I just watched excerpts from the televised Cabinet meeting where member after member outdid themselves in kowtowing to the president of the United States as if he was a despot. This is the kind of adulation Kim Jong Un craves, the kind of sycophancy that Saddam Hussein expected, and the type of hero worship that Vladimir Putin receives. This kind of public hero worship of a president is un-American, and all of you who participated should be ashamed of yourselves. Is this the kind of behavior you wish your children and grandchildren to emulate with their public leaders? I want to believe that we are a nation of free men and women, not abject, cringing vassals of a feudal lord.
Real Americans don’t engage in this kind of demeaning behavior with their leaders, and real leaders, Mr. President, neither need this shameful flattery nor encourage it. Shame on all of you – this was embarrassing and worrisome.
To think I proudly served my country for 20 years just to see such cringe-worthy behavior. I never saw anything like this in the military with any senior officer with whom I served. They would have discouraged such idle flattery.
How sad for all of you that you acted in such an obsequious manner.
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William A. Riley Jr., retired United States Air Force lieutenant colonel, Belleville