Peddling poison: Donald Trump follows long line of demagogues

The author argues that former President Donald Trump, shown here in a 2016 file photo, is one of a long line of dangerous demagogues. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

The recent Connecticut court damages verdict of almost $1 billion in the Alex Jones case involved Jones’ apparent efforts to monetize the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting deaths of 20 children and six educators in 2017.

Jones’ claim that the shooting was a hoax is a reminder of the gullibility of a significant segment of the world’s people. Jones and his media company InfoWars were found guilty of asserting that the deaths did not happen and were faked. According to the Associated Press, after the verdict, Jones termed the trial “all made up” and continued to encourage his followers to donate dollars to InfoWars and buy products he sells.

Jones reportedly received about $50 million annually in revenues during his legal battles arising from his claims that the Sandy Hook deaths were faked. Obviously, Alex Jones found many enthusiastic followers who like his alternative fact version of reality that he sells and are willing to reward him with their contributions.

Another Jones also found gullible people to follow him. Jim Jones led about 900 of his followers from the U.S. to a jungle stronghold in Guyana where he ultimately persuaded them to partake from a vat of cyanide poisoned Flavor Aid in Nov. 1978. Jones pre-conditioned his followers to drink the poison by holding rehearsals that he called “white nights.” About 300 children and over 600 adults participated in what Jones described in part of a 45-minute audio tape ( as something “not to be feared. It’s a friend.”

On this tape, Jim Jones told his followers “Without me life has no meaning.” Jones also advised them, “I’m the best friend you’ll ever have.” He claimed, “I’m a prophet.” Of the children who are heard crying and screaming on the tape, Jones advised “All they are doing is taking a drink . . . and going to sleep.” Jones asked the adults “to quit exciting your children when all they’re doing is going to a quiet rest.” One of the few survivors commented about Jones, “He made us feel special, like something bigger than ourselves.” Read more

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So you’re thinking about not bothering to vote…

Photo by Hill Street Studios/Getty Images.

Well, it’s decision time folks. The end to early voting for the 2022 Midterms is fast approaching and the November 8th election looms large. There are weighty decisions that Americans must make this November, and every one of us will be making one whether we choose to make our way to the voting booth, or we tap out and say that our vote won’t make a difference.

For those who choose the latter, nothing could be further from the truth. You see, all that happens when you don’t participate in the democratic process is that you strengthen the position of the person least likely to represent your interests.

So not voting is actually a vote of sorts.

You see, someone will be making a decision about whether women have autonomy over their bodies. Someone will decide whether working Americans should have a living wage. Your elected representative will help determine whether a 15-year-old can have access to an automatic rifle, or whether it is all right to attack elected representatives if you don’t like how they legislate. Someone will decide how police officers will treat citizens under arrest, or in distress.

Whichever party wins in November will decide whether you or your parents receive social security and how much. Elected congressmen and women will determine whether we pursue clean energy, or whether we aid Ukraine in its battle against tyranny. Local elected officials will determine what children are allowed to learn in our school system, and they will decide how much to invest to ensure all children get a sound basic education. They will even determine where parks and housing developments are built, how roads and infrastructure will be maintained, and whether there will be affordable housing in your city.

There is no perfect candidate. Every one of them has some kind of flaw because each of them is human. You are not going to agree with every stance a politician may take. You may even feel that all the possible candidates are inadequate. But one of those candidates on the slate will have sway over your life for the next several years, and the decisions they make may possibly influence the next several decades. Do you want to leave the decision about who holds the power to others? Or do you want to have a voice in who runs your community? Because someone will.


(You can register and vote during One-Stop Early voting, which ends November 5 at 3 p.m. throughout North Carolina. Election Day is November 8th. Go to your local Board of Elections website to determine dates, times, and locations for early and election-day voting in the state and county where you live.)

Commentator Mildred Robertson is a public relations professional with a background that includes more than 30 years of leadership in management, government and public relations.This post appeared originally on her blog “Just Sayin’.”