A "demagogue" is a political leader in a democracy who gains support by exploiting prejudice and ignorance among the common people. Here, Franz Ferdinand attack such rabble rousers who appeal to the lowest common denominator.
He's a demagogue He plays with my fears A demagogue My shadow side dreaming The demagogue It feels so good to be dumb
Franz Ferdinand said: "A demagogue amplifies prejudices and fears, whipping up a fury of hatred to distract from their lack of reasoned argument or considered thought."
The song was written for 1,000 Days, 1,000 Songs (originally called 30 Days, 30 Songs, then 30 Days, 50 Songs). The 2016 project was an independent website that released one song per day from October 10 until US Election Day. Franz Ferdinand's contribution was an anti-Trump cut that attacked Donald Trump's tactics and those who believe in him. Frontman Alex Kapranos explained to Mojo in 2018: "We recorded it and released it within three days, because the song was only pertinent to that moment. His popularity was becoming increasingly apparent, but no one was singing about one of the biggest things in our lives at that point."