Demagogues can succeed, U.S. voters should notice


Children are not to blame in child marriages

By Managing Editor

The president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, made headlines in the United States when he insulted President Barack Obama by calling him a “son of a whore,” according to a Sept. 7 article from 

This is not the first time Duterte hurled insults at American politicians since taking office on June 30. He called U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg a “gay son of a b—-h” and called Secretary of State John Kerry “crazy,” according to an Aug. 11 CNN report.  

Duterte has no doubt been offensive to American politicians, but he also has reputation problems in the international community. He is known for extreme violence and inappropriate behavior. 

Aside from the threat Duterte poses to the relationship between the United States and the Philippines, there is another reason Americans should be worried—his behavior’s uncanny resemblance to Donald Trump. 

Both Trump and Duterte show insensitivity and a lack of respect in the international community and in their own countries. These actions are usually unacceptable, especially from politicians or people in power, but somehow Trump has made it to the presidential primary and Duterte was elected. 

They have used empty, violent rhetoric in their plans to fight against extremist groups.

 Regarding threats of organizations like ISIS, Duterte has said he will “eat” extremists with “vinegar and salt,” according to a Sept. 6 Time Magazine article.

Meanwhile, Trump has vowed to ban Muslims as a possible solution to this issue.

This is an unproductive approach to extremism, or truly, any problems a political leader would confront. 

These men are frightening manifestations of international unrest, uncertainty and dissatisfaction. Both benefit from people looking for someone to “tell it like it is” and do what they think is necessary without concern for repercussions.

The rise of a demagogue is something people should be wary of. Demagogues will tell frustrated people what they want to hear, but when the time comes to lead effectively or create the change they promised, their promises are empty, or in Duterte’s case, violent and disrespectful. 

The war on drugs, which was one of Duterte’s key campaign promises, is something he is notorious for. Within the first seven weeks of his presidency, more than 1,800 suspected drug users and dealers were killed in the Philippines, as reported Aug. 23 by Time Magazine. 

Before the election, political experts urged people who opposed Duterte, previously a notoriously violent mayor of The Philippines’ Davao City, to unite behind a single candidate instead of splitting between four candidates, according to a May 9 article from The Telegraph. 

Support for Trump may not be unanimous from republicans, but Trump is up against a divided party—much like Duterte before he was elected—which gives him an advantage. 

There is still a significant divide between supporters of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. While many Sanders supporters moved to the Clinton camp, many are still upset Sanders did not receive the nomination. Their dissatisfaction may cause them to decide to vote for a third party candidate and take potential votes away from Clinton, or not vote at all.

Polls have repeatedly shown Clinton  is ahead of Trump, if only slightly. Some could use that to feel secure in Clinton’s path to the presidency, but the harsh reality is if Duterte could win with his nonsense rhetoric, Trump can, too.