An excerpt from the fictional tales of The Gentleman from Massachusetts.
A demagogue is a politician that seeks power through prejudice. It is an example of bad politics. If a nation’s media and political system allow demagoguery to exist, such systems must be considered broken. Within any population, it is always possible to incite the preexisting animosity of one group against another. Under good politics, such rabble-rousing is actively discouraged.
This is not a free-speech issue because it deals with the devaluation and resultant dehumanization of certain segments of the population. Free-speech is a right that can exist only within an atmosphere of mutual respect. All those capable of speech are provided equal opportunity and sincere consideration or there is no free-speech. It is not words themselves we seek to free but the humanity behind them.
Good politics seeks common ground and achieves its goals through cooperation. Bad politics seeks division and achieves its goals through manipulation. Good politics takes diligence; bad politics feeds on apathy. Because of its simple effectiveness, the threat of profiteers utilizing bad politics always exists. Constant vigilance and a decisive response must ever be at the ready.
Good politics encourages the participation of all. Bad politics seeks to restrain participation, often fooling the people into fighting amongst themselves, weakening the collective power. For it is only when we the people are united that our light shines brightest across the globe. When the smoke of incendiary demagoguery seeks to dim this brilliance, let us strive to remember: out of many, we are one.