For a man who reportedly demands unfettered loyalty from associates and underlings, Donald Trump does nothing to inspire such loyalty. Indeed, his words and actions in public and private life portray a man who believes loyalty is something to be exacted instead of earned honestly.
This is a chief executive who routinely insults and undercuts those in his inner circle; the people he chose to fill key positions -- people who, like the hapless Jeff Sessions, often supported him on the campaign trail at great risk to themselves.
To Trump, the word "loyalty" means "loyal only to me". Should anyone close to him dare to consider ethics, the rule of law, the country's many alliances with other nations, or anything else that Trump determines is at odds with the loyalty he demands, that person becomes an immediate target -- no matter how faithfully they have served him.
Donald Trump and his acolytes complain about a conspiracy among the many thousands of people who selflessly serve the United States throughout the apparatus of government. The goal of this imaginary cabal is supposedly to prevent Trump from being an effective president.
Such a claim is nothing more than a slap in the face to those work so hard on our behalf; mostly in thankless, anonymous positions... the unsung rank and file upon whom we depend; those who really run the country.
But who of these, no matter how professional they are or how many presidents they have served, could truly be loyal to a man who questions their patriotism and character on a nearly daily basis?
This is not to say they work actively to thwart the administration's agenda. But any good business executive -- which Trump claims he is -- understands that people work harder and better when they are happy on the job.
Praise will always provide better results than condemnation. Unfortunately, Trump only understands praise when it is lavished upon him.
The mainstream press is another of Trump's favorite targets. For doing their jobs, which is reporting the news, the press is rewarded with the same type of schoolyard insults and bullying those in the president's immediate sphere are accustomed to enduring. If coverage isn't fawning, it's immediately condemned as fake.
Throughout his political career, Richard Nixon famously hated the press. His hatred seemed to increase as president, when the Watergate scandal gradually enveloped his friends, associates, and cabinet (and eventually Nixon himself) -- thanks in large part to excellent investigative coverage by the news media.
Donald Trump seems ever more Nixonian as Robert Mueller's investigation picks up steam. As with everyone else, Trump seems to believe that the news media should do nothing but sing his praises. Luckily he has a few "news" outlets (quotes intentional) he can count on such as Fox, Breitbart and the Daily Caller.
For someone who demands absolute loyalty, Donald Trump seems completely incapable of giving that which he requires from others. He's not even faithful to members of his own party in Congress; the people whose support he needs in order to craft meaningful legislation.
The tax cut just passed is the only major bill to come to fruition in a year of total Republican control, which is a dismal indication of how dysfunctional the current Congress is. However, one can't completely blame Mitch McConnell or Paul Ryan.
It must be tough for Congressional Republicans to work with a president whose constant flip-flopping on policy positions seems mostly based upon making himself look as good as possible.
True loyalty is something one must earn. In this administration, rife with leaks, backstabbing, chaos and turnover (all telltale signs of seething unhappiness and anger), it's painfully apparent that any bare smidgen of loyalty existing towards Donald Trump is the loyalty given throughout history to the tyrant -- false and forced through intimidation and fear, not genuinely offered due to friendship, trust and common goals.