Originally Posted by Vanya
Heck, overhead, it goes back at least to ancient Greece -- see this Wikipedia article on demagogues.
Here's a taste:
Demagogues have appeared in democracies since ancient Athens. They exploit a fundamental weakness in democracy: because ultimate power is held by the people, nothing stops the people from giving that power to someone who appeals to the lowest common denominator of a large segment of the population.
Yep, you are correct again. This discussion would take this thread WAY off topic, but I will comment anyway. I wonder why it is they seem to limit the demagogues to democracies? I can think of many example of this type of thing being used by leaders of authoritarian governments, Stalin and his "war" against the Kulaks, for example. He certainly did not require their votes to keep his job, but he did require their actions to achieve his goals. The useful idiots needed stimulation just as the voters in a democracy need stimulation to action.
Back to the topic again, it is unfortunate, but "compromise" from moderates is not always a good thing. We don't want moderates "compromising" with extreme elements of either party so that only part of their extreme policies are implemented. A compromise is now doing only half of what some other person may support while they don't do anything that you support. That is caving to their demands, not compromise. "Compromise" is going the way of the word "right". Everything someone "wants" is becoming a right and a "compromise" is only giving them half of what they demand.