Donald Trump has not had the worst first 100 days of any American President; that dubious distinction belongs to William Henry Harrison who died on his 31st day in office as a result of getting ill during a long inauguration speech and almost immediately going to bed. Trump inauguration speech was a dark vision of America but at least he didn’t catch phenomena. By all appearances Trump will last the 100 days which was not a sure thing earlier on. My “praise” doesn’t get much better. Let’s explore.
At the beginning of this administration I set the bar extremely low; all I asked was that he not start a nuclear war. To date he has fulfilled my wish. This week the big challenge is for Trump not to screw up the apparent deal Congress is working out to keep the government running or kill countless Americans in retaliation for not getting his way on the ridiculous wall.
Trump is unpopular; historically unpopular! His approval rating is the lowest, (42% – and I know it’s lower in many polls), of any President since the advent of modern polling. Barack Obama who broke the racial barrier was at 61% at this point in his presidency. George W. Bush whose election was so controversial it had to be decided by the Supreme Court was at 55%. Gerald Ford who wasn’t even elected was at 50% after 100 days. Trump’s net approval /disapproval rating is the only negative in the bunch at -11.1%. The next closest is Ford at +19.2%.
Thus far Trump has held onto his base because they see him as trying; failing but trying. Trump’s base is largely in the South and my native Rust Belt. Despite living in the South for almost the last two decades I must admit I largely still don’t understand it but I know what motivated most of his supporters in the Rust Belt: the prospect of jobs. The mill and mining jobs that Rust Belt denizens await the reappearance of simply are not going to materialize. You can’t feed your family with rhetoric or campaign promises. At some point reality will set in and they will abandon Trump the naked emperor. Many who lost their factory jobs ended up in retail. Since the first of the year America has lost more retail jobs than the total amount of jobs in the coal industry which Trump claims to have saved and be resurrecting. The vaunted Carrier jobs in Indiana are already starting to dry up despite Trump’s bravado and Mike Pence’s blackmail payment as he existed the doors of the Governor’s mansion in the Hoosier State.
For a self-proclaimed man of the people Trump is running an incredibly opaque government. Trump has stopped releasing the visitor logs to the White House citing national security. To steal a word from former Vice President Joe Biden, that sounds like malarkey to me! In addition to that Trump is taking meetings and visitors at his private club Mar-a-Lago where there are no records. (But the taxpayers are still footing the bill). The initiation fee alone at the Trump owned Mar-a-Lago is $200,000. Talk about pay to play and I’m not referring to a round of golf either. Of course this is standard operating procedure for Trump; making deals using other people’s money.
Then there is the Iran Nuclear Deal, which the Trump administration finally had to admit the Iranians are adhering to. Despite the fact that it is at least delaying Iran from becoming a nuclear power the Trump administration is trying to find a way to unilaterally back out of it. Of course that will only put American businesses at a disadvantage and hasten Iran becoming a nuclear power. Neither of those outcomes is in America’s interests.
Last week Trump boasted, “No administration has accomplished more in the first 90 day.” Not only is he wrong, if he believes what he said he is delusional. Have you ever heard of Franklin Roosevelt, Mr. Trump? Just a week ago today Trump managed to insult both Italy and Canada on the same day. They are American allies and not the first he has offended.
Three articles, nearly three thousand words and my conclusion remains the same: the first 100 days of the Trump administration have been an abject failure! Unfortunately I’m not holding out much hope for the future as long as he remains in office.
America needs to be thankful that in any event presidential administrations are finite. Trump needs to be thankful for William Henry Harrison and pneumonia.
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