demagogue

a leader who obtains power by means of impassioned appeals to the emotions and prejudices of the populace


This word appears in a delightful passage of Chronicles, the Bob Dylan memoir: “I wanted to set fire to these people. These gate-crashers, spooks, trespassers, demagogues were all disrupting my home life and the fact that I was not to piss them off or they could press charges really didn’t appeal to me.”

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One Response to demagogue

  1. Dad says:

    I guess that Hitler was the most outstanding example of a demagogue in my lifetime, but that only starts a long list, unfortunately. Sad to say, today’s outstanding examples seem to be certain religious and political figures who spout all of the self-righteous rhetoric of the right wing to their followers, who seem to lap it up. Are their followers as subject to criticism as the demagogues?

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