Demagogues: We Have Them Too…

Greg Merk, Retired USAF

One of the many problems with politicians is their shameless propensity to abandon principle for power. This is most definitely a bi-partisan issue. They have theirs and we have ours. The danger rests in their ability to masquerade as advocates for the people. These pseudo-populists lead Americans down a path decorated with grandiose solutions to the nation’s real or perceived problems. Their “principles” brighten the path like neon lights on the Vegas Strip, but they are only a cab ride to their destination. They are looking for power and power means more of us and less of them. “Principles” are merely window dressing. The election of a lifetime has just been extended to Georgia. Unless President Trump prevails, a Democrat sweep there means full-blown socialist control in Washington – the House, Senate, and White House. And it seems some Republicans are quite comfortable with that. They have given up hope on Trump (if they ever even had any) and they find gridlock simply untenable. Not because gridlock prevents things from getting done in Washington (more often than not a very good thing), or that it would give Republicans power to keep the radical left at bay, but because gridlock shields both sides from blame.

With control split in Washington, Democrats will blame Republicans and Republicans will blame Democrats. In the end, there are neither winners nor losers, just two sides of an argument. Democrats in total control solves that problem and with Republicans eyeing 2022 winning the blame game means winning seats. Winning seats means more of us and less of them which is the key to power. That is why some are completely fine with handing over Georgia, gladly exchanging America’s future for blame-rights that could deliver them more power in the future.Now, some might argue it takes power to advance agendas and I would agree.

Unfortunately, politicians while keenly adept at gaining power are woefully deficient in delivering on principle because principle is much less interesting, aka, much less profitable. They lust for power at the expense of principle which merely languishes as a backdrop without recourse. It is the very essence of demagoguery which Washington proves time and again is an equal opportunity offender. It is the kind of thing that produces Republicans who advocate Georgians not participate in the upcoming run-off election. The cover “principle” is to protest against election fraud, but the hidden agenda is the power they hope will materialize later, and all of it comes at the expense of the American people. It is easy to spot the fakes in government – the self-serving, self-promoting, opportunists.

The problem is too many Americans suffer from cognitive biases. Not all Republicans are created equal. They’re not all good but it takes rising up out of the fray to gain a proper and accurate perspective. Ronald Reagan used to say, “trust but verify.” I prefer, “trust after verify.” Leaders should not have creative license to define themselves. They should be defined by their principles and the actions they take to promote them, and principle and power must be mutually exclusive.

But as long as we have our own demagogues, the nation will sail on like a ship without a rudder in search of the elusive port of power, the privileged enjoying the ride while the rest of us do the rowing

Greg Merk, Maj, USAF Ret. Georgetown University – MSF07

Leave a Reply