Donald Trump is (or will be on 20 January) the most powerful man on the planet. He released two pages outlining what actions he is going to take in his first 100 days in office, his 100-Day Action Plan to Make America Great Again on his website in late October. Let’s see how he does.
8 November 2016: Trump elected.
15 Nov 2016: President-elect Trump announces presidential inaugural committee leadership. Unrelated to the plan, just preparing for the inauguration.
21 Nov 2016: President-elect Trump releases video message. The video is just over 2 minutes. He reiterates items directly from the plan.
18 Jan 2017: two days before the inauguration, Trump does an interview with Fox News. Most of the talk was about the inauguration. From the election through today, there were 3 main focuses in the media and from Trump:
- Trump selecting cabinet members
- The media trying to make stories out of very little actually happening
- Trump tweeting and responding to the media on Twitter.
23 Jan 2017: Sean Spicer’s first White House press briefing, work day one.
- Trump has already withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
- He has revived two proposed oil pipelines, the Keystone and Dakota. (I don’t personally support this, but he signed something that allowed them to go forward).
- He reiterated his intention to withdraw from NAFTA, but that there is a procedure that has to be followed in accordance with the deal.
- He reiterated his intent to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
- There were no specifics yet, but he reiterated his intent to make deals that allow businesses to create jobs.
- He still intends to build a wall on the Mexican border. Sean Spicer continued the focus on illegal immigrants who have committed crimes per the 100-day plan.
Many of the questions at the briefing sound stupid. Initially, I hesitated to make that judgement because the reporters must be well-vetted to even be in the room. Then one of the reporters (named “Shane,” no further ID stated) referred to the “First Day Action Plan,” and asked why Trump didn’t address everything on the plan on the first day. That subject I am familiar with and I am 100% sure it’s an incredibly stupid question. It’s a 100-day plan, not a 1-day plan. I’m really surprised they don’t suspend reporters’ privilege of being in that room sometimes and replace them with competent people.
Trump still believes there were millions of illegal voters in the election.
28 Jan 2017: I am not going to continue to follow this contract. It just takes too much time. In attempting to follow, I have heard various reporters say that it is difficult and it is their full-time job. I will return to the subject on 30 Apr to check the results.
In searching for the truth on this subject, the best source I found was to search “Sean Spicer” on YouTube. A good portion of what the media talks about comes from the White House spokesman. I am certainly not suggesting agree with everything that he says, but if you get the information second-hand it is often not even recognizable from what Sean Spicer actually said.
Another source, and I know this hurts, is to follow Trump on Twitter. Like it or not, fact: the president of the United States tweets daily. The media talks about it. If you’re going to hear them talk about it, you should know what they’re talking about.
That is obviously only one side. For dissenting opinions, I look for Trump’s own people because they don’t have ulterior motives to dissent. Secretary of Defense General Mad Dog Mattis’ dissenting opinion on the use of torture is a good example so far.
Two other sources from the past that appear genuine are his former employees Louise Sunshine and Hayley Strozier. They tell unflattering stories that appear to be true while they don’t appear to be gaining personally from it.
What I believe are unifying truths in this situation are that we don’t have a unifying purpose. Had Obama succeeded at his agenda, half the country didn’t want it. He talked smoothly of unification and “crossing the aisle,” but to me and many people, he was divisive in his own way. Trump is openly hostile, and I thought that, counter-intuitively, maybe this approach would have the opposite effect by making it a badge of honor to get along with the big bad Trump. That is a stretch I know! So far, that does not appear to be the result.
What are we doing? What is success?
So we lack a unifying purpose at the national level: we need to invest personally in our local communities! People are already doing this. You probably already are. Turn off the TV, and feel good about it! Embrace your sense of purpose!
30 April 2017: His first 100 days are complete.