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  • Demagogue definition is - a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power. How to use demagogue in a sentence.
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While I agree that Bill O'Reilly fits the definition of a demagogue, his name is the only name mentioned in the versions that reference his 'trademark' phrase. I feel that naming only one example of a demagogue is potentially POV. A reader should be left to decide for himself whether any particular figure is, in fact, a demagogue; the article provides more than enough.

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< Talk:Demagogue

Demagogue Pdf Free Download Windows 10

This is an archive of past discussions. Do not edit the contents of this page. If you wish to start a new discussion or revive an old one, please do so on the current talk page.
Archive 1Archive 2Archive 3Archive 4Archive 5

Why is any mention of President Trump considered POV?

The president of the United States clearly fits the definition of a demagogue. The fact his name is not mentioned one bit in this article seems to be more of a POV issue than including him in the article. Hitler and McCarthy are included as modern examples. There is not any kind of question that Trump is a demagogue. Including him in the article does NOT mean putting him on a list of 'evil people'. People can decide for themselves on 'good vs evil'. This article contains modern examples of people who fit a concrete definition of demagogue. In an era of 'post-truth politics' people will easily see a lack of inclusion of Trump in this article as suggesting that he is not a demagogue. This article contains a list of demagogues. Demagogues have a concrete definition. Trump fits the definition. What is the problem? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ain515 (talk • contribs) 02:05, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

This has been discussed to death and there was a vote on it (see above). I agree that Trump fits the definition and for each of attributes of the demagogue (attacking the press etc.) there are numerous examples in Trumps own words. However, the Wikipedians have debated and Trump is out. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:42, 15 November 2018 (UTC)

Is it ironic that Trump is a demagogue in and of the fact that the Wikipedians are afraid to label him as such? Besides manipulating fears and emotions, this is objectively a suppression of reason, even if we can discuss it in our little side branch here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:31, 26 November 2018 (UTC)

No it is not 'ironic'. Misuse of 'ironic' is however a shibboleth case for the thing that Trump epitomizes and represents though, i.e. covefe, the smocking gun, the failure of the culture of the largest Western nation state to produce an intellectually capable citizenry, etc. Just shoddy, piss poor thinking and lots of it. At some level you just have to accept this. Wiki does a lot, but it's not reasonable to expect it to be perfect, or even decent and good in every one of its nearly 6 million articles, just as there is no really large set of human beings that are uniformly good, smart, whatever positive thing we are looking for. There are bad things, even in the midst of the otherwise good. Recognize, deal, and move on. Wiki being unable to label Trump a demagogue doesn't stop any of its editors or readers from doing so. When he has been driven from office and condemned by history, then things will flatten out here, but for now this is likely TRTD for this population, consistent anyway. (talk) 18:48, 17 December 2018 (UTC)
Actually, it is ironic. The detailed correction of the meaning of ironic was unwarranted, for identified irony correctly. However, I do understand why one would question it, as the word seems to used incorrectly more than 50% of the time. (On an unrelated note, I hope that we are able to make a brief mention of Trump at some point after he vacates office. Only a brief one, in the style of the brief mention of Stanisław Tymiński. POV simply doesn't apply when multiple academics have provided detailed explanations as to Trump's status as a demogogue.) Jtrnp (talk) 22:11, 20 December 2018 (UTC)

I just reviewed the article here. It spins a reality, as we often do here that is an advance on the real world, in which there is a massive core concept corresponding to what the article treats in passing as 'situational irony'. The text that I naysaid is not coherent to me so I can't evaluate against that standard. The sentence in question seems to be saying something about the logic proposition 'Trump is a demagogue' and 'wikipedians are afraid to label him as such' but I can't see how that can be cast as being near to the center of mass of the concept of peripeteiaic reversal. In the irony studies article though, you may be able to find a basis for such a casting. It may be also be that I have passed cynicism as far as expecting wiki to be a defender of absolute or difficult truth, which if it were , the suppression would be ironic. (talk) 04:33, 22 December 2018 (UTC)

'Trump is a demagogue' and 'wikipedians are afraid to label him as such' <- Unwitting example of demagoguery. giggle (talk) 00:20, 27 January 2019 (UTC)

Donald Trump has fit most of the definition of a demagogue -- but he has since sold out to his élite class of plutocrats, as shown in his tax legislation and his extensive relaxation of regulation. He may be inimical to what he perceives as the intellectual élite for not accepting his claim that advanced education and learning somehow corrupts people. But note well that almost everything that the article says about demagogues defames them. That is not to say that there ever was, is, or ever will be a benign demagogue. Like him or loathe him, his assessment in history can still change. It is possible that he could change his ways and become a politician more in line with the norms of the American political tradition.

It is best that we wait until Donald Trump is no longer active in American political life before people editing Wikipedia identify him as a demagogue or show him as an example. It is entirely possible that Americans will completely reject this man and his style of leadership. It is also possible at this time that he will either change his ways or succeed in his agenda.

So wait a few years before labeling Donald Trump as a demagogue. Maybe the political order will fully repudiate his behavior and agenda. Maybe after about ten years, K-12 civics texts will be rewritten to show that voting for someone like Trump invites political disaster. But this will require that Trump be seen as a political disaster with his well-documented demagoguery as a cause. Such has yet to happen, so let us not get ahead of ourselves. Anything else violates NPOV.Pbrower2a (talk) 20:21, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

@Pbrower2a: Your analysis is thoughtful, but I'm afraid only a little of it addresses the concerns of Wikipedia-editing. Per WP:BALASP, the fact that Trump fits the definition of a demagogue doesn't mean we should include him. Whether Trump sold out to Plutocrats, whether Americans reject his style of leadership, etc.—not relevant. All that matters on a Wikipedia page is summarizing the authoritative literature on the subject. Please see above, both the section of sources specifically about Donald Trump and Talk:Demagogue#Adding_Trump_to_list_of_famous_demagogues. The relevant part: I have repeatedly seen in the sources mention of benign demagogues. The article should mention them, too. Unfortunately, the sources I've found have essentially zero examples. The to-do list at the top of this page has an item 'Benevolent demagogues'. I have a few notes somewhere if you think you can do something with them. (My time available for editing is pretty limited lately.) —Ben Kovitz (talk) 11:24, 7 May 2019 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not prophecy. It cannot predict human behavior either at the personal level or at the mass level. The methods such as astrology that purport to give rigid predictions of biographical events are not within the realm of Wikipedia. What it can predict is such events as eclipses that have no human agency behind them. Formal schedules are assumed to be right (barring something impossible such as a projection of someone living to age 125) -- until something disrupts a rigid norm (think of regular elections in the United States. We can reasonably assume that there will be a Presidential election in 2052 until something dramatically changes the pattern). We can all find analogies for most current persons of high profile in other profiles, and we can all find analogies for historical events as people influence them. Applying such is not prophecy, but it is valid practice for responding to certain behaviors. That is still prediction, and the event is the story and the prediction is not.

Most of us have some bias. I distrust any demagogue because of the track record. Scapegoating rarely offers a solution to a core problem. Someone who makes contradictory promises, let us say promising cheap labor to industrialists and high wages to workers, will invariably disappoint either industrialists or workers, if not both. (It is possible to raise wages to high nominal amounts yet reduce them to pittances, as with hyperinflation, but that itself is usually a raw deal for most people). OK, so no editor is completely without bias unless disinterested. Disinterest in American politics is nearly impossible for anyone who cares about the consequences of elections and the decisions of elected officials.

Benevolent demagogues? Even Adolf Hitler thought that he was serving Humanity through the Holocaust. Those demagogues who make contradictory promises may fail to recognize the failure inherent in contradiction. Can we know whether a demagogue is simply a well-meaning fool or a cynical liar, or is there some gradation? Many criminals have done some supposed good with their take from robberies, drug trafficking, and prostitution rings. In fiction -- think of Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment.

I concur -- it is far too early to decide that Donald Trump is a demagogue. He will be identifiable as a demagogue only when a broad spectrum of Americans recognize him as a demagogue. A significant part of the American public still believes in him. Wait until he is dead, or until his Party repudiates him. Calling Trump a demagogue is not NPOV.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Pbrower2a (talk • contribs) 14:59, May 7, 2019 (UTC)

Strongly disagree with the preceding assertion that a public majority is required for the demagogue label. Only actual behaviour and comments define demagoguery, we have a simple and clear dictionary definition to work with, and the NPOV guidelines state 'agreeing is not truth'. Any political timidity towards applying the label is unencyclopedic at best, or an example of omission bias at worst. An NPOV dispute could be raised simply due to omission of such an obvious contemporary example. WinstonSmith01984 (talk) 13:03, 24 February 2020 (UTC)

Demagogy: main term

The lemma is named Demagogue. Analysing a subject as complet ad possible is fundamental for serious work. Why is the name of the lemma not Demagogy? This term is neutral. A person can be one moment speaking serious, or sad or heappy or critical and in an othet moment or situation the same person can speak demagogical. If we want be serious, we dont give the person a new name or title like demagogue. To analyse the behaviour accurat is serious. - Im for chsnging the title of the article to Demagogy. -- (talk) 20:00, 29 October 2019 (UTC)

Long ago, the article was titled 'Demagogy'. We renamed it in 2012 for the reasons explained here. —Ben Kovitz (talk) 20:54, 28 February 2020 (UTC)

Hitler: Lower Class Support?

The section on Hitler claims Even before the putsch, Hitler had rewritten the Nazi party's platform to consciously target the lower classes of Germany, appealing to their resentment of wealthier classes and calling for German unity and increased central power.

I believe this to be incorrect, and the footnote to Shirer's book appears even relevant to the point only by the sloppiest of thinking.

The sentence leaves it unclear who or what was 'consciously' targeting anything. I very much doubt that Hitler thought of himself as 'lower class,' and I doubt that he aimed for the support of any but true and honest patriots like himself. The support he and the Nazi party received is best described, imho, as déclassé, the word crafted for the case of the 1950s 'populist' French politician Pierre Poujade.

In the German case during the Depression, when the Nazis made their sudden electoral breakthrough, it describes not the lower proletariat but the well-paid union workers and tradesmen plus the small business people and others suddenly thrust into poverty by the economic disaster.

Hitler also capitalized upon resentment at the to my mind insane Versailles Treaty -- but historical analysis was hardly an occupation of 'the lower classes.' From a social class point of view, Hitler's and Mein Kampf's hatred for Versailles promised rearmaments. That meant profit for the rich and jobs for the unionized, again not the interests of the poor.

Notes(Googling 'Social class support for Hitler'.):

The Sociology of the NSDAP: The Question of Working-Class › stable strongest support from the middle class, which loomed large in the ... the Nazi seizure of power, the NSDAP's central party organization produced a set of D Muhlberger - ‎1980

A MIXED FOLLOWING - The New York › 1982/06/20 › books › a-mixed-following...Jun 20, 1982 - ... a movement of protest against modern mass society and which holds that Hitler received the bulk of his support from the lower middle class.

Reasons for the growth in support of the Nazi Party - Hitler into › bitesize › guides › revisionLearn about and revise how Hitler got into power between 1929 and 1934 with ... rural areas: Nazi support was particularly strong amongst (middle class, rural...)

David Lloyd-Jones (talk) 12:48, 21 May 2020 (UTC)

Trump suggestion

'A number of political commentators have labelled current US president Donald Trump a demagogue however many American conservatives including a majority of Trump's own political supporters refute this.'

A short simple addition to acknowledge the claims of demagogery made against Trump and also the fact said claims are disputed.2A02:C7D:86B:4A00:5127:52E0:E010:9B3B (talk) 13:19, 20 December 2019 (UTC)

Somebody here doesn't seem to know what the word 'refute' means.
re·fute /rəˈfyo͞ot/ prove (a statement or theory) to be wrong or false; disprove.
'these claims have not been convincingly refuted'
The word they're looking for may be 'deny' or 'contradict.' Far from being refuted, I would think the 'claim' is merely an observation, so obvious as not to be worth discussion.
David Lloyd-Jones (talk) 13:01, 21 May 2020 (UTC)

Support this edit. NPOV is preserved if counter-claims included. WinstonSmith01984 (talk) 13:18, 24 February 2020 (UTC)

We would need to cite good sources for this. I'm not aware of any controversy about whether Trump is a demagogue. Also, 'A number of political commentators have labeled…' is not very salient to the topic. The only question is what, if any, information about Trump we should summarize from the literature to shed light on demagogues, following WP:BALASPS. By the way, all we do on Wikipedia is summarize authoritative literature; please see WP:V. To find more information to add to this article, please read the literature on demagogues. Some good sources specifically about Trump are even listed on this talk page. If you read those and find some information that clearly adds substance to the article, you might even move the consensus among editors, which currently favors omitting Trump. —Ben Kovitz (talk) 20:43, 28 February 2020 (UTC)

Demagogue for President: The Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump Hardcover – July 9, 2020 by Jennifer Mercieca (Author) - How about now? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:28, 14 May 2020 (UTC)

Encyclopedic tone

This article seems to have an unencyclopaedic tone. In particular, the second paragraph of the lead is entirely a quote (violating WP:LONGQUOTE, I would think). In addition, the lead quotes to 'The enduring character of demagogues' (which seems like an unwieldy section title to me) and 'Demagogues in power' seem somewhat POV. There are also lots of less obvious, more minor instances, e.g. 'They yielded to Long—and became part of his ever-expanding machine.' Eeidt (talk) 11:38, 17 June 2020 (UTC)

About the one-paragraph quotation from Luthin, previous discussion (here) revealed that people were taking 'demagogue' as a much more precise concept than it is. The quotation succinctly puts the concept into context—better, IMO, than anything else I've found in the literature. That quotation is probably the most famous definition of demagogues, it's concise, I don't think a summary of it could do it justice, and it is itself a great summary of the article (which is what the lead is supposed to do), so I don't think it violates WP:LONGQUOTE. —Ben Kovitz (talk) 21:25, 13 August 2020 (UTC)

Concur: bad essay, aristocratic POV pushing.

Plus 'Fugelmen' and worse.

Shall you trim it, @Eeidt ?

RfC on Donald Trump inclusion

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
No change. The original (May 2017) RfC on including Trump closed with a decision not to include because he was not an historical example of a demagogue. And the decision was well founded for WP:POLICY reasons (such as BLP, POV, NOTNEWS, and reasons which I, myself, listed). So this RfC is flawed because it does not ask whether we should overturn the consensus per Consensus Can Change. Despite this skew from the original question we do not have consensus to include Trump as an example of a demagogue, much less an historical example. Additionally, the question may become moot in a couple of weeks. Some 140+ million Americans will soon decide whether they've been Trumped. At that time we will see if Mr. Trump gracefully makes his exit in a non-demagogic manner, or if he... . Once we get a bit more history under our belts we can revisit the question. – S. Rich (talk) 04:35, 24 October 2020 (UTC)

In February of 2019 there was an Rfc as to whether Trump should be listed as an example of a demagogue. No consensus was reached. Reliable mainstream sources have published a plethora of articles/books in respect to Trump/demagoguery since that Rfc. Consequently, I present you now with one question: should this article include opinions and/or analysis which assert that Donald Trump has characteristics of a demagogue, is a demagogue, or otherwise analyzes Trump through the lens of demagoguery?DonkeyPunchResin (talk) 20:36, 16 July 2020 (UTC)


  • Support - I was surprised he wasn’t already listed, and even more so when I started reading some of the survey opinions here. The level of controversy and debate regarding the status of Trump as a demagogue deserves a mention. I would propose as a minimum an entry regarding the controversy of whether or not to include Trump in the list on Wikipedia. That way it is not a statement of opinion on his status as a demagogue, but rather a statement of the fact that there is debate amongst wiki editors regarding his inclusion in the list —> you can even link to this page as a reference. If you can argue against that being a statement of demonstrable fact then I really worry about the future of Wikipedia.
  • Support - Per WP:BLPPUBLIC - “In the case of public figures, there will be a multitude of reliable published sources, and BLPs should simply document what these sources say. If an allegation or incident is noteworthy, relevant, and well documented, it belongs in the article—even if it is negative and the subject dislikes all mention of it. If you cannot find multiple reliable third-party sources documenting the allegation or incident, leave it out.“ There are a plethora of publications from mainstream reliable sources specifically written about Trump and demagoguery (see discussion section below). Noteworthy is easily met. Clearly relevant - If all those top tier sources find it important to get the analyze Trump under a demagogue lens who are we to argue. Clearly well documented. See sources in discussion section.
I would proffer that the reasons for opposition given at the last Rfc were rather bizarre, illogical, and contrary to wiki policy. Also, there are an abundance of new reliable mainstream sources since the last Rfc weighing heavily in favor of inclusion. Finally, common sense compels inclusion. The absence of a Trump on this page is downright bizarre. It’s why I’m doing this after stumbling on this page the other day. Basically every major source on the internet except Wikipedia has an article (or more) specifically on Trump/demagoguery. Trumo isn’t even mentioned once in this article. An internet search for anything demagogue related and it’s almost impossible to not come across Trump at every link. For the last four years when the word “demagogue” is used there’s a ~97% chance it involves Trump. Trump being the person most associated with demagoguery, and probably the reason many of us even know the definition. Start Making Demagogue Trump ... or don’t ... but your opinion is appreciated. DonkeyPunchResin (talk) 11:07, 17 July 2020

EDIT - New book which goes through a history of demagogues from McCarthy to Trump which specifically looks at connections between McCarthy and Trump. These books and articles just keep coming. It looks more and more bizarre Trump isn’t mentioned in this article. Further, the NPOV violation due to Trump protectionism becomes all the more glaring. (talk) 11:43, 28 July 2020 (UTC)

Additional Comment Anything relating to ‘is demagogue’ vs ‘is not demagogue’ speaks to WP:WEIGHT, WP:PROPORTION ... WP:NPOV generally. Before we get to that step, and the crux of this RFC, is whether opinions on the issue even warrant inclusion. Per WP:BLPPUBLIC - “In the case of public figures, there will be a multitude of reliable published sources, and BLPs should simply document what these sources say. If an allegation or incident is noteworthy, relevant, and well documented, it belongs in the article—even if it is negative and the subject dislikes all mention of it. If you cannot find multiple reliable third-party sources documenting the allegation or incident, leave it out.“ I have not heard one argument that explains how this policy does not apply. Never in my rather prolific 15+ year Wikipedia career (I lost my password to a prior account) have I ever seen a consensus building exercise that was so entirely based on arbitrary subjective determinations void of any basis in wiki policy, lazy misrepresentations of wiki policy proffered to justify subjective determinations that we must avoid even the remote possibility that Wikipedia could be misconstrued as editorializing (rather insulting to the intelligence of Wikipedia users who I’d argue likely know the definition of encyclopedia and know the importance of checking references in Wikipedia articles), and sophomoric arguments scarcely masquerading as earnest POV concerns that reveal themselves as NPOV violations under the slightest scrutiny. Adding to my perturbation - in the last RFC similarly unprincipled reasons were asserted opposing inclusion. Yet there was enough support to be closed as no consensus. And now that there are abundantly more in depth reliable sources there is almost universal opposition. A disconcerting trend. Nearly anyone who comes across this article will likely be rather bewildered at the glaring absence of a single mention Trump. I sure was. And commentors expressed as much at the last RFC as well. In fact I would guarantee this page has seen a massive uptick in views since Trump became president. Surely many come here for more information on the topic as the term has become a lexiconal mainstay. I adore Wikipedia and everything it stands for. What a beautiful project. I am must unsettled and distressed this starry-eyed, visionary experiment turned bastion of knowledge appears to be falling under the spell of subjectivism. I don’t mean to insult anyone who took part in this RFC (I know it sounds like it - sorry) and I sincerely appreciate all commenters. But I would be remiss if I didn’t express my misgivings. DonkeyPunchResin (talk) 21:42, 29 July 2020 (UTC)

  • Oppose, insofar as the nominator proposes using Trump not as an example of someone who is sometimes described as a 'demagogue', but as an example of a demagogue. This is not because I personally disagree with the characterization, but because I think that this would substitute the opinion of Wikipedians for the judgment of history, or of scholarly sources. Sure, there are a lot of sources calling him a demagogue. And a lot more that don't—perhaps irrespective of whether the writers consider him one, but because there's nothing to be gained by arguing whether or not he qualifies. And if we could go back in history to see which politicians or leaders of movements have been called 'demagogues' since the time of McCarthy, no doubt we'd see a number of familiar names other than Trump's, some of which might seem quite surprising today: I'm thinking of Martin Luther King, Jr., or Ronald Reagan, or Margaret Thatcher, or Newt Gingrich. As Wikipedians, our job is to report what reliable sources describe as fact, and while it's a fact that many people would call Trump a demagogue, that doesn't make it a fact that he is one. That's a current political controversy—and not really provable. If we were to use him as a modern example—alongside Hitler and McCarthy—it would strike readers as Wikipedia taking a strong political stance on current issues. I don't think that's a good idea. P Aculeius (talk) 14:19, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
Comment should’ve worded that better. Of course it would be included as the opinions and analysis of others. I took it for granted it was understood that an encyclopedia must not have an opinion of its own or editorialize. By NOT including these opinions/analysis Wikipedians are substituting their judgment for the opinions and/or analysis of nearly every mainstream English speaking reliable source. There are a deluge of English speaking reliable sources that felt it was important to publish detailed, in-depth analysis and/or opinions regarding the relationship between Trump and demagoguery. By not including them it appears that Wikipedia is biased in favor of Trump by ignoring policy requiring an issue be included in order that Trump not be portrayed in a negative light. And where is this Wikipedia policy that says certain material must be excluded for over five years and only until the ever so ambiguous “history” has passed can the material be included? This issue clearly falls within WP:BLPPUBLIC. By not including this issue it could appear that Wikipedia is willing to violate its own policies in order to exclude material that may portray him in a negative light.
Can you provide me with the sources that say that Trump is not a demagogue? I found a few reliable sources that took that position. That’s incredible if you found more publications that opine Trump is not a demagogue. It doesn’t change a thing though. It doesn’t change a thing though. Simply apply WP:BALANCE and add the material proportionally to its prominence in reliable sources. Well ... actually that would make it all the more clear that this issue needs to be included. Ignoring policy and leaving out the analysis and opinions, the majority of which propound that Trump is not this negative thing, would violate NPOV and could be seen as biased against the opinion that Trump isn’t this negative thing. Or are you asserting that because some sources don’t discuss Trump through the lens of demagoguery that this issue should be left out of the article. Something has to be mentioned by most reliable sources to be included in Wikipedia? Ok, if you want to start deleting every single article from the letter A and I’ll do the same working backwards from the letter Z. See you around R. Every major political figure has probably been labeled or analyzed as a demagogue before. But none of the figures you named, nor anyone else, has had detailed, in depth analysis and/or opinions published about them by nearly every major reliable source and many more in the way that Trump has. They’re not in the same ballpark. Not in the same universe. Like a barely audible whisper vs a symphony.
An assertion that Trump is or is not a demagogue is obviously not a fact and I can’t really see someone withe a grasp of language thinking it was anything but an opinion. No one who knows the definition of fact and opinion would think a statement that a President is good or bad or a big jerk or a nice guy is a fact. Sure, part of editing Wikipedia is using facts from reliable sources and adding them to articles. But part of editing at Wikipedia is adding opinions from reliable sources. Every movie or album of some renown has a critical reaction section. Every major politician, alive or dead, has a section titled legacy or historical impact or something similar which includes. The opinions of Wikipedia editors must not be included, only opinions from reliable sources. I assumed this was taken for granted. And once again, there are many controversies, opinions, critiques and otherwise that are not provable but might be encyclopedic. Wikipedia is obviously far from a variety of factual statements. And if we DON’T include a noteworthy issue that has received in-depth coverage by nearly every major English speaking reliable source over a period of five years and WP:BLPPUBLIC clearly mandates inclusion it very much looks like Wikipedia is biased in favor of Trump. Other editors have noted this as well. Look at the last Rfc. When I stumbled across this page a few days ago when I came across this page I thought it was odd that Trump didn’t have a section as over the last four years I’ve read or heard Trump mentioned in relation to Demagoguery a great deal and these generally would have been from mainstream reliable sources. When I realized Trump wasn’t even mentioned I was fairly bewildered and decided to look into it. That’s why I’m even doing this. And I understand you don’t think inclusion is a good idea. But can you at least point to a wiki policy as to why we should ignore WP:BLPPUBLIC and exclude this issue? DonkeyPunchResin (talk) 06:25, 18 July 2020 (UTC)
Technically it would be okay to say that someone has been called a 'demagogue', but it wouldn't be okay to single out just one person, particularly the current president, because that would appear to be a political statement on the part of Wikipedia. If you were to include a paragraph or short section on other persons who have been described as 'demagogues' in modern times, i.e. since 1900, or since World War II, that might provide reasonable context—so long as there's scholarly support for each person included, including caveats (for example, mentioning people who would generally not be considered demagogues, but who may have been so called by their political opponents, such as civil rights leaders being accused of demagoguery by far-right sources, if there's any documentation to support this, which I think there would be). And whatever your opinion of Trump, he shouldn't take up a disproportionately large amount of such a section—a sentence or two should be enough. Bear in mind this isn't about whether there are more 'pro' or 'con' demagogue sources; much of what's said is rhetorical, not political theory involving the technical definition of demagogy. But to the extent that the documentation is out there, the claim can go here, provided it's in context, and doesn't appear to reflect Wikipedia's stance on whether or not somebody is a demagogue. P Aculeius (talk) 13:37, 18 July 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose Two reasons. 1) this article has had a strong tradition of not listing ANY living people as demagogues. I support that tradition. Listing living people would open the floodgates to constant edit warring. Partisan POV pushing would come into play, and BLP violations would be inevitable. IMO only the judgment of history can decide whether a person was a demagogue. 2) I have described Trump as a wannabe demagogue. He meets some of the described attributes, he admires strongmen, he would like to be one - but the country's rule-of-law limitations on his power have prevented him from becoming one in actuality. -- MelanieN (talk) 14:29, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
Dispute: It does not take much analytic skill to recognize this idea ('but the country's rule-of-law limitations on his power have prevented him from becoming one in actuality.') as complete nonsense and bogus. By this notion, we need to remove McCarthy from the article just as well, because as a senator he had even more limited power than a president. By this notion, no one in the U.S. could ever be considered a demagogue. The scholarly established criteria of demagoguery, which are well documented in this article, do not specify a certain level of power a candidate must possess. How absurd this notion is. Also, edit warring happens for all kinds of reasons and topics, fiercely for even minor or obscure topics, and the notion that political polarization is special is just as absurd as the previous argument. Kbrose (talk) 16:50, 12 August 2020 (UTC)
    • Comment 1) Is there a policy that articles should abide by a “strong tradition” over wiki policy. Following traditional norms frequently inhibits progress and often begets lazy, stagnant reasoning. And what benefit is there in breaking rules to keep with tradition only for traditions sake? Plus there is a living person already discussed in the article. 2) Are you saying we shouldn’t include the issue because of your opinion that Trump is not quite a demagogue over an overwhelming amount of mainstream reliable sources? Your personal opinion that you don’t believe he currently quite fits as a demagogue and therefore the ubiquitous in depths analysis/opinions from mainstream major reliable sources shouldn’t be included out of a concern that it will look like Wikipedia editors are expressing their opinion. So because of your opinion that he isn’t quite a demagogue and that tradition should be followed we should ignore the overwhelming reliable sources on the issue because we shouldn’t inject our opinion in wiki articles. I’m not even saying that the article should say commenters refer to him as a demagogue. But the ubiquity of the articles clearly mandates inclusion and they should be examined and summarized proportionally when adding to the article per WP:BALANCE. DonkeyPunchResin (talk) 02:45, 19 July 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose. It's a matter of opinion, and WP should not traffic in opinion. 'There is a difference between demagogues and demagogic behavior,' said Michael Signer, an author and lawyer who has made a 15-year study of political demagogues and wrote a book: 'Demagogue: The Fight to Save Democracy from Its Worst Enemies' on the topic. 'Everything he has been doing has been at the level of him benefiting from controversy. There's a propagandistic element to it. He knows how to outrage people for his own benefit, and he's done that his whole career,' he said. BeenAroundAWhile (talk) 20:31, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
In that very book, Michael Signer explains that whether someone is a demagogue or not is not a matter of of opinion. The explanation is summarized in our article, currently under 'History and definition of the word'. —Ben Kovitz (talk) 19:27, 14 August 2020 (UTC)
  • No: It seems premature to include Trump. If he is included, then I believe almost every far-right politician in the world would fit the definition of demagogue. ImTheIP (talk) 10:15, 18 July 2020 (UTC)
So, you are equating far-right politics with demagoguery. There have been far-left demagogues as well, I would argue. But to stay with the assumption, in the period from Hitler to McCarthy to Trump the world has seen many far-right (or other persuasions) personae, who may have well qualified for the distinction here; yet, there does not appear to be a prevalent urge to include them in this article. Indeed, it is only the outstanding level of their behavior and its effect on nationwide or even worldwide opinion, policy and outcomes, and their domination of national or international discourse, that qualifies them for inclusion here, I would argue. It is inconceivable that Trump could not qualify on the grounds of egregiousness. He may not be the master that McCarthy was, who may well qualify as one of Trump's role models or teachers (via Cohn), but McCarthy did not reach the level of power of the presidency. It does not even require expert analyses to come to the conclusion, just an inquisitive analytical mind, and perhaps even only an avid reader of the news, to arrive at that conclusion. As noted though, there is no shortage of even non-political expert witness testimony to that effect. The only aspect that seems to stand in the way is the notion that living persons should not be listed as demagogues in Wikipedia. I don't know where this notion is cemented. Wikipedia articles cite living persons in many articles, and probably just as many cite 'negative' behavior as opposed to 'good' characteristics. Indeed, many articles make a point of listing public investigations into person's actions or character, even public conspiracy theories about them. Gossip and controversy seem to be a steady attraction for some to add to people or company articles. Yet, there does not appear to be a policy in place that forbid any derogatory statements or associations about living persons. Yes, in this case, they have been raised from the beginning of the Trump era. Of course it is understandable that inclusion would raise the ire of a large section of the current population, just as it would have if Wikipedia had existed in 1950s' America. Perhaps this is the real unspoken reason for opposition to inclusion at this time. It appears inconceivable that Trump would not be included when public opinion has calmed and no one wants to associate publicly with support of this administration anymore? That is what inevitably happens in post-demagogue societies. Will then be the proper time for inclusion? Or has the speed of communication, technological advance, social media, etc., shattered that aspect of protection as it has many other norms in modern society? Perhaps extra-ordinary circumstances call for similar levels of consideration in this debate. Kbrose (talk) 15:53, 18 July 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per MelanieN. — Amakuru (talk) 16:30, 18 July 2020 (UTC)

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  • Oppose per MelanieN. Adding contemporary political figures as examples to articles on concepts with pejorative or laudatory implications is a bad idea. --RaiderAspect (talk) 03:25, 19 July 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per different points raised in above discussions. Idealigic (talk) 14:35, 20 July 2020 (UTC)
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  • Strongly Support I have read all the arguments made so far (and I would like to emphasize that I appreciate the quality of them all) and I will, in what follows, take them into consideration.
First things first though: are there WP:RS describing Trump as engaging in demagoguery or outright calling him a demagogue? It seems to me there are. With all due respect, the fact that one can find WP:RS NOT calling him a demagogue does not equate to having WP:RS stating that he is NOT a demagogue. Therefore, going by the sources presented, I see no issue.
P Aculeius's argument for example, that 'our job is to report what reliable sources describe as fact, and while it's a fact that many people would call Trump a demagogue, that doesn't make it a fact that he is one.' doesn't make sense. Is he perceived, called, referred to as a demagogue by WP:RS? Then, even if only for Wikipedia editors' perspective, he IS a demagogue... Moreover, please see the source provided below, which specifically refers to Trump as a demagogue. It is not up to us to determine if Trump is or is not a demagogue, just to accurately represent what WP:RS say on the matter. The fact is that that there seem to be WP:RS that describe him (or refer to him) being a demagogue - that is the only fact we need be concerned about. As for taking a political instance - I really doubt Wikipedia 'filters' anything that might possibly be perceived as a critique of say Putin or Merkel or whatever other well known leader which otherwise, by the same principle, would constitute in Wikipedia taking a political stance, wouldn't it? Therefore, and irrespective of my personal opinion that Wikipedia trying avoid 'sensitive' subjects because of fear of being accused of taking a political IS in fact taking a political stance, I cannot see any reason why some would be 'spared' and others not.
From a practical PoV however, I would have to say I partially agree with MelanieN, on the part of the risks posed by the inclusion of living people. I disagree on the 'tradition' part as this is simply irrelevant as well as the 'judgement of history' - which is, in my opinion, a poor argument, especially since it's more about who writes the history than anything else as well as what we today consider historical events (in some cases a couple of years passed is enough...).
P BeenAroundAWhile For my info - I am really curious, can you please expand on what the source says about how is being a demagogue any different than engaging in demagoguery and how the source applies this to Trump? What makes someone a demagogue if not the demagogic behavior? Here is an interesting article in which Mr. Michael Signer specifically refers to Pres. Trump as being a demagogue, multiple times. Frankly, this (among other articles Signer wrote on the same subject) makes a very convincing argument for the inclusion of Trump as a typical example of a demagogue.
P ImTheIP That there are many more examples we could include - there is no doubt. However, my understanding is that Trump would be included as an outstanding example. In any case, that there could be many more examples does not mean that this specific example could not or should not be included.Cealicuca (talk) 17:40, 22 July 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per BLP, I don't think it's a great idea to name a living person a demagogue. ~ HAL333 23:22, 28 July 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose I don't think it is a good idea for Wikipedia to be calling people demagogues (yes, not in its voice, but it's the same effect). Plenty of opinion pieces have said Trump is a demagogue. Just because a few sources say something does not mean that it merits inclusion. Sources have called Lopez Obrador, Macron, Morales, and even Trudeau demagouges. Granted, some of these sources are not as high-quality as the others, but the mere fact that many reliable sources claim many world leaders as demagogues means that any inclusion of one as a demagouge, even if not said in Wikipedia's voice, is inherently an editorial one unless there is a widespread consensus in reliable sources of it. Zoozaz1 (talk) 00:42, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
Plenty opinions, few sources? The 'widespread consensus in reliable sources' appears to be exactly in existence in this case. While it may have been harder to establish two or three years ago, it is now far past the quality of opinion. It is likely much harder to find *reliable* sources that dispute it.Kbrose (talk) 15:57, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
This is an article I easily found clearly stating he is not a demagogue. I simply don't see widespread consensus in reliable sources that he is a demagogue; many of the sources I see say he has done some demagogic behavior, but less call him a demagogue outright. Zoozaz1 (talk) 16:07, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
CNN opinion pieces (that even predate the election) are not reliable references by sources with appropriate credentials.Kbrose (talk) 21:01, 29 July 2020 (UTC)
The author of that article, Stephen Collinson, rescinded it in December of 2015 in 'What we learned from Donald Trump in 2015', in which he quoted Michael Signer to say that Trump turned out to be a demagogue after all. —Ben Kovitz (talk) 19:18, 14 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Support: The consensus of reliable sources seems to be that he is a demagogue. A search for 'Trump demagogue' on Google Scholar returns numerous sources calling him a demagogue, but I can't see any arguing the opposite. Avoiding criticism of a living person simply because they are living is not a good standard. M.Clay1 (talk) 03:24, 12 August 2020 (UTC)
    Mclay1, Of course, there are going to be a large number of people who (understandably) hate trump and therefore call him a demagogue; half the country detests him and assigns him any right-wing label that has negative connotations. What I'm trying to say is without a neutral, scholarly review of sources that establish conclusively he is viewed as a demagogue by the vast majority of sources just showing a dozen or so sources or a google search won't convince me that the widespread consensus is to label him as such, preferably across party lines. Zoozaz1 (talk) 04:16, 12 August 2020 (UTC)
    The criteria for demagoguery have been well established in the relevant fields of scholarly endeavor for well over a century. It is not necessary to experience hate or political bias toward the candidate. The analytical test against those criteria is totally sufficient and has been performed in many scholarly writings about Trump by now and a plethora of authoritative figures support this conclusion by now, but where are the contravening scholarly sources? Kbrose (talk) 17:08, 12 August 2020 (UTC)
    @Zoozaz1: If you don't consider sources from Google Scholar to be scholarly sources, what sources would convince you? M.Clay1 (talk) 04:19, 12 August 2020 (UTC)
    Also, let's not forget the existence of the world outside of the US (of which I am a part). It doesn't matter about party lines if we're talking about people who aren't Democrats or Republicans. M.Clay1 (talk) 04:22, 12 August 2020 (UTC)
    Mclay1, That's a fair point, but the majority of sources concerning the US president I would think would be from the US. And what would convince me is something scholarly, like a review of literature, that conclusively says that the scholarly consensus is that he is a demagogue, not just a sentence saying that from an academic or a scholarly source calling him a demagogue but an actual study saying that. Zoozaz1 (talk) 05:02, 12 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose per MelanieN's well-reasoned points. -- WikiPedant (talk) 03:56, 12 August 2020 (UTC)
Those points have been exposed as plain nonsense. Kbrose (talk) 16:53, 12 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose – The decision on Trump must be made through the lens of history, not contemporary commentary. Any other approach uses Wikipedia as a Soapbox, which we must avoid. Editors are free add material from recent commentary in the various Donald Tump articles, but we must keep this one clean. (I recently read the John Bolton & Mary Trump books. They are critical of Trump for various reasons, but I don't think their opinions support Trumpagoguery.) – S. Rich (talk) 20:11, 12 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Support a brief mention, not 'opinions' or extended analysis. Reasons are as follows; hopefully these address most of the points raised above:
  1. The sources support it. There is no controversy in the scholarly literature about whether Trump is a demagogue. We have accumulated a list of sources here on this talk page.
  2. Compared to the scholarly material about other demagogues, the amount on Trump is still relatively small. Per WP:PROPORTION, this merits relatively small coverage in our article.
  3. Trump is now the most famous active demagogue in the world. Omitting Trump violates WP:NPOV, comparable to omitting Al Capone from the Gangster article. Omitting Trump reflects a biased agenda, not faithfulness to the sources.
  4. Whether someone is a demagogue is not a matter of opinion, according to the sources cited in the article. You can support Trump while understanding that he is a demagogue—that is, by understanding the methods by which he attracts political support and subverts democracy. Nor are demagogues necessarily bad. Scholarly sources also speak of 'benevolent demagogues'.
—Ben Kovitz (talk) 19:59, 14 August 2020 (UTC)
  • Modest support While the point about avoiding calling anyone a demagogue is a good one - a slippery slope that once started could be hard to stop (e.g., Biden or Clinton as demagogue, etc.), Trump is different. The deliberate 'Fake news' thing, insults, documented lying (though it is often not called that word), etc, etc.; over the top. Even that might not be enough to support 'demagogue', but in recent weeks, as the election campaign has heated up, Trump has become a demagogue on steroids. With his behavior during this campaign I believe the situation is different. To fail to call this demagoguery what it is would be irresponsible. The quote in the lead of the article is Trump to a T. There are sufficient sources, and one can go through each definitive point of what a demagogue is and give examples from Trump's behavior (presumably the sources do that). That said, I do find it surprising that the news media does not use the word demagogue more often; perhaps a situation similar to avoiding the 'lie' word. I would perhaps like to see more recent citations that use the word. Bdushaw (talk) 12:09, 9 September 2020 (UTC)
Note I will note that perhaps the article ought to include a discussion of the reluctance in practice to call anyone a demagogue, e.g., The Atlantic, Rolling Stone. In the Donald Trump article we do not call him a liar, but we describe how the press is reluctant to use 'lie' and why. That might be an approach for this article. Bdushaw (talk) 12:25, 9 September 2020 (UTC)


Mercieca, J. R. (2020). Demagogue for President The Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump. TAMU Press. Review - “A must-read'—Salon “Highly recommended'—Jack Shafer, Politico and featured in 'The Best New Books to Read This Summer'—Literary Hub

Michael Signer. 'Donald Trump Wasn't a Textbook Demagogue Until Now.' Washington Post, December 2, 2015.

Analysis of precisely why Trump meets the criteria of a demagogue, written by possibly the current leading authority on demagogues.

Patrick Healy and Maggie Haberman. '95,000 Words, Many of Them Ominous, From Donald Trump’s Tongue.' New York Times, December 6, 2015.

In-depth analysis, with consultation by experts Jennifer Mercieca and Michael Kazin.

Philip Freeman, Loren J. Samons II, Daniel Schily, Melissa Lane, Jason Brennan, Rafael Piñeiro, Les Drutman. 'What History Teaches Us About Demagogues Like The Donald.' Zócalo Public Square, June 20, 2016, reprinted in Time Magazine, same date.

Little information specifically about Trump, but illustrates academic consensus that Trump is a demagogue.

Jennifer Mercieca. 'The rhetorical brilliance of Trump the demagogue.' The Conversation, December 11, 2015.

Somewhat unfocused analysis of Trump's demagoguery. Gives emphasis to logical fallacies rather than crowd-manipulation.

Oliver Hahla, Minjae Kimb, Ezra W. Zuckerman Sivan. 'The Authentic Appeal of the Lying Demagogue: Proclaiming the Deeper Truth about Political Illegitimacy.' Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business, MIT Sloan School of Management, January 10, 2018.

Draws extensively upon Trump as a prototypical example of a 'lying demagogue' whose supporters support him even though they know he's lying.

How Democracies Die is a 2018 book by Harvard Universitypolitical scientistsSteven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt about how elected leaders can gradually subvert the democratic process to increase their power. Opinion: Donald Trump Could Write the Book on Talking Like a Demagogue Shafer, Jack. POLITICO, Robert L. Allbritton, 1 June 2020, 6:53 P.M.

Mercieca, J. R. (2020). Demagogue for President The Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump. TAMU Press.

Reviews - “A must-read'—Salon “Highly recommended'—Jack Shafer, Politico and featured in 'The Best New Books to Read This Summer'—Literary Hub

DonkeyPunchResin (talk) 11:07, 17 July 2020 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.
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