Demagocracy, n. A system in which the people elect the most ignorant and blusterous candidate as their leader.
This is scary. The automatic spell checker in my text editor flags "Demagocracy" as misspelled with one possible dictionary replacement: "Democracy." It's almost as though someone saw this coming. Sinclair Lewis, maybe?
Robert Reich explains the difference.
Among the current crop of candidates for president of the United States, who exhibits leadership and who doesn’t?
Leadership isn’t just the ability to attract followers. Otherwise some of the worst tyrants in history would be considered great leaders. They weren’t leaders; they were demagogues. There’s a difference.
A leader brings out the best in his followers. A demagogue brings out the worst.
Leaders inspire tolerance. Demagogues incite hate.
Leaders empower the powerless; they give them voice and respect. Demagogues scapegoat the powerless; they use scapegoating as a means to fortify their power.
Leaders calm peoples’ irrational fears. Demagogues exploit them.
Reich then asks: "[of] the current crop of Presidential candidates: Who are the leaders, and who are the demagogues?" Check out his blog for his nominees in both categories.