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Artist statement: “American Demagogues An Unbroken Succession” consists of 20 expressive brush drawings of individuals along with a biography focused on demagoguery. One person’s demagogue is another person’s hero. This project aims to make people aware that demagogues have always been in America, and many use the same tools to manipulate people. Most of the demagogues are focused with their hate. They have groups they persecute; Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Blacks, Gays, Communists, Irish, Chinese, and the wealthy. Many use demagoguery to feed their egos and accumulate wealth.

While this project deals with some nasty folks, the research was fascinating. There are familiar names and others that are not. When I completed the drawings and biographies, I understood the inquiry’s positive side. Working through demagogues spanning 270 years, I realized that these people and their influences, no matter how powerful at the time, are transitory. The times we live, with a barrage of demagoguery, will pass.—M. M.

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