Anne Applebaum, in a Washington Post opinion piece, lays out the hypocrisy that is compulsory in Washington. The headline is: How Trump makes dictators stronger. However, Applebaum's criticism of Trump does not have anything to do with Trump making dictators stronger. There is no criticism of the overthrowing of democratically elected governments; nothing to do with arming dictators; nothing to do with providing diplomatic support for dictatorships.
Applebaum's criticism is restricted to mere rhetoric. She makes it perfectly clear that the role of the US president is to make lofty speeches about values, democracy, the love of freedom. For her, US support for vicious authoritarian regimes is fine, but the president must dress it up in fine rhetoric about democracy and human rights. As Applebaum says, "we hear no such aspirational lanuague from President Trump." She condemns his lack of "reference to theoretical ideals" [my emphasis].
The fact that this opinion piece appears in the Washington Post, the mouth-piece of Washington group-think, is revealing. It shows how deeply entrenched are lying and hypocrisy in the political-media elite. Actually supporting vicious dictatorships is perfectly acceptable, but failing to cover up such support with lying, hypocritical spin is disgraceful and utterly unacceptable. Applebaum makes a point of criticising Trump's positive words during his meeting with Egypt's President al-Sissi. She is at pains to point out his appalling human rights record. However, she is completely silent on the fact that Washington policy towards Egypt under the Trump presidency is nothing other than an unchanged continuation of Washington policy under Obama. In other words, the actual support for Egypt's dictator is an appropriate policy, but it is completely unacceptable to fail to dress it up with rhetorical pyrotechnics about democracy and human rights.
Applebaum's piece reveals the role of the president as understood by the elite. The president is their liar in chief; the state hypocrite; the PR front for US hegemony.