100 DAYS OF DONALD TRUMP, is America great again?

A look back on the first 100 days of President Trump and a look to the future of the United States of America

The United States has been riding on the ‘Trump train’ for 100 days now. These 100 days under President Trump that have displayed a continuous divide in the US, for those imbedded in the political process and political activism. The nature of President Trump’s policy has only intensified political debate between both sides. Divisive partisan rhetoric has plagued the US media, culture and society. Americans who identify as Democrat, Republican and Independent tire of the constant 24/7 news coverage both through digital and online forums, it can feel almost futile to try and escape the grasp of another scandal or press conference. With the Right longing for fair news, rather than ‘fake news’ and the Left hoping to get Trump fact checked, rather than be presented with ‘alternative facts’. This article will comprehend the recent policy action of President Trump thus far and the potential direction of Trump policy and see if ‘America is going to be great again’ under President Trump.

President Trump’s first 100 days has been highly covered and debated by all sides of the political spectrum including those who support Trump (Olivier Douliery: ABACA /Newscom)

The first 100 days of a Presidency became a well known measurement of change from the days of President Franklin D. Roosevelt who coined the term in 1933. In modern America it is seen as a benchmark for the success and future tracking of the Presidential term, and also as a time where real transformational action would begin to take place.

The first 100 days of President Trump have consisted of numerous executive orders, scandals and investigations. The nature of these issues are deep and with the sheer number of matters that could be discussed this article will list the key events of the first 100 days, elaborating to see the future of America and if Trump will keep his promise and “make America great again”. The issues I will touch on have been covered by every major news corporation and has been saturated by media coverage. However, as always all my source are provided at the bottom of this article.

It is difficult to compare the first 100 days of President Obama and President Trump. Although it is inevitable that comparisons will occur, but when seeing this one must consider the different macro factors that faced both administrations on day one. President Obama was in the middle of an economic crisis, with the need of discretionary action to get the US economy off its knees. Whereas President Trump entered in a more stable economic environment, Trump however needed to take transactional leadership action in order to enact multiple campaign promises.

The first 100 days of Obama and Trump is there a difference in relation to policy and their success of enacting policy? (Jim Watson: AFP)

Many forget of the monumental events of President Obama’s first 100 days and his major pitfalls, and there can be similarities that can be drawn to President Trump’s first 100 days. President Obama, was able to stabilise the US economy through the American recovery and reinvestment act, which distributed stimulus packages to the American people and small businesses. Moreover, President Obama promised the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, which was later executed taking US troops out of an unstable and dangerous environment caused by the US government. However, the President also broke a key promise of closing down the Guantanamo Bay detention centre (GTMO), President Obama promised to shut down GTMO after large international criticisms of the terrorist detention centre after accusations of human rights abuses, but the camp still remains open to date.

As aforementioned above, if you wish to see the full 100 days I have linked two very interactive and comprehensive sources from Fox news and the Guardian on the first 100 days, both publications have their own spin and I suggest looking at both(refer below).

START: January 20th 2017 Inauguration — Celebratory events and signed order easing burdens of ObamaCare

  • Day 2: Womens Day Marches take place around the world, President visits CIA HQ vowing to destroy the Islamic State (IS).
  • Day 4: Withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
  • Day 5: Approval of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipeline.
  • Day 6: Signed order approving the construction of the Border wall between the US and Mexico, also putting in place penalties for ‘Sanctuary cities’.
  • Day 8: Signed order imposing a 120 day suspension on the refugee program and a 90 day ban on immigration to and from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan. Also met with UK Prime Minister Theresa May.
  • Day 9: Enacted 5-year ban on officials becoming lobbyists after leaving government and a lifetime ban on former officials lobbying for foreign governments. Infamous phone call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also occurred, and large protests ensued from the travel ban signed earlier.
  • Day 11: Signed in ‘one in two out rule” that government agencies must remove two other regulations when enacting a new one in hopes to encourage investment and business growth in the US.
  • Day 12: Nomination of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch occurs. Firing of acting Attorney General Sally Yates over refusal to enact travel ban.
  • Day 14: Report of phone call with Prime Minister Turnbull breaks.
  • Day 21: Signing of three orders creating a department of justice task forces combating cartels and crime. Injunction placed on travel ban by three Judges.
  • Day 22: Meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. President Trump vowed for more action on immigration and security.
  • Day 25: Roundtable discussion with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the advancement of female entrepreneurs.
  • Day 26: National Security adviser Michael Flynn was forced to resign after reports he could have possible unreported connections with the Russian Government, it was stated by the administration General Flynn “ misled Vice-President Mike Pence”.
  • Day 27: President Trump holds press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with the President not formally committing to the traditional “two-state solution” of Israel and Palestine.
  • Day 28: The President held a ‘free-standing’ press conference, continuing to call institutions “fake-news”, also denying to “rant and rave” in the middle of the press conference and interrupted a Journalist asking a “simple question” as Trump stated it was not a “simple question”.
  • Day 30: Rally held at Melbourne, Florida.
  • Day 32: President Trump appoints Lt General McMaster as the new National Security adviser.
  • Day 33: The President Visited the national Museum of African-American History and Culture, with the President speaking out against anti-semitic actions across the US. Deportations also begin after ground work was laid earlier that week.
  • Day 36: Order signed to remove red tape from many government agencies. Also spoke at Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
  • Day 37: Discussions on repealing and replacing ObamaCare begins.
  • Day 40: President Trump spoke to a joint session of Congress, this is amid claims of a Russia connections probe by the FBI and an announced $54 billion increase to Military spending. Orders signed to review environmental regulation, along with signing a resolution to end Social security administration rule relating to gun background checks.
  • Day 44: Tweet’s claiming that President Obama tapped President Trump’s phone, came from the President in the early morning claiming “McCarthyism”.
  • Day 46: Revised executive order on travel ban signed by President Trump banning travel from six Muslim majority nations.
  • Day 47: Introduction of the American Healthcare act, meets conservative opposition being labelled “ObamaCare lite”.
  • Day 48: Opposition of travel ban met by Hawaiian Judge, arguing the order to be unconstitutional.
  • Day 58: Another infamous meeting, this time with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, where the President ignored a request to shake hands with the Chancellor.
  • Day 60: FBI director James Comey, confirmed there was no basis for President Trumps claim to wiretapping and confirmed an FBI probe into claims of links between the Kremlin and the Trump 2016 election campaign.
  • Day 61: Signing of Space exploration bill. President also met with house republicans to discuss the American health care act.
  • Day 64: Loss suffered as the American health care act had to be pulled from the floor, the act was reported to have excluded 24 million Americans.
  • Day 68: Executive order signed undermining commitment to the Paris agreement, called an “order on energy independence”.
  • Day 69: Executive order signed on establishing a commission on drug and opioid abuse.
  • Day 71: Two Executive orders signed on reducing the trade deficit. Reports also emerged that former National Security advisor Michael Flynn would testify to a congressional panel investigating the Trump aides and ties with Russia.
  • Day 76: Steve Bannon losses place on National Security council.
  • Day 77: US launches 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase, with the President addressing the issue at Mar-a-Largo. This was considered a large flip on the President’s once anti-intervention stance on the Syrian Regime.
  • Day 78: Meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Russian warships also flexes muscle in the Mediterranean after the missile strike.
  • Day 80: US warships move towards Korean Peninsula due to North Korean missile tests.
  • Day 81: Neil Gorsuch formally sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice.
  • Day 84: Signed Bill allowing states to block planned parenthood funding.
  • Day 86: 90 IS militants believed to be killed after the US dropped a ‘MOAB’ (Mother of all bombs) bomb on a location where IS tunnels were believed to be located.
  • Day 87: Thousands across the US protest against President Trump primarily protesting for the President to release his tax returns.
  • Day 88: Easter celebrations occur, as Vice-President Mike Pence visits the Demilitarised zone (DMZ) in South Korea with tensions rising between the US and North Korea.
  • Day 89: Signing of ‘Buy American Hire American executive order’.
  • Day 90: Signing of Veterans Choice Program Extension and Improvement Act.
  • Day 93: March for science protests take place, as the President awards a Purple Heart.
  • Day 95: Call with NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Signed proclamation on Holocaust remembrance.
  • Day 96/97: Executive order signed to boost the agricultural industry, two executive orders signed reviewing national monuments designations with the risk of a potential government shutdown rising. Further, Trump’s team unveiled their new tax plan, with cuts to small and large businesses and simplify the seven tax brackets into three — the system is being criticised for being a major tax cut for the rich.
  • Day 99: Signed executive order aimed at offshore drilling.

END of 100 days: April 29th 2017 — Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Rally held to celebrate 100 days, large protests also take place in Washington DC to march against the administration’s environmental policy.

Note — I did not mention many tweets, or blunders by Trump administration officials such as: “alternative facts, the bowling green massacre and Adolf Hitler not using chemical weapons” to name a few. This article will look at policy, not the mistakes made by administration officials (these are largely covered in the guardian article).

Opinion: Will ‘America Be Great Again’?

So before the breakdown begins in this analysis of the most important factors of the first 100 days and if America will be great again, something needs to be said. President Donald J. Trump, for every good and bad action he takes, there is one criticism that follows from all ends of the political spectrum and it is the unpredictable nature of President Trump. From a personal opinion I think this is almost done on purpose to draw attention away from other issues, a media strategy if you will. However, this does not help the fact that many Americans who are independent of political parties feel uncertain in Trump USA. The article will now look at 2 potential benefits and 2 potential negatives of the Trump administration’s policy focus.

Veterans Affairs

Veteran Affairs (VA) in the US is a mess, both parties agree to this fact. Currently it is massive saving grace of any of the current administrations errors, I believe this is the best work that the Trump administration has taken so far and may take over the next 4 years. Now whether or not the administration acts upon executive orders is another story, but if there is action to follow up on executive orders signed on day 90 I think the VA will be in a better condition than it was before the Trump administration.

Jobs

President Trump’s protectionist approach promised Jobs and growth to the ‘forgotten America’. Although an admirable promise, this would involve shaking up the US economy’s globalised frameworks set by the Obama administration. Trump started this from withdrawing from free trade agreements (FTA), as a negative of FTA’s is hurting local producers and local companies as cheaper foreign products enter the market. This coupled with the set out tax plan of the Trump administration (refer day 97) is definitely set to grow some jobs. especially in the realm of small to medium businesses. However, it needs to be considered that there is a statistical delay in relation to labour figures, with the labour force participation rate in March remaining at around 63%. I would say that by June/July we will have a good picture of job growth under President Trump.

Climate Change

Climate change also relates to the large change up in the US system needed to enact changes promised by the President. With the administrations larger emphasis on coal, to grow jobs and increase the standard of living in middle America. However, this comes at a cost. This type of plan will largely undercut much needed development in renewables, which if invested correctly could actually lead to more job growth including in middle America if the government invests into job retraining programs. This would net major growth to the economy in the long run, and could even make America the renewable development capital of the world.

Health Care

The most unpredictable element of the administration in my opinion is Health care. Trump attempted to repeal Obamacare, but his bill did not pass the house floor. The President will need to spend time on health care if he wants it to be an act that covers and helps all Americans, the first attempt was too much to soon and was worse than Obamacare in relation to coverage and functionality. I believe Trump may even hold off on the act, blaming the system and running on a health care act for his second running for the executive office.

So is America great again? Yes. Well in parts, the Trump administration is heading in a good direction in relation to Jobs and VA . However, in climate change and health care the administration is not delivering at all. A lack of vision to see there is some positives is just hatred of Trump himself, and when people bash each other for being ‘fake news’ or following ‘alternative facts’ they forget one thing. That is those ‘snowflakes’ or ‘conservative nut jobs’ are people, they can have their beliefs you can fact check them all you want, but they will believe what they will believe. Moreover, in a democracy its the people and media who should hold the government accountable, not defend their leaders like some deity.

The first 100 days, have either been glamourised or made to seem terrible. When in fact, it has been both. Put aside that President Trump tweets the way he does, does not have experience in Washington and is not a traditional President. He is just like every other President in relation to their policy action in the first 100 days, some success and quite a few failures.

Tell me what you think of the first 100 days, I would love to get some opinions from people even if you are not from the US.

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