Welcome to the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency. The controversial president has made headlines constantly since his inauguration, but did he accomplish anything concrete? Take a look at what’s happened in the last 100 days, and where Trump stands in history.
One of the persistent jokes in these past 100 days is “at least we’re still alive.” In a world where Donald Trump is president, being alive is the bare minimum that people ask for. The first 100 days of a presidency are judged by history, an indication of what’s likely to come for the next four or eight years. So far? It’s not looking great.
Though it is an artificial benchmark, it’s a concept introduced by Franklin Roosevelt, and has been tradition for every president to fulfill since. Up until Day 99, Trump, 70, derided the deadline as ridiculous and fake, but he himself was the person to promise that he’d acknowledge it. It’s likely that he’s not happy with the 100-day benchmark because he’s had far and wide the worst 100 days of any president since FDR.
As of Day 98, Trump’s approval rating sat at a staggeringly low 41%, the lowest in the first 100 days of any president elected in the last 72 years — they all sat at 53% or above at this point. The only exception to this is Gerald Ford, with 45%, but he wasn’t elected, instead assuming office when Richard Nixon was impeached in 1974.
While Trump has his accomplishments, the general consensus is that his administration is weak. Trump still has 553 positions open in his administration, having only nominated 50. Ninety percent of the positions still need to be filled, which isn’t just troubling, but also strange. Shortly before Trump took office he reportedly didn’t know Barack Obama‘s staff would be leaving the White House with him.
He still hasn’t settled on a concrete foreign policy, but riled a number of world leaders with seemingly arbitrary actions, such as bombing a base in Syria, launching an ill-advised military raid in Yemen that left a Navy SEAL and a small child dead, and alluding to nuclear action against North Korea. Nuclear war has become a real threat after North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un said he was disturbed by Trump’s threatening tweets. The country is currently testing ballistic missiles.
He failed to get a healthcare replacement bill passed in Congress, breaking one of his major campaign promises. He has yet to start construction on the famed Wall between Mexico and the United States — or convince the Mexican government to pay for it. He hasn’t made any effort to help coal miners improve their quality of life — another campaign promise ignored.
Trump has signed a staggering 28 executive orders in 100 days, the largest amount since 1949 — but Washington Post fact-checkers warn that this isn’t necessarily an accomplishment; they’re considered “minor or housekeeping bills.” While that may be true, he’s laid the groundwork for some lasting policy change, considered detrimental to the United States (depending on who you ask).
One of the first executive orders Trump issued was to implement his sweeping immigrant (aka Muslim) ban. The sweeping, alarming order banned “dangerous” immigrants and visitors to the United States from six Muslim majority countries — Yemen, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Iran, and Somalia. This initially included those holding green cards and visas, as well.
His desire to ban immigrants was a sickening realization for Americans and immigrants alike that he was serious about the deep hatred he expressed during his presidential campaign. But the sweeping ban has been repealed over and over again by federal courts, despite the president’s clear belief that he has supreme power over the United States government, no checks or balances required. Wrong.
His vision to create an immigrant crime office has come through just under the deadline, with the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) launching on April 26. The division of the Department of Homeland Security, underneath ICE, comes complete with a hotline for victims and witnesses to report alleged crimes by undocumented immigrants. Additionally, ICE has deported a record number of undocumented immigrants in the past 100 days, including DREAMers. Nobody is safe at this point.
Trump successfully nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court after Obama spent the last year being dragged around by Congress with his own pick, Judge Merrick Garland. But the way Gorsuch came into his position has potentially devastating consequences. In order to elect Gorsuch, the Congressional GOP used the “nuclear option,” a rule change that dismantled the Democrats filibuster of the nomination and get him on the Supreme Court bench with 60 votes, instead of a majority. This means that going forward, this can happen for any SCOTUS judge.
Trump’s election also ushers in an administration that doesn’t believe in climate change. Already, the president has proposed taking away national monument status from a number of natural places, including the Mariana Trench. He drastically cut funding from the Environmental Protection Agency, limiting its power to the point that the department was knocked from the White House website.
His rise to power has sparked national protest, most notably the Women’s March on Washington — and its satellite marches — which brought millions of women and male allies on all continents, including Antarctica, together one day after the inauguration to protest the administration’s anti-women rhetoric. The Science March on Earth Day, April 22, was massive as well. The Muslim ban protests flooded airports with activists rallying together to let detained immigrants get into the country.
He’s made an enemy in the press, deriding reporters, papers and networks as “fake news” whenever anyone writes something factual, but critical of his presidency. Count on this being next. The bottom line is that Trump has yet to prove himself as president, and failed the deadline he vowed to make. Thus far, he’s based his presidency on eroding the trust of the people who voted for him. It’s only 100 days into four years, though. We’ll have to wait to see what comes next. Sad.
HollywoodLifers, how do you think Trump is doing 100 days into his presidency? Let us know!