UNITED STATES—I imagine that most Americans as well as citizens around the world are asking this question about the precarious state of our democracy with a president so obviously committed to gutting our most cherished institutions and rules of law, with no one in sight to put a screeching halt to this wrecking ball roaming our White House.

How long are we going to allow this infiltrator to continue decimating our overseas alliances and promises across the globe?  And how long will our other two branches of government allow this current manufactured crisis that is our shutdown to continue when we need our government open for business?

Chaos and incompetence were certainly two of Putin’s motivating forces in supporting Donald Trump for president, but tops on Russia’s list is that they undoubtedly have information on Trump that will forever force him to do Putin’s bidding.  Why else would an American president defer to a hostile government in the following ways?

Imagine Putin’s delight when Trump announced we were withdrawing from Syria.

Imagine Putin’s reveling in Trump’s discussions to withdraw from NATO.

Imagine Putin’s inward smirk when our president told the world that he believes Putin’s denial of election interference over our own intelligence agencies.

Imagine Putin’s downright glee when sanctions were lifted on companies connected to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.

Imagine Putin’s wry amusement when Trump described him as a strong leader – one who happens to control his country by murdering his opponents.

Imagine Putin laughing over Trump’s absurd shutdown.  He must surely see the irony that holding our country hostage over a border wall for security is actually undermining our very security at our airports.

This list is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  What is lurking under this chunk of ice that is our president’s cold heart is a leader committed to only one thing – his own survival.  So the question that keeps rearing its ugly head is this:  Where are the saner minds that can stop this madness and why aren’t they doing everything in their power to do so?  How can so many lawmakers back this president, knowing all that they now know?  It would seem logical that some of Trump’s most ardent supporters finally must be feeling some uncertainty about their leader’s patriotic bent – towards Russia.

But there is another question far more important that needs to be asked of our seemingly impotent Congress that continues to stand by their leader as they watch him tearing apart the very fabric of our laws and institutions:

Why are they seemingly more afraid of their own president than they are of Russia’s?