This Saturday, President Donald Trump reached a milestone that many people and pundits have used since the Presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt to gauge how the rest of a president’s term will unfold: the first hundred days in office.
If one were to ask the President how he feels about this 100-day benchmark, they would likely receive a mixed answer, as Trump went from bashing the milestone as a “ridiculous standard” just a few days ago, to declaring them the “most successful” first 100 days in history. In reality, President Trump’s first 100 days have been marked with incompetence, unpredictability, and outright absurdity.
No matter how much I accomplish during the ridiculous standard of the first 100 days, & it has been a lot (including S.C.), media will kill!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2017
The few accomplishments and campaign promises that Trump’s administration have seen in their 14 weeks in office have largely come through the form of executive orders, memoranda, and other unilateral actions on behalf of the President. Despite the fact that Trump criticized President Obama’s use of executive orders on multiple occasions, Trump has signed 30 executive orders in under 100 days–more than any other president since Harry Truman.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2012
Not all of these executive orders have fared well though. Some of Trump’s chief actions, such as his travel ban that affected several predominantly Muslim countries and his proposal to de-fund so-called “sanctuary” cities for not complying with federal immigration policies, have been stopped in federal courts. Trump has expressed his contempt towards the judicial branch, even going as far as suggesting that the 9th Circuit court of appeals which ruled against him twice should be disbanded.
First the Ninth Circuit rules against the ban & now it hits again on sanctuary cities-both ridiculous rulings. See you in the Supreme Court!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 26, 2017
Some of Trump’s other key campaign promises have also floundered or face significant challenges moving forward. For one, the “big, beautiful” wall that appeared to be the mantelpiece of his campaign has a bleak future ahead of it. Though the current Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, John Kelly, issued a memo in February which outlined the wall’s “planning, design, construction and maintenance,” Trump’s administration has thus far failed to secure any funding for it. Since Mexico has made it explicitly clear that they will not pay for such wall, it is likely that the American taxpayer will be the one to foot the multi-billion dollar bill. Trump also faces domestic opposition to the wall from basically all Democrats in Congress and even some fiscal conservatives in his own party who fear that the border wall will be a needless addition to the federal deficit.
Trump has also failed to repeal or replace Obamacare “immediately” on “day one” as he promised several times while campaigning. Despite his supposed negotiation skills, Trump was unable to strike a deal with Congressional Republicans on a healthcare replacement plan. Members of the fiscally conservative House Freedom Caucus refused to back the initial deal and many are still reluctant to support for the revised draft, forcing House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) to delay voting for at least another week. This failure to bridge the factions within the Republican party spells trouble for Trump and his administration as they move forward and try to tackle tax reform.
On the campaign trail, Trump promised the country that he would label China a currency manipulator, make NATO members pay their “fair share,” and renegotiate the terms of NAFTA. However, Trump has changed his tune on these issues dramatically–perhaps after giving them more thought in his three months in his three months in office.
After meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago in early April, he shied away from branding them as a currency manipulator–a heavy accusation that could have sparked a trade war between the two countries. Likewise, after meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump walked back his previous statements and said that the 67-year-old alliance is “no longer obsolete.” Just less than a week ago, Trump indicated that he was set to “terminate” US involvement in NAFTA on his 100th day in office. Yet when the day finally arrived, Trump changed his mind and didn’t do so upon realizing the impact the withdrawal would have on our country’s economy.
Why would I call China a currency manipulator when they are working with us on the North Korean problem? We will see what happens!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 16, 2017
The various obstacles and failures that President Trump and his administration have faced in its first 100 days have made him admit that being president “is more work than in my previous life” and that he thought “it would be easier”. Perhaps the tremendous pressure and responsibility that comes with being the leader of the world’s largest economy and mightiest armed forces has gotten to him, forcing Trump to seek refuge at his private Mar-a-Lago resort or his International Golf Club in Palm Beach County, Florida, where he has collectively spent nearly 1 in 5 of his first 100 days in office. Trump’s Palm Beach vacations have so far cost taxpayers an estimated $25 million dollars according to a report by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, putting him on pace to spend more money on personal travel expenses than either President Bush or President Obama.
Donald Trump has spent his first hundred days in office showing our country that he is vastly unfit to be president. He has thus far failed to serve as a president for all, continuing the divisive, often factitious rhetoric he ran his campaign on. The bluff that Donald Trump put up during the election is slowly falling apart, revealing the true deceiving conman that he is. I say this even before the Congressional probe on Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election comes to an end–a troubling topic I decided to exclude from this article for the sake of brevity.
Tonight, Trump will break with tradition and skip out on the White House Correspondent’s Dinner. Rather, he will insulate himself with another one of his masturbatory rallies–this time in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Trump can’t shield himself from the criticism and dissatisfaction of the people for the entirety of his administration, despite his administration’s exceptional mental gymnastic abilities. Donald Trump reaches the 100 day mark with an abysmal 43 percent approval rating–the lowest of any president in modern times. If Trump doesn’t change the path of his administration, this number is likely going to continue to plunge–with our country’s prosperity and credibility along with it.