Tag Archives: demagoguery

Tom Cotton: demagogue

Tom Cotton this week did the seemingly impossible. He spoke in terms that would embarrass even the most shameful demagogues.

The Arkansas Republican U.S. senator actually said out loud in a Senate floor speech that Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson ā€” a former public defender who is about to be confirmed to a seat on the Supreme Court ā€” would rise to the defense of Nazi war criminals and would want them released rather than being held accountable for their crimes against humanity.

Wow! I am not sure how to respond to that bit of character assassination other than to say that Tom Cotton has provided a shameful example of the depths to which he and other demagogues will stoop to score cheap political points with the far-right-wing base of a once-great political party.

I thought Cottonā€™s behavior during the Senate Judiciary Committeeā€™s confirmation hearing of Judge Jacksonā€™s nomination was loathsome enough. Silly me. He outdid himself by offering that despicable example of demagoguery.


Demagogues sicken me

Our nation’s founders were wise men in that they felt it necessary to protect all forms of political speech, no matter how repulsive it might be to many of our ears.

But … damn! At times I wish we could outlaw demagoguery. I know we cannot. We dare not tinker with the First Amendment’s free speech clause, which I happen to value beyond all measure.

When I hear things, though, from those who claim to be speaking the “truth,” I cringe. Then I grit my teeth. I also might mutter a bad word or three.

I had an exchange recently with a critic of this blog. He continues to perpetuate the notion that political progressives endorse the notion of rioters committing acts of vandalism, not to mention inflicting bodily harm on police officers or those with whom they have disagreements.

I have sought to dispel that notion. Yes, I have heard some congressional progressive, speaking in the wake of police shootings of African Americans and the like, urge protesters to “take to the streets.” Is that an endorsement of violence, of vandalism, of committing felony crimes against human beings? No. It isn’t!

And yes, there are those on the left who resort to demagoguery at times. The current crop of demagogues features those on the right. They say that President Biden favors “open borders”; they contend that the president wants to “take your guns away”; they accuse liberals of “favoring” abortion in all cases.

This is the crap that sends me into orbit.

Do we ban those who promote such idiocy? No, we cannot do that. That Constitution of ours, drafted by those smart guys in the late 18th century, tells us we all have the right to utter nonsensical rhetoric. I accept that.

I just cannot accept what some Americans say while under constitutional protection.


Demagogues are winning the argument

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

One word came to mind when I read this post that showed up on my Facebook news feed today.


Yes, the demagogues among us are winning the argument over these matters. They have persuaded others that to be pro-choice on abortion means you favor abortion; that you favor “open borders” if you’re horrified at the treatment of refugees; that you want to dismantle the Second Amendment if you think legislative solutions to gun violence are an option.

The demagogues are winning this argument because they appeal to people’s lesser instincts, which are easier to bring to the surface than their better instincts.

You know how it goes. Someone who agrees with something you say cannot tell you precisely why they agree with you, or even exactly what it is that earns the high praise. If that someone disagrees with you, why they can recite to you every point you make word by word.

Thus, the demagogues among us are winning the argument.

Man, we gotta find a more effective way to respond to these simpletons.

Entering a dark era

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It pains me to think this, let alone say it out loud.

We have entered a dark, foreboding era where demagoguery and cultism are replacing serious policy discussion.

President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has replaced the most corrupt, inept, unfit, unqualified individual ever to hold the office of U.S. president. And yet the men and women who would follow Donald J. Trump to the gates of hell have, seemingly, done that very thing.

They are standing as obstructionists to a constructive agenda that President Biden seeks to craft for the nation. What’s even more frightening is that many of the Trumpsters are hiding behind the Big Lie that says the November 2020 election was pilfered from their guy. Thus, they demagogue themselves breathless, implying that Joe Biden isn’t a legitimate president.

Biden says he is willing to compromise with Republicans on the grand infrastructure package he has laid out there. It’s big, man. The GOP leadership in Congress has countered with a significantly smaller package. To be fair, it also represent a significant investment. Biden’s plan starts at $2.2 trillion; the GOP plan starts at $568 billion. President Biden says he is willing and ready to talk to Republicans about finding common ground.

Is the Republican congressional leadership listening to him? Not outwardly. They contend that Biden’s plan is a non-starter. They won’t raise taxes on rich people who saw their tax burden lightened in the 2017 GOP-led tax bill that Trump signed into law.

You want demagoguery? How about the nonsense the GOP keeps spouting about Biden’s “open border policy”? The border isn’t open. We are rounding up undocumented immigrants every hour of every day. Our immigration cops are holding them, trying to process them through a broken immigration system … that Joe Biden inherited.

From my perch out here the loyal opposition doesn’t look all that loyal in that it seems reluctant to negotiate in good faith with a president who seeks to employ those legendary legislative skills built over a professional lifetime in public service.

This is a dark time, folks. So help me I thought I saw flashes of light the day the nation turned Donald Trump out of office.

It must have been an oncoming freight train.

Am I giving up on the new president? Nope. Won’t happen. I intend to keep pushing, pitching and promoting a constructive agenda whenever the moment suits me.

At this moment, it suits me just fine.

Donald ramps up his demagoguery

Let’s call it Demagoguery by The Donald.

It was on full display this weekend as Donald Trump spoke to the nation during two Independence Day events.

He said this, among other things: “Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children. Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities.”

How about that? Makes you proud, right? Well, if it does, then you’re as sick as Donald Trump.

Trump’s full-on, all-out assault on our nation’s culture contains so many red flags, I almost don’t know where to begin.

A “merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes …”

I want to visit with that statement for just a moment.

Defaming “our heroes” is nowhere to be found in this current effort. The “heroes” to whom Trump refers are actually traitors to the nation. These are the individuals who sided with the Confederacy that in 1861 seceded from the Union. Their aim was to overthrow the federal government. They went to war against the United States.

Why? Because they wanted to preserve slavery. They wanted to retain the ability to enslave human beings, to treat them as property.

These individuals might be “heroes” to those who endorsed the treason they committed, but not to the rest of us. They are traitors.

Yet these are the individuals Donald Trump wants to salute. These are the treasonous characters Trump wants to salute.

I am having trouble recalling a time in my life when I’ve heard such blatant, bald-faced demagoguery coming from the president of the United States.

There it is. Laid out there for all to see and hear.

This individual is a disgrace.

Get ready for the demagoguery

It didn’t take Donald Trump long to learn a skill we see too often along the campaign trail: the “art” of demagoguery.

He entered political life in the summer of 2015 as a candidate for president of the United States and then told the whole world how Democrats were going to “take your guns away,” how they intend to “get rid of the Second Amendment” to the U.S. Constitution, how they “hate America” and how they are soft on crime, favor “open borders” and want to tax all Americans into the poor house.

The really bad news is that enough Americans living in key Electoral College stronghold states bought into Trump’s demagoguery to push him into the White House.

Let’s all look for much more of the same as this president seeks to win re-election in 2020. The gun argument is most maddening of all.

It’s fascinating to me to note that even with three Democratic presidents serving in the White House dating back to 1977 that there has been no taking away of people’s rights to “keep and bear arms” under the Second Amendment. President Carter didn’t take the guns away; nor did President Clinton; same for President Obama.

Why is that? Well, let’s see, it might have something to do with the check on executive power written into the U.S. Constitution, a document with which the current president has no familiarity. A president cannot change laws without congressional authority. He cannot amend the Constitution without Congress on board, and with three-fourths of the state legislatures on board as well.

And yet Donald Trump is going to campaign for re-election reciting an idiotic, demagogic mantra about how Democratic presidential candidates will seek to take away our rights as citizens.

Memo to The Donald: They can’t do it!

That won’t stop the demagoguery from flowing forth from Trump’s mouth as he tries to frighten Americans into believing the lies built into his campaign rhetoric.

I just want to offer a word of caution: Beware the demagogue who doesn’t offer a shred of understanding of what he is telling you.

Where did this ‘open borders’ nonsense originate?

I have taken a look at Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke’s campaign website. I looked high and low for anything in there that suggests that O’Rourke favors “open borders.” I cannot find it.

Which makes me wonder: Where is this nonsense coming from, other than from the pie holes of demagogues intent on distorting the young man’s record.


You can look for yourself on the link attached directly above this sentence.

Sen. Ted Cruz, O’Rourke’s Republican opponent, accuses O’Rourke of favoring “open borders,” suggesting that he wants to let anyone walk into this country without any kind of documentation. I don’t see anything approaching that kind of policy on Beto’s policy profile.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, another Texas GOP demagogue, accuses Democrats of “favoring open borders.”

Oh, and then we have the Republicans’ Demagogue in Chief, Donald John Trump, saying the same thing on campaign stumps across the country as he seeks to bolster the campaigns of GOP candidates.

O’Rourke and other Democrats keep talking about “reforming immigration policy.” They want a policy that doesn’t result in erecting a wall along our southern border. They want to allow the so-called “Dreamers” — immigrants who were brought here illegally as children by their parents — to remain in the United States, the only country they know; they want to grant the Dreamers a “fast track” to obtaining U.S. citizenship. O’Rourke wants to “modernize the visa system” to enable employers to fill jobs that Americans won’t do.

This is reasonable stuff, man. It doesn’t call for an opening up of our borders. It doesn’t suggest that we allow anyone — including known criminals — free and unfettered access to the United States of America.

This kind of perversion of stated public policy is nothing new. It’s been going on since The Flood. However, I still detest its effectiveness when pitched to a gullible audience.

Let’s de-construct the Sanders ‘revolution’


I hope my friend Jon Talton has a stout spine, as I want to piggyback on an excellent blog he has written about U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign for the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

He poses questions for the man who’s battling Hillary Rodham Clinton for the party nomination. Talton covers a lot of ground, noting that Sanders has lied about Clinton’s alleged statements, oversold his Senate record, has failed to develop any foreign-policy platform.

I want to add another critical point regarding the Sanders candidacy.

Talton compares SandersĀ to the “gadfly” who gripes at city council meetings. I believe he’s worse than that. His one-note chorus about “income inequality” is bordering on demagoguery.

The dictionary defines a demagogue as one who “obtains power by appealing to the emotions and prejudices of the populace.” That term clearly applies to the leading Republican candidate, Donald J. Trump and to Texas U.S. Sen. Rafael Edward Cruz.

For months on end, Sanders has taken his “message” of income inequality around the country. He lays all the blame for whatever ails the nation on the “top 1 percent” who are acquiring virtually all the nation’s wealth at the expense of the other 99 percent.

The way I see it, SandersĀ is appealing to people’s “emotions” and “prejudices.”

What’s more, he isn’t offering substantive proposals for how to attack what he says are the nation’s most critical problems. He recently was pressed about how he would close the “big banks.” Sen. Sanders’ mumbled and bumbled his way through a virtually incomprehensible response.

I’m still waiting to hear how he intends to provide free college education for every student in the nation — without bankrupting the federal Treasury. Is there any surprise, then, that Sanders is wiping Clinton out among college-age voters?

One of the more fascinating arguments Talton makes in his blog deals with the reason why Republicans haven’t yet taken aim at him in the primary. It’s because the GOP wants to run against him in the fall. They are expending all their ammo during this primary seasonĀ trying to take down Clinton.

Suppose lightning strikes and Sanders does win the Democratic nomination … is ol’ Bern ready for the onslaught that is sure to come?

Gosh, and to think I once lamented why only the Republicans were having all the fun during this nominating season. The Democrats have joined them.

I don’t know where to turn.