I watched the clips of Trump's first cabinet meeting while visiting my son on the other side of the country, and during the remaining days of my visit, he frequently greeted me with, "I just want to say what an honor it is to be your son" or words to that effect. That, of course, was his commentary on the astounding celebration of toadyism that opened the cabinet meeting.
Now that we've (perhaps) recovered from the shock and grown tired of mocking the hapless adults who humiliated themselves in praise of the Trumpeter, let's look at the most disturbing aspects of the episode. Two features qualify for that "most disturbing" (worst of the worst) designation.
First, there's the incomprehensible willingness of a roomful of accomplished, wealthy, experienced-in-the-ways-of-the-world grown-ups to prostrate themselves before the child we've elected to the presidency. It was obvious their statements were not spontaneous, but were choreographed, if not scripted, by the smirking convener. Of the speakers featured in the TV clip that I happened to see, only James Mattis preserved his self-respect with his nod to the men and women of the armed forces, instead of to their commander-in-chief.
The kowtowing of the others is made even more incomprehensible and frightening by this: there was not a person in the room whose life or livelihood would be threatened if they had refused to go along with the charade. Yes, the Impulsive One might have fired a rebel, but all are either wealthy by most standards or possessed of resumes that would quickly power them into respectable jobs. So ... what does the kowtowing mean? Why did they do it? Who knows?
The other candidate for worst of the worst is the indisputable ignorance Donald Trump put on display for all the world to see. Does he really not know that demanding such toadyism is typical of dictators with the power to have dissenters taken out and shot or "disappeared," perhaps incarcerated forevermore? Think North Korea, Mao's China, Stalin's Russia. Is that what he aspires to?