Random Thoughts 85


An autocrat is a ruler who has absolute power. This is used to describe rulers such as Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, and Kim Jong Un. Undoubtedly paranoid[2], that is to say, they are very distrustful of others because they feel threatened by anyone who disagrees with or opposes them. As a result they invariably surround themselves with sycophants[3] - individuals who act obsequiously[4] towards someone important in order to gain advantage.

In brutal autocracies, such as that of Kim Jong Un, anyone who causes the autocrat concern and worry is eliminated, and often executed, as was the case with his uncle. Those more fortunate end up in prison camps. Autocrats tend to be ruthless in doing whatever it takes to remain totally in control.

In democracies it is considerably more difficult for a leader to become an autocrat because in democracies there generally are checks and balances on the leader’s power. Regional representatives are elected by local citizens to represent them in parliament and due to the different views of these elected representatives, there are generally several political parties, the largest generally being in support of the leader while the second largest being what is called in the West the “loyal opposition”.

Sometimes, however, even democracies can be taken over by an autocrat, such as in the case of Venezuela. The ruler uses his power to reward supporters to increase his power and control, often through illegal means. Such countries as Venezuela are a democracy in name only.

Unfortunately it seems to me and many other Americans that our President Trump is trying very much to be an autocrat. He seems to have more regard for the autocrats mentioned above than for America’s traditional allies and their leaders. Typical of an autocrat he surrounds himself with sycophants and the moment he is displeased with someone who had the temerity and moral stature to disagree or oppose him, he immediately gets rid of them. One need look no further than the long list of distinguished government experts who agreed to work for him but were then rudely dismissed.

Trump reminds me of a petulant[5] child who whines[6] and disparages[7] everyone who is not in his favor. He certainly does not have the stature of a statesman nor inspiring leader, but is an embarrassment to many who see him for being nothing more than self-serving and arrogant.

[1] 独裁者 [2] 妄想 [3] 胡麻磨り [4] こびへつらう [5] ささいなことに子供っぽく怒りっぽい [6] めそめそと愚痴を言う [7] 侮辱


Professor Emeritus Richard A. Moe teaches high quality English speaking skills.

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駒澤大学名誉教授 モエ・リチャード先生  英会話と英語発音の指導歴45年以上の経験を持つプロフェッショナル


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