Why am I writing about Trump’s first 100 days in office? Surely he should have been impeached, or let’s face it, assassinated, before now. You know you’ve got a horrible world leader when the hero of the day is a lone gunman with some kind of misspelt manifesto, who is hiding in tower lining up a long range shot. Achievement number 1 : Not getting assassinated!
The wheels of justice are too slow to keep up with the catastrophic juggernaut that is the Trump administration. So what is the nature of the carnage that it has left in its wake?
I tried to read articles that were positive about Trump, because I’m curious to see what examples are out there of Trump decisions that are not unmitigated disasters. They are few are far between.
The message is not to measure him by presidential standards because he’s just trying to keep up.
That’s like saying if someone who has no business being a surgeon has no surviving patients, we should just let them keep practising, in case one might live eventually. I reject this notion. If someone is incapable of doing the job to any reasonable degree, there has to be a way of firing them. Trump sure would, he made an entire show off the back of that concept.
Then there’s the theory that he can at least change his mind and “recalibrate his foreign policy.”
Which his supporters might confuse with breaking campaign promises, and his detractors, like me, would call it flip-flopping for ratings.
For him, it’s still all about how popular he is. Five months after the election and Trump is still more interested in Reuters’ reporters looking at a map of the final numbers, than in continuing their discussion with him regarding Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Trump reflecting on his time in office thus far with Reuters has summed up by saying it was harder than he thought. “This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.” A concept so jaw-droppingly obvious it’s hard to imagine any of the three Reuters reporters formulating a new question rather than slapping him across the face and yelling “Pull yourself together Donald of course it’s bloody hard!” I imagine it going further until they have kicked him to death. But I’m sure that never crossed the minds of Messrs Adler, Mason and Holland despite the fact they could possibly have saved the world had they done so.
When discussing Islamist terrorism Trump has said “We are really eradicating some very bad people.
When you take a look at what’s going on with the cutting off of the heads. We haven’t seen that since medieval times. Right?”
This is of course nonsense. We have seen this, from Saudi Arabia, 150 government approved beheadings in 2016 alone, but for some strange reason, they are not on the list of countries terrorists might lurk in, despite 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks coming straight out of that restrictive regime.
Trump said in 2015 “The primary reason we are with Saudi Arabia is because we need the oil. Now, we don’t need the oil so much.” But since the Muslim ban didn’t include Saudi Arabia, maybe it’s the 8 companies Trump has registered in Saudi in 2015, or it’s because, according to Pamela Engle of Business Insider, “From 2011 to 2015, Saudi Arabia has been the top destination for US arms exports.”
I guess when draining the swamp Trump wasn’t talking about those from the Military- Industrial complex who are clearly still running the show. Or anyone else either. The failure of the Clean-up Corruption in Washington Act is clear. Trump himself is accused of ethics violations including no published tax returns, hiring former lobbyists, refusal to release paywall Whitehouse visitor’s logs, and bringing in his own corrupt Wall Street guys. There’s also the concerning relationship with Putin and Russia, where Russians are accused of influencing the American election, but the accusers appear to be dropping dead on a regular basis, so this threat might not last.
100 days is not an arbitrary deadline, because Trump set the time himself when making so many election promises. I’ve looked into 28 of those promises, but will summarise those that have done something, those that have done nothing and those that have managed to make things worse.
There are promises that are failures that I am thrilled about, like the fact that he can’t get rid of affordable healthcare, because the Republican Party is divided over whether they want to be power gathering rich white men, or power gathering rich white monsters. They also won’t let him cancel billions in payments to UN climate change programmes because it involves cuts to international aid and UN funding.
Keeping America American has not worked. Trump has not managed to remove 2 million illegal immigrants with repatriations actually down 1.2% from last year. The two executive orders which stopped immigration from seven predominately Muslim countries that were overturned by the judicial system and judges won’t let him cancel federal funding to sanctuary cities. This is probably just as well considering there is no definition of what a sanctuary city is, and many of them are keeping the rest of America afloat and don’t so much need federal funding, as are supplying it. I’m looking at you California with your liberal Hollywood ways that earn billions of dollars.
The Mexican border wall whose bigotry and isolationism can be seen from space will only be a failure of government if it succeeds, and this is true of the removal of information about climate change from the Whitehouse website, and the oil drilling and pipelines he’s okayed that have been the subject of huge protests.
He hasn’t tried to limit terms on members of congress, and didn’t back Ted Cruz when he did.
His federal employee hiring freeze lasted 80 of the 90 days, and lost 1000 people out of 2.82 million. I didn’t collect data on how many jumped ship because Trump was captain like the top state department officials, or those fired for not carrying out illegal orders like acting Attorney General Sally Yates.
A whole lot of nothing has been achieved by either not doing anything, promising to do things that didn’t need doing, or doing something so pathetically that it won’t be passed by congress. These include not achieving bans on lobbyist’s donations, or time limits on when they can get Whitehouse and foreign jobs. No withdrawal or renegotiation on NAFTA, or end of foreign trade abuses. Nothing has been done on the American Energy and Infrastructure Act, the Buy American, Hire American executive order, or the Affordable Childcare and Eldercare Act. And The Middle class Tax Relief and Simplification Act was too complex, so its rough draft won’t be passed.
Trump’s done nothing for veterans, made no cyber security changes and China has not been labelled a currency manipulator by the Treasury (turns out American needs China. Whoops. Promise rescinded).
There are some promises to do things that Trump has found difficult to keep because it turns out those things didn’t need doing. Like the Restoring Community Safety Act. He’s got a violent crime task force and local police training, but there’s no surge in violent crime to solve.
Trump has also failed to cancel every unconstitutional executive order by Obama. Obama totally screwed him here, having made no unconstitutional executive orders. The same is not likely to be the case should the next president promise the same thing.
Then there are his actual achievements, things Trump has promised to do and has in fact done. For every new federal regulation, an existing one must be eliminated- done and done, and he’s asked agencies to cull as many more as possible. There’s lawsuits accusing him of hurting workers and the environment in doing so, but hey, why worry about a little thing like actual ramifications in reality when getting promises accomplished.
Lifting restrictions on American energy reserves has been done. Yay! Pollute away! Climate change isn’t a thing, good luck planet Earth. He’s also allowed energy infrastructure projects to move forward. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe can get their clean water blasted out of a water cannon while they protest those changes.
He’s replaced Supreme Court Justice Antonin with Neil Gorsuch, pity the appointment was overshadowed by airstrikes on Syria, but Americans like to celebrate by shooting into the air.
With the School Choice and Education Opportunity Act he’s dropped Obama’s acts, like providing guidance for transgender students. He’s cut public school funding and invested in private schools, so if you’re home schooling the children in your cult, you won’t have to deal with pesky things like governmental regulations forcing you to educate boys as well as girls. Just kidding, it’s always the girls who miss out on education in these situations.
Trump has put forward legislations restoring the National Security Act, brilliant, more military spending ($54 billion for the military if it’s passed by congress).
Finally, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is done. That’s right, the TPPA, which I’m deeply against, Donald Trump has tanked. This is the only thing Trump has achieved so far that I’m actually happy about. So credit where credit is due, Trump has achieved one good thing. You can’t call me a Trump hater now.
Adler, S.J., Mason, J., Holland, S., (April 29, 2017). “Exclusive: Trump says he thought being president would be easier than his old life.” Retrieved from www.reuters.com April 30, 2017.
CBS News staff, (April 7, 2017). “Today in Trump: April 7, 2017.” Retrieved from www.cbsnews.com April 30, 2017.
Davidson, A., (April 20, 2017). “The Emptiness of Trump’s “Buy American” executive order.” Retrieved from www.newyorker.com April 30, 2017.
Engel, P., (January 31, 2017). “Trump’s immigration ban doesn’t include the country most of the 9/11 hijackers came from. Retrieved from www.businessinsider.com.au April 30, 2017
Graham, D.A., (January 26, 2017). “Trump’s Hollowed-Out State Department.” Retrieved from www.theatlantic.com April 30, 2017.
Guardian staff and agencies, (April 28, 2017). “’I thought being president would be easier’: Trump’s Reuters interview highlights.” Retrieved from www.theguardian.com April 30, 2017
Hindustan Times staff, (February 30, 2017). “After more than 150 beheadings in 2016, Saudi Arabia carries out first execution of 2017.” Retrieved April 30, 217
Merelli, A., de Haldevang M., Solbin S., (April 29, 2017). “Trump made 28 promises for his first 100 days. We made him a scorecard. Retrieved from https://qz.com April 30, 2017.
Oliphant, J., (April 28, 2017). “’Get off Twitter’: As Trump nears day 100, some stirrings of discontent.” Retrieved from www.reuters.com
Oprea, M.G., (April 30, 2017). “Trump’s first 100 days: he is listening and learning how to take good advice.” Retrieved from www.theguardian.com April 30, 2017
Andra Jenkin co-wrote Double-Edged Sword- The Simonne Butler Story, and contributed to New Zealand Anthology of Women’s Comics ‘Three Words.’