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(sometimes US), demagog
1. a political agitator who appeals with crude oratory to the prejudice and passions of the mob
2. (esp in the ancient world) any popular political leader or orator



in ancient Greece, particularly in Athens of classical times, a term initially used for politicians of a democratic leaning (Themistocles and Pericles, for example). Gradually the term began to acquire a pejorative connotation among opponents of democracy. It came to refer to activists who sought to earn popularity through false promises, flattery at popular assemblies, and the like. The term has been preserved with this meaning in modern political terminology.

References in periodicals archive ?
Like a child trying to draw attention from other people by crying, the marginalised old monk started a round of false accusations which were rhetorically inflammatory and demagogic but untenable in fact," a Xinhua commentary said.
Tehran's domestic and foreign policies remind me of the Soviet Union of the 1980s, when the Kremlin publicly conducted a highly demagogic battle against imperialism but privately tried to find common language with the West on many fronts.
It was later exploited by dictators like Colonel Nasser and Saddam Hussein to further their demagogic causes rather than developing naturally into an economic zone like the European Common Market--the forerunner of the European Union--or the Gulf Co-operation Council.
Newsweek counters the demagogic argument that simply counting the populations of China and India, or the tall buildings in Shanghai, leads to the conclusion that America is imperiled.
In trying to "engage" a demagogic figurehead, some faculty members at Columbia apparently wanted to defuse anti-Iranian jingoistic sentiment.
Produced by Moriah Films, a division of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, "Ever Again" is revelatory regarding several militant Muslim leaders who advocate violence against Jews: Omar Bakri Mohammed, for instance, the London-based Islamic cleric, or such demagogic leaders as Antwerp's Jew-hating Abou Jahjah.
It's as if progressives are embarrassed to talk about values; we seem to fear if we talk about values we'll sound religious or demagogic.
Beyond the immediate political and media hype and demagogic demonization of any resistance to US and Israeli policies in the region, the core issues are not new.
I think most Americans don't like to see God dragged into this kind of divisive and demagogic politics.
A former owner was told that Mussolini used to end some of his demagogic outbursts with the phrase ``glory glory'', and this link prompted the moniker.
But alter World War I he turned up in Munich and mesmerised the impoverished masses as an unrivalled demagogic orator: "The Jews are our misfortune
He, as a psychologist, needs to take a hard look at his needs and motivations for his extreme demagogic actions.