It’s 2017 and a new era of presidency has swarmed us. We’ve entered the next four years with new pipeline policies, immigration bans, a media war, and better yet, a demagogue as our leader.
But what exactly is a demagogue?
Defined as one who rises to power and influence through manipulation and false appeals, a demagogue in our times is the epitome of President Donald Trump.
Seen through his discriminatory tweets, his false accusations, and his dividing policies, one can clearly see President Trump’s demagogue characteristics. As more and more people become aware of his political leadership, skepticism and doubt erupts as to how and why this is happening.
As time goes on, history teaches us that demagoguery has persisted in this world for the past 25 centuries. From Cleon, the Athenian demagogue, to the demagogue infiltrated Antebellum era till today, the world has consistently been ruled by demagogues.
But how can we defeat them, how do we get rid of their corruption?
Some might say that it is impossible, that there is no way to remove or change the system, that the only solution is to vacate the country and leave it to its own downfall. Others, however, view this situation as an opportunity for involvement and development - an opportunity to finally have a voice and speak out against any and all injustices.
Whichever perspective people decide to have determines the future of this country.
If we as a community, as families, as citizens decide to ignore what is happening right in front of us, then the fate of this country will remain in the hands of our demagogue.
However, if we join forces, voice our concerns, and present ourselves to the greater community, we will be heard. If we participate in demonstrations, show up to city hall meetings, write to our representatives, we will prevail in the fight against demagoguery and corruption. In the end, what truly matters is the perspective we decide to take.
“Do you think that you will enter Paradise without any trials while you have known the examples of those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with suffering and adversity and were so violently shaken up that even the Messenger and the believers with him cried out, when will Allah’s help come? Then they were comforted with the words, Be aware! Allah’s help is ever close," says the Quran in Al-Baqarah (2:214).