President Trump received high marks for his first State of the Union address. He called for unity and compromise on the part of all parties in our radically polarized political environment. It was by far the most presidential speech he has given in his first year in office.
That said, one sentence in his speech proves to me that he still does not grasp one of the most basic fundamentals of American democratic values and how America works. "Tonight," he said, "I call on Congress to empower every Cabinet secretary with the authority to reward good workers and to remove federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people."
Translation: "Tonight, I call on Congress to give me the authority and power to punish and eliminate anyone that I see as my political enemy, and anyone else who is not more loyal to me personally than they are to the Constitution, or who I perceive to be a threat to me or my administration in any way."
Clearly, Mr. Trump wants his toady supporters in Congress (including those who represent many of us that read this paper) to give him a weapon to get rid of those federal employees that have the audacity to suggest that he is not to be above the law, that he might have to be held accountable for his actions, or that there is a higher power than the Dow Jones. This is the kind of request a banana republic, Third World, dear leader, strong-man ruler, tin-horned dictator would make. America is not a banana republic, Third World, dear leader, strong-man ruler, tin-horned country — yet!