Name-calling has become a hallmark of the presidential campaign this year. For instance, in the New York Times this morning, Meg Whitman a national Republican leader and fundraiser called Donald J. Trump a demagogue.
It's not a word I use very often and, other than knowing it's not flattering, I wondered what it meant. Here's how Merriam Webster's online dictionary defines it:
a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power
Does Trump fit that description? It would be hard to deny that he doesn't. Trump appears to be a demagogue.
But what about other politicians at all levels who appear to do the same thing? Are there members of the state legislature, city council, are there mayors who bash an opponent to make points and gain power? Are they demagogues too?
So, I think Whitman is right about Trump. He's a demagogue.