The word demagogue has come to mean a troublesome kind of leader who occasionally arose in Athenian democracy. Even though democracy gave power to the common people, elections still tended to favor the aristocratic class, which favored deliberation and decorum. Demagogues were a new kind of leader who emerged from the lower classes. Demagogues relentlessly advocated action, usually violent without deliberation. Demagogues appealed directly to the emotions of the poor and uninformed, pursuing power, telling lies to stir up hysteria, exploiting crises to intensify popular support for their calls to immediate action and increased authority, and accusing opponents of weakness or disloyalty to the nation. Demagogues do these things relentlessly and without self-restraint.
Demagogues have been found in democracies from Athens to the present day. Democracies are instituted to ensure freedom for all and popular control over government authority through popular appeal. Demagogues exploit the freedom secured under democracy to gain a level of power for themselves that overrides the rule of law, thereby undermining democracy. The Greek historian Polybius thought that democracies are inevitably undone by demagogues. He said that every democracy eventually decays into "a government of violence and the strong hand," leading to "tumultuous assemblies, massacres, banishments."
It is because of how demagogue is defined and the actions of Putin that rational people define him as such. If we substitute Obama for Putin, nothing changes. There is a demagogue in the Kremlin and there is a demagogue in the White House. Is
this the secret Obama wanted Medvedev to tell Putin they could discuss after the election because Obama would be less restrained.