Our white genius in the stable oops – I mean our stable genius in The White House – often tilts toward negativity: criticism, mockery, nasty innuendo and belittling, disrespectful nicknames like “Little Marco,” “Crooked Hillary,” “Sloppy Steve,” “Fat Pig O’Donnell,” etc. (His bottom-line message seems always to be: “I’m smarter and richer than they — and than you.”) Trump’s so often demeaning, in fact, that when he’s positive it’s almost sure to catch your eye. And then, of course, you have to wonder why.

From Trump you will never get moderate praise. When trying to sound positive, he goes to saccharine extremes; no nuances or subtlety — it’s all hyperbole. The only groups toward whom he is unfailingly — resolutely — complimentary are the military and police. He makes a point of praising them as often as he can, and when he does, he slathers on
the schmaltz. “These are our finest people.” “Terrific citizens.” “True heroes.” “Great
American patriots.” (Perhaps those are the only non-dismissive words he knows.) In general, the folks he praises really lap it up. People like praise.

Law and order can’t exist without strong enforcement. Some of us tend to overlook the danger and uncertainty that our police, military and first-responders routinely endure. They bravely face down danger every day, combatting foreign enemies and fire, flood, and crime – real risks no normal salary can fully compensate. I think the rest of us are in their
debt. Like us, of course, these folks are fallible. They chafe beneath rebuke and harsh critique. Like us, they hunger for respect and hope for gratitude. The White House is aware of that.

The lion’s share of what Trump says is baldly tactical. (He’s guided by some sort of creepy genius in these things.) He knows just how to stoke the passions of his coterie. That worries me. Our President could not care less about democracy. The only thing King Donald cares about is Donald Trump. What Mr. Big would like to be in His new Top Dog role, is what
he’s always been in private life: a self-promoting egotist with ambitions as over-the-top as his ethics are lame. Yep, that’s the key to Brother Donald’s game. He’d love to be an Emperor, if he could pull it off.

The President’s regard for Putin isn’t hard to grok, since Vladi is the outright tyrant, crook, and oligarch Trump wants to be. Young Puto took power when Russia was down in the dumps (as Hitler did in Germany soon after WWI.) He promised to make Russia great again, and set to building patriotic pride with macho misbehaviors overseas (Crimea and in Syria) more than anything real he’s accomplished at home.

Dictatorship requires just two things: Enforcement of harsh policies by those who carry guns – i.e., the army and police – and government suppression of a free, unbiased press. In Orwell’s cartoon-study of democracy-gone-wrong, “Animal Farm,” the scheming, double-talking pigs rise to a life of ease. All others work. A litter of lovable puppies is born on the farm. Then, they just disappear. When next they’re seen, after about a year, they’ve been transformed into a pack of snarling, bare-fanged goons: enforcers for the ever-clever swine.

Let’s not create conditions which could lead to some such outcome here at home. Along with what complaints they reap and must sometimes endure, be sure our cops and military get the thanks they’ve earned. That way they’ll be less hungry for the pseudo-kudos of the stable boy.