Reader John Ogozalek offers advice about how to spot a demagogue. John, a graduate of an Ivy League college, teaches in upstate New York:

Just went and read (once again) the definition of a demagogue. There’s a particularly good Washington Post piece about how Trump went from being a “garden variety blow-hard” to full on threat to our Republic. It’s by Michael Signer.

To quote: “In 1838, American author James Fenimore Cooper observed that true demagogues met four criteria: they posture as men of the common people; they trigger waves of powerful emotion; they manipulate this emotion for political benefit; and they threaten or break established principles of governance.”

Of course, Trump fits the bill. I find the fact that he meets the fourth criteria to be especially troubling. He disregard for established norms, protocol, institutions and even the rule of law has set our country on a crash course with becoming a pseudo-democracy, a Potemkin republican. And, by aiding and abetting Trump’s dangerous choices (including DeVos) the G.O.P. is helping to seal our fate. If ever there was a need for genuine “Profiles in Courage” sort of behavior in our nation, now is the time. Will our United States Senators stand up for what is right?

I know people are always knocking Wikipedia. But just quickly read the list of “methods of demagogues” from there:

4.1 Scapegoating
4.2 Fearmongering
4.3 Lying
4.4 Emotional oratory and personal charisma
4.5 Accusing opponents of weakness and disloyalty
4.6 Promising the impossible
4.7 Violence and physical intimidation
4.8 Personal insults and ridicule
4.9 Vulgarity and outrageous behavior
4.10 Folksy posturing
4.11 Gross oversimplification
4.12 Attacking the news media

Sound familiar?

The Washington political establishment seems like deer caught in headlights -stunned, unable to act.

Ironically, maybe the people, the majority of citizens that did NOT vote for Trump, are the only real check and balance on our nation unraveling right before our eyes. Perhaps that’s why Trump seems to be so obsessed with delegitimizing the very election that brought him to power?