The definition of demagoguery: Political activity or practices that seek support by appealing to the desires and prejudices of ordinary people rather than using rational argument. Demagoguery is … often associated with dictators and sleazy politicians. It is that which appeals to the worst nature in people.

“Fear is easy. Fear is the simplest emotion to tweak in a campaign ad. You associate your opponent with terror, with fear, with crime, with causing pain and uncertainty.” — Rick Wilson, Florida-based Republican ad maker, quoted from The Atlantic, Sept. 2, 2016.

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” — H.L. Mencken, 1921, American journalist.

“Real power is – I don’t even want to use the word – fear.” — Donald Trump, 2016, interview with Bob Woodward and Robert Costa of the The Washington Post .

Demagoguery in action

“They’re trying to silence and punish the speech of Christians and religious believers of all faiths … . They are trying to hound you from the workplace, expel you from the public square and weaken the American family and indoctrinate our children.” — President Trump, Value Voters Summit, Washington, D.C., Oct. 12, 2019.

“Our radical Democrat opponents are driven by hatred, prejudice, and rage. They want to destroy you. And they want to destroy our country as we know it.” – Trump, Orlando rally, June 18, 2019.

“North Carolina has released thousands of dangerous criminal aliens into your communities and you see it. ... The charges against these free criminals include sexual assault, robbery, drug crimes and homicide. Murder!” — Trump, Fayetteville, NC, Sept. 10, 2019.

“At this very moment, large, well-organized caravans of migrants are marching towards our southern border. Some people call it an ‘invasion.’ It’s like an invasion. They have violently overrun the Mexican border.” — Trump, March 1, 2018.

“The more America achieves, the more hateful and enraged these crazy Democrats become. … At stake is the survival of American democracy itself. … They are destroying this country, but we will never let it happen.” — Trump, Dallas, Oct. 17, 2019.

Trump, by definition, is a demagogue.

The definition of a patsy: A person who is easily taken advantage of, especially by being cheated or blamed for something. A person who is easily manipulated or victimized; a person who is easily swindled, deceived, coerced persuaded, etc., i.e., “a sucker.”

“We’ve got to get rid of the $19 trillion in debt. I think I could do it fairly quickly, I would say over a period of eight years,” — Trump, interview with Bob Woodward.

“This is the United States government … you never have to default because you print the money.” — Trump, interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, May 9, 2016.

For the first time on record, the 400 wealthiest Americans last year paid a lower total tax rate than any other income group. — The New York Times, Oct. 6, 2019

The U.S. budget gap widened to more than $1 trillion in the first 11 months of the fiscal year, the first-time year-to-date deficits have topped that that mark since 2012. — The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 12, 2019

“We as a nation lost $817 billion dollars on trade. That’s ridiculous and it’s unacceptable.” — Trump, G-7 meetings in, Québec, Canada, June 9, 2018.

“Trade wars are good and easy to win.” — Trump, tweet, March 2, 2018.

Despite more than two years of President Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ policies — the United States last year posted a $891.2 billion merchandise trade deficit, the largest in the nation’s 243-year history. — The Chicago Tribune, March 6, 2019

President Trump has made 12,019 false or misleading claims over 928 days. ­— The Washington Post , Aug. 12, 2019

Mr. Trump’s latest approval ratings among Republican voters, 87 percent, Sept. 16-30, 2019. Gallup .

A Trump supporter, by definition, is a patsy.

Douglas Call is a microbiologist. He and his family have lived on the Palouse for more than 20 years.

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