Almost Any Politician in a Democracy Is a Bit of a Demagogue

A Classicist, a Historian, and a Rhetorician Talk Trump, Clinton, and Cleon

There’s plenty of nastiness in our democracy. But is there anything new?

For all the fear and consternation about the lies, insults, conspiracy theories, and rhetorical excesses of the 2016 presidential election, today’s political troubles have been familiar features of democracy since its invention 2,500 years ago, said a panel of scholars of classics, history, and communications during “How Does Democracy Survive Demagoguery?,” a Zócalo/Getty Villa “Open Art” event.

The wide-ranging conversation at the Getty Villa covered accused demagogues from Pericles to Cicero, Thomas Jefferson to Bernie Sanders. The panelists cautioned that …

Demagogues Are the Problem Children of Democracies

The Allure of Fearmongering and Empty Promises Has Seduced Citizens Since Ancient Greece

You wouldn’t know it by watching cable TV news, but the debate about demagogues—and their dangers—did not begin with Donald Trump.

Demagogues have been a problem for democracy for 25 centuries, …