President’s Message – May 2017
Trump’s first 100 days are now fodder for the history books, and there are plenty of different opinions on just how effective these first days have been. Frankly, I don’t think they are nearly as important as the other 2,820 days of his presidency will be.
How, exactly, did we come to the conclusion that 100 days, or about 3% of his two terms, is somehow the predictor of success? This whole “100 days” construct harkens back to the days of FDR, who inherited a country in economic shambles as a result of the worst depression America had ever seen. He had much work to do to try and save our crumbling country and very little time to do it, resulting in a flurry of cabinet appointments, 74 laws being passed and the implementation of the “New Deal” policies in just over 3 months. Ever since, we’ve judged every President’s first 100 days against the furious work of Roosevelt.
Given that no President since has had to step in the Oval Office under the same circumstances, judging the first 100 days seems to be an excuse for the media to create headlines.
And then there’s this: Donald J Trump is as non-traditional a president as we have ever known. The “normal” rules of politics simply don’t apply to him. Thank goodness…..that is exactly why America elected him. There is still a simmering undercurrent in this country that the old-guard way of doing things isn’t good enough any longer.
Trump did manage to get Judge Neil Gorsuch confirmed to the Supreme Court, in a most untraditional way….. so very Trump-like. So far, there has been no funding to build a border wall, but Trump’s words have been enough to cause illegal border crossings to drop to a 17-year low. Obamacare isn’t repealed yet, but we are clearly on the path because Trump won’t rely on politics-as-usual to bog down important reforms.
The President sent a loud message to the world that if you mess with innocents you will pay a price. He’s telegraphed, rather clearly, that if you mess with the U.S.A. you will pay an even bigger price and that our allies have a place at the table. I’m satisfied with that, for now.
Have the first 100 days of the Trump presidency been all glory? No, he has certainly had his share of failures and lessons learned. But the greatest failure – still – is the establishment’s inability to understand that the old rulebook for politics is dead….. beyond resuscitation. Gone the way of the Edsel, the slide rule, and the IBM Selectric.
To my way of thinking, that may be the best measure of Trump’s success in his first 100 days. I can’t wait to see what the next 2,820 days will bring.