His bungling in presenting and attempting to have passed his substitute for Obama’s Affordable Care Act demonstrated his ineptitude and ignorance about the processes of parliamentary procedure, and the roadblocks that arise, sometimes surprisingly.
He had little idea of how the ultra-conservative ‘House Freedom Caucus’ would frustrate and eventually block ‘House Republican Bill 1275’ that carries the flamboyant name: the ‘World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017’. He was not able to meet the Caucus’ radical demands for changes to the Bill, and so in the face of it almost certainly being voted down, House Speaker Paul Ryan withdrew it to avoid further embarrassment.
Having learned little, Trump is trying again, but the same opposition is mounting. He told a meeting of the nation’s governors: "Now, I have to tell you, it's an unbelievably complex subject. Nobody knew health care could be so complicated."
The Clintons certainly knew. Clearly he
didn’t know, but should have.
Trump is not used to resistance to his will. He is unaccustomed to the democratic process, does not like it, and makes threats against those who oppose him (‘If you don’t vote for this, you may not get elected to your seat next time’).
My next conclusion is that Trump is ignorant of the processes of his own House and Senate, which Republicans dominate, and does not care for the democratic processes they use to make decisions. He resents having to listen to opponents, and hates not getting his own way.
On the international front he divides people in other nations into good guys and bad hombres. The latter are to be excluded, deported, or bombed out of existence.
On the international front, Trump condemned Obama’s diplomacy, no matter what Obama did.
Now in charge, at the one time he insists that it’s none of America’s business interfering in other places (“Syria is not our responsibility”), yet at another he takes radical action such as when Assad did something he disapproved of, namely attacking his citizens with nerve gases.
My conclusion is that Trump is impetuous, unpredictable and erratic. The combination of ignorance of international diplomacy, an unwillingness to listen to informed advice from experienced diplomats and military men, and a tendency to shoot from the hip and flip-flop on crucial issues, makes him a dangerous leader of the free world, as we have already seen in his handling of the threat from North Korea.
Trump has a reputation for making rash promises, ones it is improbable he will ever keep, even if he wished to. Perhaps the most extravagant is his promise to build a wall across the border with Mexico to keep out illegal immigrants, criminals, drug dealers and rapists! And even more implausibly, to have the Mexicans pay for it!
Even at his 100-day anniversary rally, where once again in campaign mode he ‘felt the love’ of his supporters, he reiterated: “We’ll build the wall people, don’t even worry about it.”
Yet it is estimated to cost $21.6 billion and take three years to build. He knows that Mexico will not pay for it; indeed he has asked Congress to approve funding for it, a major sticking point in his legislative agenda. Of course he boasts that Mexico will pay ‘eventually’!
He promised to begin the Obamacare repeal process on his first day in office, but it still languishes in the House. So far he’s accomplished nothing.
He has promised a massive corporate tax cut, from 35% to 15%, but has not revealed how the consequent revenue shortfall of trillions will be covered. It’s trickle down all over again, with tax cuts for the rich but with no guarantee that any benefit will reach lower income earners.
His exaggerated promises are matched by his exaggerated estimate of what he’s accomplished so far. He boasted: “No administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days”
Trump seems to think signing thirty executive orders are accomplishments. Many have been anti-science, anti-environment, pro-coal and oil, all of which are intended to undo Obama’s entire climate change agenda including crucial regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. He’s also signed orders to review fuel standards for vehicles, stifle energy development and begin the process of advancing oil drilling in the Arctic. Another order is to review national monuments
that were set aside by previous presidents to limit use of public land for historic, cultural, scientific or other reasons. In other words, these orders are designed to dilute or erase all Obama’s attempts to protect the environment.
Some orders have been about border protection, particularly keeping Muslims out, but twice now they have been blocked in the courts by what Trump calls ‘so-called judges’. There’s no joy there for Trump.
My final conclusion is that Trump’s overstated promises are hollow and mostly incapable of realization. Whether he is deluded enough to believe his promises, or cynical enough to promise with no expectation of being able to deliver, is unresolvable for those who cannot fathom his mind.
I could go on and on, but that is enough.
To sum up, my assessment of Trump’s first 100 days is that his fatally flawed personality has led him astray and will continue to do so.
His wilful ignorance about matters scientific, his disregard of the threat of global warming, and his executive orders that reverse all that Obama did to protect the environment, cast him as culpably negligent.
His ignorance of political processes make his legislative efforts look childish, and render most of them fruitless.
His ignorance of international relations, and his reluctance to learn from those with experience, render him not just impotent, but dangerous in a volatile world where reckless leaders threaten destruction or even nuclear catastrophe.
His propensity for manufacturing unachievable promises portrays his untrustworthiness.
His exaggeration about his accomplishments makes him look foolish and naïve, and confirms his reputation as a habitual liar.
The first 100 days of Trump have been disappointing, frustrating and depressing. They have engendered a feeling of uncertainty and hopelessness among concerned Americans and citizens the world over, who are amazed that there were enough US citizens to elect this ignorant, implausible, incompetent and dangerous man to the most powerful position on earth.
Yet many in America still believe he is the one they want in charge despite the calamitous start to his presidency and all the ineptitude, stupidity and unreliability they have seen in his first 100 days.
Who can save us from this?