Barrister Hannastu Musawa
Donald Trump recently celebrated his 100-days in office, he blamed everything and everyone but himself for his inability to deliver on most of his promises. Distastefully watching his address with his insignia dreadful comb-over hairdo, he particularly lambasted the media and the constitution for his woes.
The vaunter with a smug glow of self-congratulation and clear narcissistic personality disorder stated he had done more in his first 100 days in office than any other President ever. This is indeed preposterous! It is on record that Franklin D. Roosevelt was and still is the President holding that record.
The president with his infamous extravagant pomposity since assuming office has been attacking anyone and institution that challenges him. From the many disturbing aspects of his controversial and dizzying first 100 days as president, a theme is emerging that, in the long run, may prove disastrous for the US and the world at large.
From the myriad of half-truths and falsehoods that has become synonymous with the man, to the all bark but no bite that has characterized his presidency, many of his supporters have been left disillusioned. Many have begun wondering if they indeed made the right choice during the last US presidential elections.
Among his falsehood was the claim sometime after he was sworn in, he stated he had the all-time record for Time Magazine covers. Records show that this is untrue. He has been on the cover of the magazine a total of 11 times. The all-time record is held by Richard Nixon, who was on the cover 55 times.
For comparison, Hillary Clinton has been on the cover of Time Magazine 22 times, more times than Trump. He also stated that 420,000 people used the D.C. Metro public transit during his inauguration when compared to 317,000 that used it for President Obama’s last inaugural.
However, this claim is untrue. Records show that there were 783,000 trips on the Metro on Obama’s inauguration day. He claimed he was in Scotland the day before Brexit and predicted it. This is also untrue. Trump arrived in Scotland the day after the EU referendum, on June 24th 2016. He claimed Obama agreed to take in thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia.
This has proven to be untrue as the Obama agreement was to take in 1,250 (not thousands) refugees (not illegal immigrants) from Australia’s offshore detention camps in the Pacific. On Twitter he made a claim that he appointed the first female CIA second in command.
However, records have it that Gina Haspel, who Trump appointed, is the second female CIA deputy director. The first was Avril Haines, appointed by President Obama in 2010. These are just some of the lies from a plethora of falsehoods he has been selling to the American public in his first 100 days.
Worried about negative publicity, he recently tried to downplay the 100-day mark as an “artificial barrier.” While this arguably is so, he set it himself, declaring a bold set of 28 promises to fulfil in 100 days in his “Contract with the American Voter”. For the sake of relative brevity I shall be concise as possible in assessing his performance based on this “contract”.
To be fair the Trump administration got off to a flying start, with a series of executive orders that frustrated opponents and set in motion a decent number of his easier campaign promises. That trend slowed dramatically however, as a series of scandals concerning the campaign’s alleged contacts with Russia and White House infighting dominated the news.
As part of his contract to the American people, he promised “Constitutional amendment for term limits on members of Congress”. In assessment, this would have been almost impossible to pass, but Trump didn’t bother trying. Nor did he publicly back Republican senators such as Ted Cruz’s proposed amendment on the matter.
He also promised a freeze in hiring of federal employees – with exceptions for military, public safety, and health – to “reduce the federal workforce through attrition.” Trump put this into action with a 90-day freeze on his first full day in office. However, he lifted the freeze 10 days early when it was obvious his policy wasn’t working.
He promised to “direct the Treasury secretary to label China a currency manipulator”. However, as tensions with North Korea escalate, it’s become abundantly clear that Trump needs China as an ally, leading to a total backtrack on his earlier rhetoric. Hence, his new foreign policy strategy is the complete opposite of his campaign pledge.
He promised to suspend immigration from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur. All vetting of people coming into the country will be considered “extreme vetting.” It is no longer news that courts have halted both of Trump’s executive orders aimed at limiting immigration from a number of Middle Eastern countries and stopping refugee intake.
He promised “middle class, tax relief and simplification act”. In a last-minute dash to fulfil this promise, he sent the briefest of brief plans for tax cuts and reform to Congress late last month. In its current form, however, this plan will make Democrats furious and irk Republican budget hawks, giving it basically zero chance of passing.
He promised to “end the offshoring act” with the aim of establishing tariffs to discourage companies from laying off workers in order to relocate abroad. However, Trump has taken no legislative action here at all. So far, the only lip service he’s paid this promise is a completely vacuous “Buy American, Hire American” executive order.
He particularly promised to “repeal and replace Obamacare act”. Alas, even his own political party members couldn’t get the numbers to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA), his Obamacare replacement, and attempts to revamp it have had no success so far. This has been a major let down among his promises so far.
He promised “affordable child care and eldercare act” which aims to allow Americans to deduct childcare and eldercare from their taxes. Thus far however, Trump has incorporated a child care tax break into his budget proposal, but no concrete action has been taken so far.
He promised to “end illegal immigration” promising a fully-funded construction of a wall on the US-Mexico border, and getting Mexico to pay for the wall. So far, the wall has not been financed and Mexico has forcefully refused to pay for it. It’s also getting very unlikely that a budget containing financing for the wall will make it through Congress.
He also promised to “clean-up corruption in Washington”. Allegations of widespread ethics violations have been a constant in Trump’s short time as President. He has failed to meet basic ethics standards like publishing his tax returns or conducting White House ethics training. He has hired plenty of former lobbyists and Washington old hands and also refused to release White House visitor logs.
Of the 10 pieces of incredibly ambitious legislation Trump promised to deliver, the only one he really attempted was a replacement for Obamacare. And the storied dealmaker couldn’t even persuade his own party to vote for that. His political inexperience is obvious for all to see and the inexperience of his cabinet and staff has bogged down decision-making and execution in his 100-day administration.
Though, he has achieved some success such as repealing a slew of Obama executive orders, generally chopping away at the size of government, earned foreign-policy plaudits for bombing a Syrian air base and pushing China to harden its stance towards North Korea. Nevertheless, when measuring what he has done versus what he promised for the first 100 days, one word from his predominantly vulgar and supercilious vocabulary fits best: Sad!