Demagogues often hang themselves

If you give demagogues enough room and enough rope by which to hang themselves, they will often proceed to hang themselves. I think it is only when demagogues are supported by outside powers, either through financial/political support or by offering a cause for rallying their domestic-forces, that they manage to remain in control for long periods. Perhaps one of the best examples is Fidel Castro. I think this individual managed to stay in power for so long precisely because of US policy toward Cuba, not despite it. I think that foreign policies based on engagement are superior to those based on no engagement. Not engaging implies fear. Engaging implies confidence and a realization that you can always so “no”. Demagogues are almost always clever. But they are seldom intelligent or wise. Thus, they can be outwitted and outmaneuvered, but the game has to be played in a nuanced, patient and behind-the-scenes manner, without chest thumping and without grandstanding.

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