A while back I was reading an article by Jonathan Rauch, who is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of the "The Constitution of Knowledge: A Defense of Truth." In this article, he was detailing how a democratic country can be highjacked and start to lose its freedom. He described how to do this in three easy steps.
The first step is trolling. The purpose of trolling is to get noticed and make people react emotionally. When people become outraged, they rally around their beloved groups and fundamental beliefs. They also remember what is being said that makes them upset.
As Adolf Hitler said, "Who cares whether they laugh at us, treating us as fools or criminals? The point is that they talk about us and constantly think about us."
What is the cure for this? Perhaps it is twofold. First, vote out the leaders who engage in this behavior. Second, be aware that the purpose of their behavior is to make you leave your logical brain and react emotionally. Step back, take a deep breath, and remember that they doing this to manipulate you. Keeping a calm, objective mindset is imperative.