Andrew Sullivan pairs this quote of Theodor Adorno to an image of Sarah Palin, but the quote works for Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck as well:
The leader can guess the psychological wants and needs of those susceptible to his propaganda because he resembles them psychologically, and is distinguished from them by a capacity to express without inhibitions what is latent in them, rather than by any intrinsic superiority. The leaders are generally oral character types, with a compulsion to speak incessantly and to befool the others. The famous spell they exercise over their followers seems largely to depend on their orality: language itself, devoid of its rational significance, functions in a magical way and furthers those archaic regressions which reduce individuals to members of crowds.
Actually, Sullivan’s Adorno quote goes on for another two paragraphs, but you get the idea: Adorno, a close observer of European and American populist demagogues and authoritarians, had a clear take on the type. And notice how he distinguishes magical language from rational language: the one drives people into crowd behavior and “archaic regressions”; the other encourages intelligent individuality and significant discourse.
Below is a photograph, from Wikipedia Commons, of Adorno with Max Horkheimer (and a young Jurgen Habermas lurking over Adorno’s shoulder). Here’s how Wikipedia tags the photo: “Photograph taken in April 1964 by Jeremy J. Shapiro at the Max Weber-Soziologentag. Horkheimer is front left, Adorno front right, and Habermas is in the background, right, running his hand through his hair.”