Vivian Geilim opinion editor
DISCLAIMER: I am a liberal.
When I last wrote about Donald Trump in November, it solely revolved around his ineptitude to fit into the esteemed position of president of the United States. His entire campaign seemed to be a hoax, a big joke where he repeatedly embarrassed not only himself, but the country. However, I hate to say that not all of America agrees with me on this point. A month later, suddenly the impossible became possible and Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton 306 to 232 in electoral college votes. The 2016 presidential election historically marks a cataclysmic change in the nation that will inevitably affect us and the next four years to come.
During a presidential campaign, it is quite common for a candidate to promise things that he’ll accomplish (or at least try to accomplish) in his first 100 days. Now that that benchmark has come, it is time to examine President Trump’s first 100 days in office: the successes, the failures, and the major controversies. Before I go any further, it’s important to note that no president is ever entirely successful at doing everything they sought to do in their first 100 days, nor is there really an expectation that he be so. Furthermore, some issues – that is whether they are determined a success or a failure – come down to strictly partisan lines.
One such issue would be Trump’s injudicious usage of executive actions. To date, the president has signed 30 executive actions, two of which were his first and second travel bans. To many of President Trump’s opponents, these bans unfairly targeted Muslim-majority countries and were thus coined, “Muslim Bans.” Both of these executive orders were frozen by federal judges. Similarly, Trump has used executive actions to promote the obsolete coal industry by rolling back many of former President Obama’s environmental regulations. In one order, Trump directed the EPA to withdraw and rewrite the Clean Power Plan, which placed many restrictions on coal factories and encouraged solar farms. In keeping with his campaign promise, President Trump also signed an executive action that lengthened the ban to five years on administration officials working as lobbyists. Ironically, Trump has now issued 11 more executive actions than President Obama did in his first 100 days, even though Trump was an outspoken critic of Obama’s usage of them.
President Trump’s campaign quickly became synonymous with the phrase, “build the wall,” and he often boasted that he would make Mexico pay for it. This fantasy does not appear to be becoming a reality any time soon. Trump recently asked Congress to appropriate over a billion dollars for his project, meaning that American taxpayers will be footing the bill. Other campaign promises included withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Trump recently said that he will instead simply be renegotiating NAFTA.
Throughout his campaign, one of Donald Trump’s major rallying cries was that he was going to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (also known as ObamaCare.) This notion came crashing down, though, when Speaker Paul Ryan, realizing that even with a Republican majority in congress, withdrew the bill before it could have its vote on the floor. This entire debacle highlighted President Trump’s seeming inability to unify the Republican Party; some thought that the new healthcare law would not do enough to fix the problems with ObamaCare, while others thought that the government had no business being in the healthcare industry, period. As Trump put it, “Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.” In fact, everyone knew it.
Trump’s presidency has been controversial since day one. The day after the inauguration, Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s combative relationship with the press pool was foreshadowed by the way in which he berated the press for their coverage of the inauguration crowd size. On top of that, Trump’s cabinet appointees drew public outcry as many of them were staunch critics or outright opponents of the agencies they now head. The vast majority of his appointees were confirmed, as was his nomination to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court.
Trump’s foreign policy is still ambiguous 100 days into his tenure as president. While it is still unknown if he even authorized the mission, the United States dropped its largest non-nuclear warhead called the MOAB (Massive Ordinance Air Blast also dubbed the Mother of All Bombs) on a cave complex used by Islamic State fighters in Iraq. This was done without congressional approval. In terms of North Korea, Trump’s increased war rhetoric has lead China to assume a larger role in de-escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
Overall, the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency have been major causes for concern. His outright rejection of proven facts and his inability to unite the nation after having lost the popular vote do not suggest that things will be getting better any time soon. Perhaps, though, those who voted for Trump will soon be able to see that he is not the person they thought they were voting for; that his blatant lies and broken promises make him unfit to hold the highest office in the land.