Tuesday, May 2, 2017

My take on Donald Trump's first 100 days in office.

Donald Trump's official White House portrait. 

As you are surely aware, Donald Trump passed the 100 day mark as president this weekend. Though I think the impact of the 100 day mark is over emphasized, and I am a couple days late, I thought I should write up a quick post on how I feel he has done. It won't be hugely in depth or anything, just a general reaction on how I think he is doing and what he has accomplished. This comes from the perspective of a Trump voter and someone who is mostly happy with how things have gone.

The Good:
-Illegal immigration seems to be slowing down. The number of people stopped at the border has decreased dramatically and criminal aliens are getting deported. Trump didn't have to do much here other than simply get elected and instruct the federal government to act. 

-Our relationship with China has improved dramatically. Despite a few hiccups, like the row over our deployment of the THAAD system in South Korea, China has essentially switched sides. They are really helping us in North Korea and could prove a hugely important ally. If Trump and China pull it off and really make the North Koreans give up their nukes, there is a Nobel Prize in it for Presidents Trump and Xi. This was a major surprise for me and a very pleasant one. I have been critical of China in the past but if they are willing to work with us, I don't see any reason why our two countries can't get along

-Our relationship with Egypt is also improving. Obama hated al-Sisi because he removed the Muslim Brotherhood government that Obama had installed after Hosni Mubarak was toppled. With Obama gone, Trump was able to improve our relationship with this key regional ally. We are righting a wrong by doing so. 

-NATO members have pledged to increase their funding to mandated levels. They should have been doing so anyways, but at least they are coming through now.

-We have a new Supreme Court Justice in Neil Gorsuch. This was a huge victory for not only Trump, but for anyone on the right politically and a huge relief for anyone who was worried about the makeup of the court. Indeed, the Supreme Court alone should be a strong argument for the Trump presidency for anyone on the right politically. Espcially since we are likely to fill another seat or two before Trump is done. 

-The "Russian" connection conspiracy theory is dead in the water. All but the most dedicated of leftists have given up that angle of attack on Donald Trump after he launched missiles at Syria. Considering all the wasted ink and hot air over the issue, it's a major victory to kill that story for good. 

-Trump has reversed many of the Obama executive orders, including ones on gun control. This is a huge win in my book. 

-The war against ISIS seems to be going pretty well. Mosul will likely fall soon and we are getting closer to Raqqa. And we dropped the largest conventional bomb on ISIS in Afghanistan. It seems clear that ISIS is losing power and prestige very quickly. That was true before Trump was sworn in, but the pace hasn't let up.

-TPP is dead.

-Trump is moving on H1B visa abuse and this is already leading to more hiring of Americans. 

-No major terror attacks in the United States during the first 100 days. How much of that is due to Trump being president we will never know, but a good sign nonetheless. 

-Economy seems to be doing ok, though I am far from an expert on that issue.

The Bad:
-Trump hasn't been able to herd the cats in Congress. He hasn't gotten Obamacare repealed or tax reform passed. Progress might still be made but I am not hopeful that either will happen soon. Congress has much of the blame, but Trump hasn't been able to overcome this so far.

-There hasn't been much, if any, movement on the criminal investigations into the Clinton family, the Obama administration and the Democratic Party. I believe crimes have been committed by all three groups and so far none have been arrested and there isn't much indication that they will be soon. A disappointment for me for sure. 

-Trump has faced serious opposition to his executive orders on immigration. The partial travel ban from six countries, already a step back from the total ban on Muslim travel, has not been enforced yet. I understand, and support, the fact that Trump has to fight it out in the courts, but it is still disappointing. 

-The Wall hasn't begun construction yet and no funds have been secured to do so. 

-Something really needs to be done about the leftist protest movement. I understand that there is an argument to be made that we shouldn't interrupt our enemies when they are making a terrible mistake, but we can't have Antifa running amok either. I really wish that Trump would either unleash the FBI on these protesters or address the nation directly on the issue. Though it is getting a lot of attention with the conservative media and voters, Trump hasn't said much on the issue, other than to threaten to pull Berkeley's funding after the riots there. 

-I wasn't a huge fan of the strike on Syria. Though I do think that they almost certainly used chemical weapons again, I still would rather have just left them alone. 

-Our relations with Russia haven't improved much. I elected him in part because I thought he could repair some of the damage caused by the Obama administration yet so far things look even worse. To be fair, I think Trump out maneuvered Putin in Syria, but we still aren't on good terms. 

The Ugly:
-The media is still on the warpath against Trump. There is very little positive coverage even when he does something amazing. Nothing seems to be working on this front. 

-Congress is a huge problem. Trump has gotten some cooperation out of them, but the GOP leadership, especially Paul Ryan, are not helping his presidency at all. Nothing can be done about this until the 2018 elections... 

-The culture war is uglier than it has ever been in my lifetime. 

-Europe is still a mess and there hasn't been much progress made there. 

-Many of Trump's campaign promises are still not completed yet. 

-Trump didn't handle the Russia conspiracy theories against him as well as he could have. Hiring Mike Flynn was a mistake that he probably should have seen coming. 

Over all, I would say that Trump had a fairly good start to his presidency. I am glad that I voted for him and I don't have any regrets. That being said, there is always room for improvement, and I do have some criticism for him. Given the circumstances though, he could be doing much worse. I certainly didn't realize that Trump would face so much resistance from both outside his party and within. I was hoping by this point most of America, or at least the GOP, would be on board with him, but it hasn't played out that way. 

Given his accomplishments in the first 100 days, he could take the next four years off and still be a fairly decent president. I certainly like him better than Obama at this point in his presidency. Still, I think that many of his supporters want to see him succeed in his agenda and somehow get the GOP in Congress to work with him. We shall see if he manages to pull that off... 

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