By: Jack Vaughan
On Saturday, April 29, Donald Trump spent his 100th day as President of the United States. As we learned during the presidential campaign, Donald Trump is outspoken, strong-willed, and, most of all, unpredictable. President Trump has barely changed in his first 100 days in office. He is still criticizing his predecessor, insisting Mexico pays for the wall, and tweeting every day. Few people expected any less.
As President Donald Trump neared the end of his first 100 days in office, he declared his first three months as a rousing success. The President boasted the decline in illegal immigration across the Southern border, a new Supreme Court justice on the bench, and his actions to curb terrorism as successes of his administration’s first 100 days. On the campaign trail, Trump promised to “bomb the hell out of ISIS.” With an increase of military action in Syria and the use of a Massive Ordinance Air Blast (MOAB) against ISIS militants in Afghanistan, Trump seems to be keeping that promise. Also, with the help of Congressional leadership, Trump reversed an Obama-era rule that required the Social Security Administration to submit reports of their mentally ill recipients in an attempt to keep them from purchasing firearms. This was seen as a victory for Second Amendment supporters and was part of Trump’s campaign promise of protecting Americans’ Second Amendment rights. Trump also signed a bill ending an environmental regulation that limited the dumping of mine waste in streams. This was boasted as a win for the mining industry, a key group of Trump’s support. To many, Trump is keeping most of his campaign promises.
President Trump has also had his fair share of losses and challenges. Most notably, House Republicans struggled to gather support for the American Health Care Act, the replacement for Obamacare. The AHCA had to be taken out of consideration before the House even voted on it due to lack of support. Dispite what he said to supporters on the campaign trail, Trump reversed his position on many issues: NATO, NAFTA, military action in Syria, and China’s potential status as a currency manipulator. Neil Gorsuch, the President’s Supreme Court nominee, faced wide disapproval in the Senate. Republican leadership had to change the Senate rules for him to even get a confirmation vote. President Trump’s cabinet has been criticized as too rich and out of touch with everyday Americans. His cabinet is the wealthiest in presidential history, worth over a combined $11 billion. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) says President Trump’s administration consists of “rich guys making each other richer.”
With 29 bills signed, President Trump signed more than his last three predecessors in their first 100 days. Trump also signed 30 executive orders, ten more than President Obama. While he has yet to travel overseas yet, Trump has held 65 phone calls with foreign leaders, 13 bilateral meetings in the West Wing, as well as two meetings at Mar-a-Lago. After promises to his supporters that they will get tired of winning, some people have lost hope in the President. However, a whopping 96 percent of Trump voters do not regret their choice in the election. Trump’s approval rating sits at 43 percent, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average, lower than any modern president.
While the President has opted to stay in the country, Vice President Mike Pence took a week long trip touting the new administration’s policy in Asia and Australia. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has visited five countries and met with dozens of foreign leaders from across the world as the administration’s foreign policy begins to take shape. On top of spending more than half of his weekends at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s “Southern White House,” the President himself has also taken many domestic trips. Trump travelled to 11 states for 13 events or rallies similar to the ones on the campaign trail. Trump celebrated his 100th day with a rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a traditionally blue state he turned red.
Having no experience in public office, Trump has a lot to learn about in the working of government and serving as Commander-in-Chief.
“I think President Trump is learning the job,” said Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), “and some of the things that were said during the campaign I think he now knows that’s simply not the way things ought to be.”
In a speech in April 2016, the future president said that the country needed to be “more unpredictable” in its approach to foreign policy. President Trump has managed to keep that promise. One hundred days in, the administration’s foreign policy has proven to be inconsistent. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has called Trump’s remarks on foreign policy “more confusing than anything else.” On the stump, candidate Trump rallied against NATO, dismissed many key alliances in Europe and Asia and criticized America’s role as the world’s policemen. President Trump has now embraced NATO and our foreign allies, and has made military interventions in Syria and Afghanistan. Trump has reversed his opinions on many issues as a result of the reality check upon entering office. Trump’s flip on NATO came after a meeting with the Secretary General of NATO.
President Trump’s first 100 days and the road ahead is uncharted territory for any U.S. president, and frankly, for any world leader. President Trump stated that being president is “more work than in my previous life.” He even admitted that he “thought it would be easier.” With uncertainty ahead, the Trump administration continues to bring the utmost attention as they attempt to continue their mission to “Make America Great Again.”