant; I only thought I did. When I finally took the time to research it fully, I understood why it’s been rolling around in my crazy head: “Demagoguery is an appeal to people that plays on their emotions and prejudices rather than on their rational side. Demagoguery is a manipulative approach — often associated with dictators and sleazy politicians —that appeals to the worst nature of people.”
I’m completely terrified by what’s happening in American politics and the judicial system (presidential politics, an impending Supreme Court nomination, Making of a Murderer, the challenge to reproductive rights and on and on), not because ALL of the presidential candidates are engaged in some form of demagoguery, but that a healthy number of the populace are willing suitors. When reason is dismissed from the room like a misbehaved child from the dinner table, all you have left are a lot of “grown-ups” scratching their heads and wondering, “where did I go wrong?” – and never acknowledging THEY, in fact, raised the child.