Nov 082012

Betsy Ross Flag 168x100Many Canadians grew up considering the United States, despite its many faults, as a nation to admire. It was the first nation created solely and explicitly to protect the individual rights of its citizens. It was the first nation to have a written constitution to limit the powers of its government and as a result, was the most prosperous nation this planet has ever seen. That is quickly coming to an end. There is a parasitic rot spreading rapidly throughout the US. It is the rot of envy, of greed, of wanting something for nothing at the expense of your neighbour (neighbor), and it is embodied in the person of Barack Obama, The Great Destroyer.

When Obama was elected for the first time in 2008 he was unknown, even to most Democrats, and as such the American people could have been forgiven their mistake. But having endured four years of crippling debt, massive unemployment, a weakened position amongst the world community and an economy all but in ruins there is no forgiving his reelection. He was reelected with deliberate intent with full knowledge of the damage he can cause.

The United States as many of us had come to know it, a noble country, vibrant and dynamic, an economic powerhouse, a country built on freedom and individual rights, a benevolent super-power, has ceased to exist. It is now just one amongst many countries whose people seek handouts and demand entitlements they have no right to. It has blended into a morass of socialist nations whose governments treat their people with disdain and contempt. It has lost its center, its identity as a unique nation among nations. It is experiencing its decline and the world will be forever poorer for its inevitable fall.

Words like “live free or die”, the motto of the State of New Hampshire, Patrick Henry’s “Give me liberty or give me death”, Francis Scott Key’s “the land of the free and the home of the brave,” are now mere bromides repeated as by rote by adults and school children alike who have no implicit understanding of what those words mean.

It saddens me to think as we approach Remembrance Day, Veteran’s Day in the United States, that the very concept of freedom is quickly being lost. Perhaps one day we can regain our sanity and rekindle the fire that is freedom, individual rights, honesty, integrity, productiveness, creativity, common sense, and maturity.

Perhaps one day we can look back at the envious, greedy, childish society we live in today and shake our heads and ask ourselves how could we ever have sunk to such depths? How could we have let such an idea as freedom escape our grasp?


Nov 082012

Obama_Romney_168x100I don’t claim to understand the American political system. It is quite complex and has actually changed several times over the years, but in general it goes like this:

The United States of America, contrary to what most people believe, (including many Americans) is not a democracy – it is a republic – a federation of states. Each state may be called democratic, if by democratic we mean that it elects its representatives in each state legislature and each state government derives its powers from the consent of the governed.

The US federal government on the other hand is elected by the states themselves and not by the popular vote of the nation as a whole. So the US is a mixture of a democratically elected House of Representatives, a State-appointed Senate, and a President elected by the States with each State having selected its electors by popular vote within each State, the only exceptions being Maine and Nebraska.

It is the Presidential election system of winner-take-all based on a plurality of votes in each state which keeps out smaller parties who would have to demonstrate a very broad appeal to be able to command the ballots of a majority of the electorate. Hence we have two historical parties develop over the years to dominate the system; the Republicans and the Democrats.

Try as they might, smaller parties like Gary Johnson’s Libertarian Party or Jill Stein’s Green Party face a Herculean task of pushing out either the Democrats or Republicans to take first place and get any electors in the Electoral College.

Write-in candidates like a Green Ralph Nader or a quasi-Libertarian Ross Perot didn’t stand a chance with the winner-take-all system of electoral votes. Consider that Ross Perot, in the 1992 election received 18.9% of the popular vote, almost 20 million votes but not one Electoral College vote.

Running for the House of Representatives or the Senate is somewhat different for independents and several have been elected to these Houses but the Presidency will probably be forever beyond the grasp of any third party.

Thus, Americans are left with two parties to dominate the political scene for the foreseeable future.

The differences between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party in the US are much starker than the differences we see here in Canada between the Liberals and the Conservatives. In fact, this election has made me consider the duality of voters in the US and to a similar extent here in Canada.

With a large degree of generalization I would say that these are the two types of voters.

One is a producer; the other a parasite or moocher.

One has personal integrity; the other is willing to sell his soul to the highest bidder.

One asks no one to sacrifice himself to him; the other demands others sacrifice themselves to him.

One has pride in accomplishment; the other takes pride in destruction.

One is peaceful; the other violent.

One is patriotic; the other wishes to destroy the state.

One tells the truth; the other lies.

One is willing to listen to the argument of the other person; the other has no time for debate.

I leave it up to you to decide which of these would vote Republican and which would vote Democrat.

I’m sure there were both liberals and conservatives who placed themselves on the side of the peaceful, productive, truthful, patriotic, creators and thought that their opponents were on the other side. In fact there is some truth to that. There are people from both sides of the aisle who could be said to fit one description or another. There are no doubt Democrats who believe they are genuinely truthful, productive and patriotic as there are Republicans who are truthful, productive and patriotic.

That is the problem the US is having; not necessarily with a two party system, but with having each party represents only one aspect of a complete truth.

The Democrats are considered to be the defenders of individual liberties such as the right of a woman to choose the destiny of her own body, the right of gay people to enter into consensual relationships and marriages (If I can use that term), the right to consume mind altering drugs, the right to behave in ways not conforming to tradition.

The Republicans are considered to be the defender of economic and property rights, the right to self-defense and to bear arms, the right to own and keep property, the right to treat one’s home as one’s castle, the right to create and amass wealth, the right to trade freely with others.

But each Party has its list of faults. The Democrats are seen to be destroyers of business, wealth re distributors, protectionist, squanderers of the public purse, and pacifists. The Republicans are seen to be war mongers who are anti-gay, anti-women, against personal liberties and any aberrant yet peaceful behaviour such as consuming mind-altering drugs.

In general these observations are accurate. And yet while the US has had the Democratic Party control both Houses and the Presidency for the first two years of Obama and the Senate and the Presidency for the last four years, the war on drugs has escalated and they are still in Afghanistan and have active military operations throughout the world. When the Republicans were in power we saw a massive increase in regulations and government spending and debt.

It seems that regardless of which Party achieves power Americans are doomed to see the steady erosion of both personal and economic rights and liberties. I don’t believe anyone can say with absolute certainty that a Romney Presidency would be any better than an Obama Presidency; although personally I believe Obama to be the absolute worst President our neighbour has had the misfortune to endure.

I can say this with certainty. Unless one or both parties begins to adopt the perceived positive policies of their opposing Party the United States is doomed to fail as a nation.

Oct 132011
Crappin on the Flag

Crappin on the FlagIt’s been over three weeks now since the start of the Occupy Wall Street protest.  We can now see a little more clearly the facts surrounding who started the protest and why.  The first few days of the protest reminded me of the scene from the movie Network where crazed TV anchorman Howard Beale, played by Peter Finch, rants at the television audience about the economy and suggests that people yell out their windows that they’re mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.

A pointless gesture to be sure.  The Wall Street protests, however, have become anything but pointless.  The protests were started by American Unions to create a new class struggle in the US, the rich vs. the rest of us; the rich being incorrectly defined as 1%, the rest of us as 99%.  It is worth noting that only about 15% of Americans fall below the arbitrary federal poverty threshold and less than 10% of Americans are unemployed.  Not promising figures to be sure but still a far cry from the 99% claimed by the Occupy Wall Street organizers.

Another fallacy surrounding the protests is that they are grassroots driven and lack any coherent leadership or organization.  Brian Lilly of Sun News Network reported recently that members of the SEIU, the Service Employees International Union are partially responsible for creating the Occupy Wall Street movement and advertised the fact about two months prior to the first event.  Adbusters, an anti-consumerism group, were also instrumental in promoting OWS.  The impetus for Occupy Wall Street is no doubt in direct response to the widely successful and much more popular Tea Party rallies.

The fact that organized labour had a hand in the protests should come as no surprise to anyone who has seen the list of demands coming from the protesters.  Free university tuition, tax the rich, end capitalism, have the government take over the banks, and a guaranteed annual income for all are but some of the demands, all of them coinciding with the demands of organized labour for the past several decades.

These dystopian demands of the protesters are only a superficial reason for the occupation.  The real goal, I believe, is to create a class struggle in the United States, a struggle that President Obama can get behind and champion.  He has already coopted one of the so-called one percent to be a spokesman for the new bourgeoisie, Warren Buffet.  Buffet’s false claims that he pays less tax than his secretary and his call for greater taxes on the wealthy have flamed the hatred of the new proletariat and have given fuel to their envy.

Remember that Buffet, the third richest man in the world, with a net worth of $50 billion only paid himself a salary of $100,000.  His tax bill was $48.1 million taxed at a rate of 19% because it was from dividends and capital gains.  His salary was taxed at the same rate as his employees so his claim that he pays taxes at a lower rate than his employees was a deliberate deception of the facts.   It is this now false belief that the rich pay less in taxes than the rest of us that has given the Occupiers ammunition to fight for greater taxation.  Obama has been quick to take advantage of this falsehood.

The protests have become an excellent case study in politics, the labour movement, left wing ideologies, and by comparison right wing ideology.  The internet has gathered videos, photos and speeches from both the Occupy Wall Street protests and the Tea Party rallies and many pundits have put the two movements side by side to come up with some fascinating dichotomies of beliefs and actions.

The Occupiers have been accurately depicted as young people who despise the rich and the system which allowed them to create more wealth than they have.  They leave behind garbage at their rally sites, they have been seen to be naked, having sex and taking drugs while protesting.  They have broken several laws including trespass laws which has resulted in hundreds of arrests.  They have been seen defecating on the American flag, burning the American flag and destroying the American flag.

The Tea Party on the other hand has been documented to be primarily middle aged folk who love their country, display their flags proudly and respectfully at their rallies, have correctly targeted government as the cause of their frustration, are well behaved, and peaceful and leave their rally sites spotless.

What is common to both sides, the Tea Partiers and the Occupiers, is anger at an America that is a shadow of its former self.  The United States is failing and the blame runs deep; from the creations of Fannie Mae, Ginnie Mae, Freddy Mac, the Federal Reserve System, to crony capitalism, to the edict by all Presidents since Jimmy Carter that bank’s must lend to sub-prime mortgagees.  This is the macroscopic view of blame.

A microscopic view of the blame for what ails America can best be summed up in two letters by two very different college women who wrote letters about their predicaments and posted them online.

One letter reads:

 I’m a college senior with $40K of debt.  There are no jobs in my feild (sic).  My toughest decision now is whether to sell drugs or my body.  I am the 99%.


The other letter reads:

 “I am a college senior, about to graduate completely debt free.  I pay for all of my living expenses by working 30+ hours a week making barely above minimum wage.  I chose a moderately priced, in-0state public university.

I started saving money for school at age 17.  I got decent grades in high school and received 2 scholarships which cover 90% of my tuition.  I currently have a 3.8 GPA.

I live comfortably in a cheap apt., knowing I can’t have everything I want.  I don’t eat out every day, or even once a month.  I have no credit card, new car, iPad or smart phone – and I’m perfectly OK with that.  If I did have debt, I would NOT blame Wall St. or the government for my own bad decisions.

I live below my means to continue saving for the future.  I expect nothing to be handed to my, and will continue to work my ass off for everything I have.

That’s how it’s supposed to work.  I am NOT the 99%, and whether or not you are is YOUR decision.

The difference in the attitudes is striking and acts as a perfect demarcation between what is right with America and what is wrong.  It comes down to individual choices.  The first lady continues to borrow money she knows she can’t repay to remain in college studying for a career she knows she cannot attain.  Whether or not there no jobs in her field as she claims is highly doubtful and belies a deep seated self-doubt.  Her resignation to either sell drugs or her body reveals a self-loathing and destructive nature.

The second lady studies hard, works hard, is confident of her future, and most importantly blames nobody but herself for either her successes or failures.  This used to be the mind-set and attitude of the people of the once great United States.

If every American adopted the attitude of the second college senior there would have been no sub-prime mortgage failure as people who could not afford mortgages would not have taken on such a liability.   People must realize that their problems will not be solved by government, by Wall St., by the banks, by Corporate America or by anyone but themselves.  This is how it should be.

When we deviate from this view and expect others to provide for our education, our health, our welfare, we can only expect a collapse not only of the economy but of something more important….our self-esteem.

(Originally aired on Just Right #221, October 13, 2011.)

Mar 242011

With the declaration of war upon Libya by the United Nations the face of world conflict has changed forever.  War has now become a perpetual means to enforce a New World Order based on altruism.  We have entered a new age of despotism and we are at the center of it.

The proper question Stephen Harper, Barack Obama and the other world leaders who have responded militarily to the UN Security Council resolution of March 17th should have asked themselves was “under what conditions should I, as a leader of a Western Democracy declare war on another sovereign nation?  What could possibly provoke my nation to send troops to their deaths and spend hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars?”  With the experiences of Vietnam in their history the United States answered that question in the form of the Weinberger Doctrine.  US Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger listed the following conditions:

  1. The United States should not commit forces to combat unless the vital national interests of the United States or its allies are involved.
  2. U.S. troops should only be committed wholeheartedly and with the clear intention of winning. Otherwise, troops should not be committed.
  3. U.S. combat troops should be committed only with clearly defined political and military objectives and with the capacity to accomplish those objectives.
  4. The relationship between the objectives and the size and composition of the forces committed should be continually reassessed and adjusted if necessary.
  5. U.S. troops should not be committed to battle without a “reasonable assurance” of the support of U.S. public opinion and Congress.
  6. The commitment of U.S. troops should be considered only as a last resort

To this list I would add a seventh point; that no proper government should go to war unless the men and women who serve are volunteers.

The war in Libya does not satisfy at least five of these seven points neither for the US nor Canada:

  1. The governance of Libya, whether by Muammar Gaddafi or whatever government may arise from his overthrow, is not in our vital national interests.  While Gaddafi has been responsible for several assassinations and terrorist attacks and has been a brutal dictator in Libya responsible for many deaths he has been kept at bay since President Reagan bombed Tripoli during Operation El Dorado Canyon in 1986.
  2. There is no clear intention of winning this war.  The Security Council’s Resolution 1973 calls for a No-Fly Zone to be enforced.  This will most likely not be enough to stop Gaddafi from protecting his strangle-hold on the Libyan population.  The operation is called Odyssey Dawn.  Aptly named since Homer’s Odyssey took 10 years.  This could very well turn out to by the dawn of a very long odyssey for us.
  3. There are no clearly defined political and military objectives.  Italy, France the US and Britain have already been arguing over whether or not taking out Gaddafi with an air strike is part of this mission.
  4. There is no reasonable assurance of the support of public opinion and (in the US) Congress.  In fact Obama went to war without even seeking approval from Congress which he is bound to do by the US Constitution.  There has even been talk of impeachment by some Representatives because of this breach.  (This is not a precedent however, as President Reagan invaded Grenada without the prior approval of Congress).  In Canada Prime Minister Harper unilaterally sent our troops, jets and committed the HMCS Charlottetown to the war without consulting Parliament.  He filled in the leaders of the Opposition on March 18th by phone.
  5. War is a last resort when all other methods have been exhausted.  This is usually a situation which would apply to a situation where our vital national interests are involved.  However since this is not one of these situations there is no need to even consider the last resort of war.

This war was instigated by a call from the Arab League and to a lesser extent the African Union.  Both of these organizations contain many states openly opposed to our political interests and many of the member states could even be considered hostile to us and dangerous to global peace.  While the impetuous for the war has come from these states they are offering virtually no material support for the war.  In fact, now that the war has begun they have even criticized the methods by which it is being carried out.

The war is at the request of the United Nations Security Council.  The UN has a long track record of acting against our best interests and those of the United States.  Any suggestion from them to go to war should be carefully considered for its long-term consequences.

The rationale for this war is not to keep the international peace but to protect the civilian population of Libya.  This is unprecedented.  The civil war in Libya must be decided by the citizens of Libya and in any civil war there are going to be casualties.  For us to pick sides of the Rebels over Gaddafi may backfire if the Rebels turn out to be worse than Gaddafi.  If they become led by the Mullahs and the Muslim Brotherhood we could see many more civilians murdered by the Rebels than by the Libyan Army.  We could then be thought of as being complicit in their deaths.

The change in the mandate of the United Nations from keeping international peace to interfering in civil wars in order to protect civilians has come about largely due to a Canadian.  Former Jean Chrétien Cabinet Minister Lloyd Axworthy while President of the United Nations Security Council in 1999 and 2000 tried to pursued the UN to alter its mandate to include intervention into sovereign states on humanitarian grounds.  The UN found it too controversial so he convinced the Canadian government to fund a study on the consequences of such intervention.  A commission was established called the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty.  One of the panel members was none other than Michael Ignatieff now Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

The Commission attempted to answer the following question posed by UN-Secretary General Kofi Annan:

if humanitarian intervention is, indeed, an unacceptable assault on sovereignty, how should we respond to a Rwanda, to a Srebrenica – to gross and systematic violations of human rights that affect every precept of our common humanity?

The Commission responded by saying that

military action can be legitimate as an anticipatory measure in response to clear evidence of likely large scale killing. Without this possibility of anticipatory action, the international community would be placed in the morally untenable position of being required to wait until genocide begins, before being able to take action to stop it. (emphasis mine)

The Commission refused to define what they meant by large scale.

The United Nations has accepted the findings of the Commission and in doing so has set itself up as a World Police Force, it can now act if it suspects that harm might come to a large number of people.  It has become omniscient by saying that it can now anticipate when genocide will occur as it has done with Libya but will not do for Yemen, Syria, Bahrain or any of the many countries around the world which routinely murder its citizens, China for example.

The United Nations with the aid of Lloyd Axworthy, the Jean Chrétien Government of the day, and Michael Ignatieff has given itself new authority to wage war on sovereign states in anticipation of large scale violations of human rights.  For Canada, forever the lackey of the UN this is not out of character as our governments have acted on the evil philosophy of altruism since Conservative Prime Minister RB Bennett.  But for the United States to fall into this trap spells the death of any hope for freedom in this world.

President Obama has appeared on the world stage at just the right time to both destroy the productive engine of the US through his trillion dollar deficits and relinquish the moral might of that world power by acquiescing to the dictates of an altruist driven United Nations agenda.  On March 18th, 2011 the United States ceased to exist as we used to know it.  A new power has arisen in its stead, the right hand of the United Nations clenched into a fist to intervene in civil disputes throughout the world.

The question we should be asking now is what country will be the next to be bombed by the United Nations for so-called humanitarian transgressions.  The answer may be Israel.

A Reuters article from Tuesday, March 22nd reads as follows:

Investigator says evictions akin to ethnic cleansing

GENEVA — Israel’s expansion of Jewish settlements in east Jerusalem and the eviction of Palestinians from their homes is a form of ethnic cleansing, a UN investigator said on Monday.

U.S. academic Richard Falk was speaking to the UN Human Rights Council as it prepared to pass resolutions condemning Israeli behaviour. The situation “can only be described in its cumulative impact as a form of ethnic cleansing,” Falk declared.

Falk would like the Human Rights Council to ask the International Court of Justice to look at Israeli behaviour in the occupied territories.

The future of the world looks bleak.  Armed with this new rationale for war – the “Responsibility to Protect”, and a weak minded, immoral leader of the United States, Barack Obama we can only expect more interventions in even more countries, causing more cries of imperialism from third world nations, inciting even more acts of terrorism.

The proper action for Canada, the US, Britain, France and Italy to have taken when asked by the Arab League to intervene in Libya should have been that they must settle their own affairs, even though it may mean the death of thousands.  The only way for nations to evolve into capitalistic and democratic nations is for them to get there on their own.  Most often that path is bloody.   We may try to lead by example when we can (although that is getting harder with each passing day) but we cannot impose freedom and democracy upon other nations if their culture is not yet ready for it.  Until they establish freedom themselves the best we can do, the best we can hope for, is to keep their current medieval ideas from polluting the rest of the world.  Unfortunately, with the likes of Obama at the helm of the United States I believe such hope may now be lost.

(Broadcast on Just Right March 24, 2011 show #192.  To listen to the show visit

Sep 022010

General Douglas MacArthur was a leader.  In this case a military leader, but a leader who could command men to their deaths, change the course of history with his words and deeds, and do so with dignity and style.  In his speech to Congress of 1951 his language was not colloquial but formal and romantic in style.  He spoke with directness and it was impossible not to understand exactly the meaning of his words or his intent in saying them.  In the half hour speech to Congress MacArthur was speaking of the horror of war but yet its absolute necessity against potential advisories like Communist China and the Soviet Union.  The enemy was clear and the real in 1951.

Contrast MacArthur’s speech with the speech given by Barack Obama on winning the Democratic Primary in New Hampshire In 2008 and you will notice a marked difference in these two “leaders.”  Obama’s speech is the speech of a man vying to be the Commander in Chief of the American Forces yet also of a politician.  He too could command men to their deaths and change the course of history with his words but not with dignity and style for in his speech his enemy is the American people, not some foreign aggressor.  He spoke not with directness but with evasiveness, with nebulous platitudes and clichés.  It was difficult to understand what he meant for example when he said “we can stop sending our children to schools with corridors of shame and start putting them on a pathway to success.”  What is meant by corridors of shame?  How are you going to put them on a pathway to success? … by paying teachers more?  If the teachers are great why do schools have “corridors of shame?”  What is meant by the “tyranny of oil” when it is oil that got us out of horse and buggies and into cars and trucks and created a modern nation?  How exactly is he going to save our planet from a point of no return?

When Obama speaks he doesn’t speak of clear cut and real enemies to America, like Communist China, or North Korea, or the Jihadists.  He has to make up enemies to rally the crowd.  The enemies are pharmaceutical companies, big business (how big is big is left for you to decide), capitalism, the education system, the health care system.

The chant of “we want change” by the crowd is equally as unintelligible.  Change from what to what? How? When I first heard it I thought it was chilling, like the chants of a mob in Tehran or in 1937 Berlin.

The crowd was giving Obama a blank cheque for change.  What change?  It doesn’t matter just change.  Change for the better?  It doesn’t matter, just change.  Change at any price?  It doesn’t matter, “we want change.”  So when Obama spends a trillion dollars and sends the nation into a prolonged period of increased unemployment (which he has done) and recession (which he has done) the crowd that shouted “we want change” has only itself to thank for the change for the worse.

I’d like to quote from Leonard Peikoff…

“Niccolo Machiavelli was the first influential theoretician of power politics in the modern world, and tutor to a whole string of dictators in the centuries that followed.  Men, in his view, are irrational, passion-ridden, power-seeking creatures; “realism” therefore demands that political leaders dispense with moral idealism and with any ethical considerations, and confine themselves to a cynically amoral manipulation of men “as they are.”  In his famous manual for aspiring rulers, The Prince, Machiavelli outlines the techniques by which a sufficiently ruthless man can use force and lies to gain and keep political power.”

Nazi Politics by Leonard Peikoff – Excerpt from The Ominous Parallels reprinted in The Objectivist May 1969

You might be thinking that Machiavelli’s advice was to men like Hitler and Stalin, which it was.  But his advice is just as religiously followed by men like Barack Obama, George Bush, Stephen Harper, David Cameron, Angela Merkel and every other political leader in the world.  These people are creating enemies were none exist and  destroying western civilization bit by bit with the sole motive of staying in power.

Again from Leonard Peikoff…

“The American system is not a democracy.  It is a constitutional republic.  A democracy, if you attach meaning to terms, is a system of unlimited majority rule… a form of collectivism, which denies individual rights… The American system is a constitutionally limited republic, restricted to the protection of individual rights.  In such a system, majority rule is applicable only to lesser details, such as the selection of certain personnel. But the majority has no say over the basic principles governing the government.  It has no power to ask for or gain the infringement of individual rights.”

Leonard Peikoff, “The Philosophy of Objectivism” lecture series (1976), Lecture 9.

According to Peikoff once you have a system of government in place with a constitution and a clear set of laws and values it only remains to select “certain personnel” to administer the system.  Over the past hundred years, with rare exception such as with war and the expansion of individual rights (for example to blacks and women) there has been no need for any of our so-called leaders to change laws, to increase regulations, to restrict people’s rights, to tax us into submission and servitude to the state.  These are not leaders, they are looters.

When I listen to the speeches of men such as General Douglas MacArthur, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Sir Winston Churchill I get a sense of awe at their passion for being reluctant leaders for positive change in difficult times with clear enemies.

On the other hand when I listen to speeches from Barack Obama, Dalton McGuinty, Stephen Harper, Jack Layton, Michael Ignatieff I get a sense of revulsion.  I know that I am not listening to leaders I am listening to men out to harm me.  I know that every time they open their mouths they are lying to me.  I know that with every word they are planning to rob me of more of my freedom and wealth and are planning on taking the country down a path of destruction towards a police state.

The modern political leader is a demagogue.  To quote the definition – demagoguery is from the ancient greek  (dēmos “people” and agein) “to lead”.  It is a strategy for gaining political power by appealing to the prejudices, emotions, fears and expectations of the public—typically via impassioned rhetoric and propaganda.

Unless the issue up for discussion is war – when you hear of someone calling themselves a “leader” or being called a “leader” by others you better run for hills because in this day and age what you are going to get instead of a leader is a demagogue.

(Originally broadcast on Just Right September 2, 2010.  To download the show visit //