Demagoguery or demagogy was first used by ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes to describe Athenian statesman Cleo as a warmonger and a demagogue.
Today, the word applies to politicans who used impassioned rhetoric and propaganda encompassing prejudices,emotions, fears and expectation of the public to attain political power.
American social critic and humorist H.L.Mencken described a demagogue as "one who will preach doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots."
Demagoguery also emphasizes the use of lying and falsehood, skilled demagogues can sway their uncritical listeners to their sides.Classical Greek philosopher Plato who acknowledges that persuasive communication isn't inherently evil, just destructive when abused and demagogues can poison the well of public opinion.He argues that when demagoguery takes the truth out of persuasion, the art exits as well and rhetoric, in order to be art, must be based on the truth.
One of the most successful demagogues in history was Adolf Hitler who truly believed in his own anti-Jewish diatribes that led to the Holocaust, the mass murder of European Jews by Nazi Germany.
Malaysia has a fair share of demagogues and rhetors who can spellbound the audience with their impassioned rhetoric.The most successful demagogue is Pakatan Rakyat's de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, who can deliver excellent histrionics with great credulity.
"Minyak naik harga, harga makanan naik" which is a global phenomenon.Can Pakatan Rakyat really bring down the prices of these items if they form the government.
Bersih rally has Anwar's name written all over it.It's a diversion he needed to divert attention away from his personal problems and at the same time availing Pakatan the lost momentum they suffered in the last few by-elections.Their over-confidence that Sarawak would fall to them in the recent state elections, in spite of all the atrocious mud-slinging against Taib Mahmud, ended in one huge disappointment.
Except for the Chinese community the people of Sarawak have not yet accepted Pakatan.It makes one wonder if the elections were as dirty as alleged by Bersih how in heaven's name DAP managed to win 12 seats and PKR 3 seats?
Fair,free and clean elections is just a ploy, the whole thing stinks of Anwar's brand of politics.It is a roadshow for Anwar,PKR and PAS.Other than some over-zealous politicians in DAP, majority of Chinese prefer the ballot box rather than taking their grievances to the streets.
Obviously, DAP do not feel threatened by Bersih alleged cheating at the polls.Their sterling performance in Sarawak state elections was testimony that if the people support you no amount of cheating can deprive you from winning.DAP support is growing and is even considering to field Malay candidates in Malay areas, which shows that they have no confident in PKR and PAS.There will be insignificant Chinese presence at today's Bersih rally.
Anyway, Najib screws up big time.I am now beginning to wonder whether there are anymore smart people left in his cabinet.He mishandled the Bersih issue.
Today, is D-Day for him and his government.It will have serious repercussions at the next polls.