Even if Donald Trump is not my President, this is still my country and he has been in the people’s White House in Washington, DC for 100 days. I’m sure that everyone has an opinion about this; I know that I do. I am quite happy that DT has been unable to accomplish some of his major objectives so far like overturning the Affordable Care Act or cutting off funds for sanctuary cities. There are some immigration horror stories but there would have been more damage if his executive orders had not been opposed by the courts. He has so far been unable to start work on the wall on the Mexican border. Congress has been able to pass some economic deregulation measures and is working full speed ahead to undo environmental protections. Trump has announced a plan for tax cuts that will put more money in the pockets of those who are already wealthy, so I hope his tax plan also goes down in flames. But after the blunders of his first 100 days people are hopeful, but not convinced, that the entire first term will be equally unproductive.
Mr. Trump has made his greatest strides in dismantling our federal government and this is not a good thing for the citizens of America. He has placed billionaires in his cabinet who have little or no experience in governance. Not only are they billionaires but each appointee has professed an interest in destroying the department s/he has been assigned to lead. Many agencies have almost no employees, especially the State Department which has apparently been practically emptied out. What is the rationale for this? Is it incompetence? Is it the implementation of a plan to make federal government small as Republicans have wished to do for the past eight years? Is it the first stage of what we can expect to be an increasingly authoritarian rule which sees employees who have been in Washington during the Obama administration as resisters who wish to undermine a leader whose philosophy differs from the previous President and from the entire American Constitutional democratic way? It makes little sense to fire people from good civil service jobs when, actually, you are supposed to be trying to increase the number of jobs available for Americans. It seems, to many, that running a large enterprise like our government without the people who pay attention to the details will be messy and eventually the whole machinery will grind to a halt. Again this could be wishful thinking.
Can a pseudo “Board of Directors” hand-picked by a corporate CEO-style President run America without a clerical staff of experienced government employees who understand the rules and the laws and who each have their particular sphere of activity which keeps that little corner of the government running smoothly. They can if they intend to ignore the rules and laws. Our unpopular leader shows a pattern of a top-down governing style that is quite at odds with the illusion of a more bottom-up governance that is the purpose of having a Congress with elected representatives. He is beginning to see that there is a Congress and that with Congressional approval he might get his way more often, but he is not used to sharing any of his power. All his employees, even when they are family, are perceived to have only advisory roles. He does have a Congress that is on his side and they are trying to help him grow into his role but he has never been malleable. He is sort of like a large hyperactive child and in the White House as the President that makes him a “bull in the china shop”.
I was hoping that the President would have already been ousted from office. He has broken so many traditions. I guess we are finding that these traditions do not have the power of laws and that the American President has been given immunity from many of the rules of ethics and just accepted practice, even though most modern Presidents have held to these standards. But not 45. He has turned our government into the family business. He gives the appearance that he has complied with an absolute separation between his business interests and his powers as the head of the US government but we all can see that this is not so. Nepotism even worried our forefathers but Mr. T has no problems with it and, apparently, neither does anyone else in the Republican-controlled Congress. At the end of the first 100 days we find his daughter and son-in-law ensconced in the White House and doing business with world leaders around the world. We suspect they do a little of the nation’s business and a lot of the Trump business everywhere they go.
Donald should either have to comply with these protocols which protect the American people from dictatorship or kleptocracy or he should be forced to leave the Presidency and return to the private sphere. However frustrating we find his casual approach to protections that have been important features of our government these things are apparently not deal breakers. Even the many connections between his Presidential campaign staff and Vladimir Putin’s Russia and possible charges of treason have not made a dent in Donald’s tone deaf occupation of the American Presidency or in the confidence of those who elected him. He manages to blithely tweet his way through all of it and head off on the weekend for some golf.
As to the actions of the incomprehensible leader of the free world in regard to our relations with foreign nations the first 100 days have been, well, incomprehensible. He seems to have alienated all our allies and made nice with all the nations that concern us, except Syria and North Korea. Is he ready to go to war or is he just rattling sabers? He has left us teetering between amusement and horror. We can’t decide if he is dancing on the edge of disaster taking us along for the ride, or if he is the astute gamer that he claims to be. We can see similarities between Trump and Kim Jong un, at least in their shared paranoia syndrome, but Trump does not seem to have the imperialistic or hostile motives Kim Jong un seems to telegraph. Is Trump taunting North Korea to get them to either back down or do that final incendiary thing that initiates trading bomb strikes with all the attendant damages? What will happen in Syria? We just saw DT threaten to cancel the trade agreement with Mexico and Canada (NAFTA) and these nations seem to have backed down and agreed to negotiate new terms. Will threats and bluster work? All I can think is that watching Trump deconstruct America is putting the fear in them. I liked America’s role as a diplomatic power, trying to keep hate from escalating and talking with other nations and not to them. It appears that this is not the Trump way.
Whatever each one of us sees as we reach the 100-day milestone (however arbitrary the time frame) it is clear that there is discontent in the realm, and as far as our “king” is concerned there are only bad polls, partisan courts, fake news and paid demonstrators. How incompetent, treasonous, uninformed, unethical and nepotistic does a person in the US Presidency have to be before s/he is given the boot? Obviously 100 days is not enough time for this disaster to reach critical mass.