The First 100 Days of Conflict
The first 100 days of every presidency in modern day history has been described as a “honeymoon” period of sorts. That is, now. Since taking
office on January 20th, the Trump White House has been rife with conflict, controversy, and scandal. The so-called honeymoon period first
came into existence under the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration. You could say that FDR set the standard for the first 100 days as a
predictor of what the president will do for the remainder of the term. The honeymoon period is a time when most presidents enjoy their highest
approval ratings. For example, during his first 100 days, Barack Obama was enjoying a 65 percent approval rating. George W. Bush was at 62
percent, and Bill Clinton came in at 55 percent. Of all the modern day presidents, John F. Kennedy has the current distinction of having the
highest approval at a whopping 83 percent. As of this writing, we are at day 99 of the Trump presidency and he is polling at 44 percent with
very few indications of any improvement.
While the first 100 days is not necessarily an actual predictor of how successful or unsuccessful a presidency will be, it does give us some
indication of what to expect for the remainder of the term. President Trump has been marred with scandal. The U.S. Intelligence Community
concluded that Russia intervened on his behalf to help him defeat Hilary Clinton. During the first 24 days into his administration, he
begrudgingly fired his national security advisor, Michael Flynn, after it was established that Flynn lied about having contact with the Russians
as well as having taken over a half-million dollars from both Russian and Turkish governments. Flynn knew or should have known that it was
a direct violation of the Emoluments Clause. In order for Flynn to have lawfully taken money from these foreign entities for the speaking
engagements, he would have needed to get Congressional approval. As of yet, there is no indication that he did so.
You may recall that during his Republican National Convention speech, Flynn led chants of, Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up! Flynn, who
was a Lieutenant General at the time, would go on to say, “If I had done a tenth of what she did, I would be in jail today.” The statement was a
reference to Hilary Clinton’s emails. Well, it now appears that jail may not be too far outside the realm of possibility for Flynn because lying to
the FBI is a criminal offense. More stories are coming to light about Flynn’s suspicious activities. He was warned by the Pentagon back in
2014 to stop taking foreign payments according to a recent CNN Politics article.
In spite of the fact that Republicans control the White House and both Houses of Congress, Trump and his party were still not able to
accomplish one of his main campaign promises. Repealing and replacing Obamacare was something that Trump promised his base he would
accomplish on day one. We’re rapidly approaching 100 days and still no sign the Republicans can agree on health care. Trump would later say
he had no idea about the complexities of health care legislation despite saying how easy it would be to get it done. In the words of
Representative Paul Ryan, “Obamacare is the law of the land.” On immigration, Trump’s two Muslim travel bans were struck down by federal
courts as being unconstitutional.
It is becoming increasingly clear that we have a president who is beginning to figure out that running a country is not like running a company.
While he may know the “art of the deal,” he has yet to learn that politics is the art of compromise. Trump has shown little indication that he is
prepared to reach across the aisle and work with Democrats. President Trump is way in over his head. By his own admission, he actually
believed that being the President of the United States would be easy. Many of his supporters are beginning to feel betrayed as Trump promised
his base that America would be first. So far, that has not been the case as we have witnessed the bombing of two nations. The first 100 days of
the Trump administration have been predominantly consumed by conflict, both here and abroad.