Well, we’ve made it to the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency. From Trump campaign collusion allegations with Russia, the Azerbaijan tower in nowhere’s land, defamation charges from a pervious The Apprentice cast member, running a fake university and losing in court, the highest degree of nepotism our country has ever seen, and Twitter it has been a crazy 100 days. A uniquely idiotic benchmark created only to compare against FDR. But, never the less, Trump peddled it. Both as something completely “ridiculous”, and also something we should grade him on because he’s doing a terrific job. For a man who tries to play both sides of the same coin at all times, this 100 days benchmark is as good as any to judge him on. It demonstrates his inability to stick with or understand policy and politics. This incompetency has plummeted his poll numbers and somehow divide us even more. (Who would of thunk it?) In total, he’s moved his approval rating from 43% to 39%, an all-time low of any president this early on in his 100 days. A Pew Research poll conducted from April 5–11 shows that 82% of Republicans/Lean Republicans approve of Donald Trump, while only 7% of Democrat/Lean Democrats do. That dichotomy is more than any other president since we started conducting these polls. Cool.
Breitbart — the pandering conservative outlet that mashes up xenophobia, narcism, nepotism, racism, gender inequality, and human rights violations into a blender to feed to its diabetic, anti-facts, caucasian crybabies — doesn’t even have that many nice things to say. It calls out only three successes: appointing the stolen seat from Merrick Garland, uprooting individuals from their families and homes (“immigration reform”), and signing, then failing, to implement a single executive order banning Muslims because of the Constitution — I don’t understand how these are successes. I guess Breitbart either hasn’t read the Constitution or hates it. I’ll let you be the judge.
His incompetency is only matched by his narcism, which seems endless. There are plenty of instances that reflect this in his first 100 days. Let’s look at two. First, after a month in office, President Trump claims that “nobody knew health care could be so complicated.” Except, of course, for every single person that has ever worried about paying for health care. Second, and probably most telling, is this quote: “This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.” Admittedly, reading does not do the quote justice. The way he says it has an aura of a child-like revelation. It’s cute, until you realize that he’s the 70-year-old leader of the most powerful country in the world, and then your heart sinks.
The question, of course, is: How is he doing for the minority of the US that elected him? First, if we go off the demographic exit polling, his voters are: 53% of males, 42% of females, 58% of white voters, 53% of older-than-45, 45% of college graduates, 67% of whites without a college degree, 62% of rural or small city populations, and 81% of white evangelicals. (Income ranges were pretty equal between Trump and Clinton voters.). To summarize, Trump voters were white evangelicals with little to no college education living in rural America. As much as the Bernie supporters would like to believe this election was somehow a referendum on class struggles and the establishment, it clearly was not. The top-of-mind issue for Trump voters in 2016 was immigration (64%) and terrorism (57%). When asked if the economy was the most important issue, only 42% of Trump voters said yes. We’re more polarized on ethnic and religious backgrounds than on anything else. Literally, we could all use a civics course called, “How To Get Along With People That Do Not Look, Speak, Or Act Like Me.”
But, he’s doing things to make his voters happy, right? “I’m a voter, and I think he’s doing a great job!” — said some fictional Trump voters. Well, no, he’s not, and anything he has done can be undone because they’re mostly executive orders. Here’s the list of things he’s tried to get accomplished, which were MAJOR aspects of his campaign:
- Healthcare Reform (failed)
- Tax Reform (very likely to fail)
- Immigration Reform (failed)
- Muslim Ban (failed)
- Labeling China a currency manipulator (reversed stance)
- Repealing NAFTA (reversed stance)
- Syria (reversed stance)
- The wall (pushed out, potentially indefinitely because Republicans that live on the border do NOT want the wall. He does not have the votes.)
None of these are likely to get passed anytime soon, because, in large part, he does not have the skills or competency to build coalitions and pass laws. A part of the presidency is working with Congress. This list shows us how effective his deal-making skills are. The only real effectiveness they have are pushing issues out into the future. The real question is: Will he be able to get a bill passed in Congress before the 2018 election that deals with some of his major campaign promises? Given the partisanship among Republicans, from the Freedom Caucus to the more moderate voices, it seems impossible. Because of this, Republicans will likely lose the 2018 election, which will surely be a referendum on Trump and the Republicans’ ineptitude and inability to pass anything.
So, here’s what he has gotten done:
- Allowing the dumping of fossil fuel byproducts into lakes, streams, and rivers because even though this might give you cancer…it still won’t give you a job. What?
- Relaxing environmental regulation
- Approving NoDAPL
- Applying Dodd-Frank sparingly
That’s basically it. He’s accomplished very little. What he has accomplished is almost nothing of consequence to his base. Of the 78 executive orders he’s signed, only 30 create some change by new policy or directive; 27 are memoranda which direct initiatives to cabinet members; and 21 are proclamations — glorified federal holidays or awareness months. A significant portion of these 30 executive orders are task forces designed to explore options, like this one: the “Order on Establishing Enhanced Collection and Enforcement of Antidumping and Countervailing Duties and Violations of Trade and Customs Laws.” It just sets up a task force to find out if a country is dumping products into the US, and then how we should strengthen our response if found guilty. It does nothing right now. It brings back no jobs. More importantly, it does not stop terrorists or build a wall. It does nothing except set up a task force. (By the way, we already have something that does this.)
Big picture: What do redundant task forces mean? Incompetency. He’s just trying to figure out how the office he inhabits works. Which is fine, generally, in any other job. Learning curves are tough. This job is tough. But this is one, if not the, most important job in the US. Unlike Rick Perry’s “Oops” moment — where now at least Perry had the humility to acknowledge he didn’t know what he was talking about when he proposed the dismantling of the Dept. of Energy and has come around to listening to experts — Trump has no humility to lean on. Trump shows only narcism when faced with obstacles he doesn’t understand, and he leans on 30-year-olds to help him dictate policy (Jared and Ivanka). His supporters, in an unhealthy manner, use these same deflective tactics: cowering away from facts in hope of salvation in unapologetic revelation. His supporters have a strong hope that something will happen in the future vindicating their choices in the past and present. In school, you normally get an F if you just spout a ton of cow manure all over a math problem while getting the wrong answer and then say it wasn’t fair; or English, by typing up a bunch of 5th-grade grammatical garbage without sourcing anything and claiming that you don’t need facts because you just provided alternative ones. And traditionally, you should be fired from a job if you keep over-promising and never delivering. So if these things get you an F in school and get you fired at work, then Trump receives an F and a “you’re fired.”
That’s his first 100 days in office. What did you expect?