In this moment of reverential tribute to all who gave their lives in the cause of liberty, we are also witnessing the erosion of such freedom by a militaristic vulgar draft dodger who has no patience with a free press and right of protest..other than his own.

I’m talking, of course, about the guy who is aptly known on the mean streets these days as “The Don”, i.e., President Donald J. Trump.

Adding layer upon layer to monstrous attacks on his critics, The Don has morphed into a snorting land mass shoving ahead on his path to destroy the First Amendment. From now on in Trump Americana, we must begin with the Second Amendment. The free press is out, with pardons for Fox News and the National Enquirer.

Just this week he bellowed that a pro football player who does not kneel during the National Anthem shouldn’t be allowed in the country. Strong words from a shirker who had multiple deferments from military service that never interrupted his pursuit of a carefree life as a playboy of the Western World. In typical gangland fashion, The Don (how appropriate!) has surrounded himself with enforcers like Rudy “Big Eyes” Giuliani, Mike “Fido” Pence, ” John ‘“Boom-Boom” Bolton and dozens of other overfed, well-paid soul-less hacks whose only mission is to make themselves still wealthier at taxpayer expense.

Do you remember that The Don once said he “knows the system” and is the only one who can fix it? At the time we didn’t know that he was referring to his lawyer, Michael Cohen, who is now commonly identified as the “fixer”.

But about those protesting NFL players: It has nothing to do with whether or not you agree with them. It has everything to do with the Constitution that guarantees their right to stand or kneel. And the spineless NFL team owners? Don’t get me started.

Weakness has been the strength of Trump’s legions, Nothing reveals it more than White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s assurance that immigrant kids jerked from their mothers’ arms at the border will be placed in foster care – “or whatever”.

Democracy is not the simplest form of government. Only autocratic, unread pretenders think otherwise, the Constitution be damned.

In his new book, The Soul of America, Jon Meacham quotes the Pittsburgh Courier’s cutting response to the June 1940 lynching of Elbert Williams, secretary of the NÅÅCP branch in Western Tennessee:

“‘There is something definitely wrong about a so-called democratic government that froths at the mouth about …terrorism abroad yet has not a mumble of condemnation for the same sort of thing at home.”

As John Kelly would say: Or whatever.