It’s an ancient axiom: that which glitters may be vacuous or even malevolent. In olden days it was the duty of the elders to pass on venerable traditions, guiding the youth to a righteous and true path.
This concept also manifests in virtually all spiritual disciplines. From the commonly known, “beware of false prophets,” to the abstruse Buddhist aphorism, “learn this from water: loud splashes the brook but the oceans depths are calm,” the message is the same.
Presently, the American body politic is inundated with bloviated flashes of vapid gleam. The risk is that people can get lured into this splashing on the brook as a false panacea into their own sufferings.
Democracy’s effectiveness is a function of education and/or wisdom, reflected in the ability to think critically. Otherwise, we will descend into the abyss of demagoguery.