Demonization is when a demagogue, or group of demagogues, paints their ideological enemies or scapegoats in terms intended to render them as irredeemably evil and fit only for destruction, which is usually presented as 'self-defense'. Possibly the best-known example of demonization in the 20th century was the Nazis' demonization of Jews, which played off of existing antisemitism for political gain and eventually led to the Holocaust.
Advantages of demonization for an unscrupulous politician
- Gives followers an easy target for all their pent-up frustration.
- Distracts them from any real causes for their problems which you may not be able or willing to cure.
- If the demonized group is a political rival, reduces the risk that followers will defect to the rivals' group.
- A reviewer of Barbara Olson's, Hell to Pay : The Unfolding Story of Hillary Rodham Clinton Regnery Publishing (1999) wrote,
|“||Olson discusses the Clintons' method of dealing with enemies, which is straight out of the writings of left-wing crank Saul Alinsky: demonize, polarize, and destroy. Witness Ken Starr, Newt Gingrich, Paula Jones, et al. Olson, a former Senate counsel who investigated the Clinton Administration's FBI file caper and Travel Office fiasco ||”|
- A literal example of the politics of personal destruction from the Sual Alinsky field manual was uttered by Democratic Presidential hopeful John Edwards in 2007 about social commentator Ann Coulter. Edwards spoke of "that she-devil Ann Coulter" and in same breath said "people like Ann Coulter, they engage in hateful language." 
- Saul Alinsky
- Demonizing conservatives
- Demonizing terms
- Bill Clinton
- Hillary Clinton
- List of Communist publications
- Old Liberalism, R.I.P., Steven F. Hayward, National Review Online, March 27, 2003
- Radical Saul Alinsky: Prophet of Power to the People, TIME, Mar. 02, 1970.
- Hell to Pay : The Unfolding Story of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Reviews, retrieved 05/21/07.
- Edwards Calls Coulter 'She-Devil', ABC News, August 17, 2007.