Stepping outside the Village Green/Town² boundaries today. I'll be brief.
Once upon a time, when I was little, it was presidential election season. A story about George Wallace came on the evening news. "Ugh," said my mother. "He's a demagogue."
"What's a demagogue?" I asked.
"He just says what the people want to hear," she answered, in disgust.
At that very moment the reporter cut to interviews of people attending a Wallace event. "Why do you like George Wallace?" he asked.
"Because he says what I want to hear!"
We burst out laughing. She was the perfect illustration of what my mother was trying to teach me.
But demagoguery is no laughing matter. The campaign of Donald Trump for the Republican nomination is a case in point. 14,000 people showed up for an event yesterday, despite the fact that Trump is playing fast and loose with the truth. His ability to appeal to people's basest fears and anger and stir them up to the point where truth is no longer an essential is a frightening thing.
Yesterday CNN asked, "Does Donald Trump transcend the truth?"
What does that even mean? Merriam Webster defines the word "transcend":
to rise above or go beyond the normal limits of (something)
What the heck? How can one "rise above" or "go beyond the normal limits" of the truth?
This may in some twisted way appeal to people whose feelings are bigger than facts. And that is a scary thing. When emotions take over and there's no room for the truth, we are all in danger. Because any one of us, or group of us, could be on the receiving end of a negative force fueled by ignorance and anger.