In A Deluge Of New Media, Autocrats Swim And Democracies Sink
Populist leaders often claim to speak for “the people,” a unified mass that supposedly represents the authentic core of the nation. They pose as champions of the people’s interests, but gradually conflate their personal interests with those of the people. Citizens who oppose the leader are depicted as somehow alien to the nation, traitorous agents of foreign powers or converts to degenerate foreign values. It is the media, willingly or not, that ultimately cement this conceptual bond between leader and public.