Less intelligent, less educated, less informed, less successful people tend to need some group they can look down on in order to feel slightly better about themselves. There are always people in this category, alas. The difference between today and yesterday is that today politicians are actively pandering to the less intelligent, less educated, less informed, and less successful because they are an easy source of votes. I like to think there is a slender majority of citizens who aren’t so backward and so eager to retreat into a past-that-never-was instead of confronting the real problems we face, but even if this is true it is now indubitably a fact that the easiest way to success in politics is to pander to humanity’s worst instincts. This is, as Plato pointed out more than 2,500 years ago, how all democracies ultimately end and thus transition to de facto tyranny.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.