Father Charles Coughlin was a Roman Catholic priest, [[social justice]] advocate, and controversial radio personality who rose to fame in the 1930s with his weekly radio program, "The Hour of Power." Born in 1891 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, Coughlin was ordained as a priest in 1916 and went on to serve as a pastor in Michigan.
In the early 1930s, Coughlin began using his radio program to promote his views on social justice, economic reform, and anti-[[Communism]]. He was a vocal critic of capitalism and the financial system, and advocated for government intervention in the economy to address issues of poverty and unemployment. He also expressed anti-Semitic views and [conspiracy theories](https://doctorparadox.net/why-do-people-believe-conspiracy-theories/), claiming that [a "Jewish-controlled" banking system was responsible for the country's economic problems](https://doctorparadox.net/dictionaries/authoritarianism/global-cabal/).
Coughlin's popularity grew rapidly, and by the mid-1930s, he had millions of listeners tuning in to his weekly broadcasts. He used his platform to support political candidates who shared his views, including Franklin D. Roosevelt in his first presidential campaign. However, as his rhetoric became increasingly controversial and extreme, he began to lose support from both the public and the Catholic Church.
In 1936, the Catholic hierarchy ordered Coughlin to stop using his radio program for political purposes, but he continued to broadcast until the outbreak of World War II, at which point his anti-Semitic views and sympathy for fascist leaders became even more pronounced. By the end of the war, Coughlin had largely faded from public view, and he died in 1979 at the age of 88.
While Coughlin was a deeply flawed figure whose legacy is tarnished by his anti-Semitic views and [extremist](https://doctorparadox.net/psychology/extremism/) rhetoric, his advocacy for social justice and economic reform was an important contribution to the public discourse of his time. His story serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of [demagoguery](https://doctorparadox.net/people-data/demagogues/) and the importance of staying vigilant against those who seek to exploit fear and division for their own gain.
See also: [[demagogue quotes]]