We’ve hit the 100-day mark with President Donald Trump.
And 100 days later, that doesn’t sound any less weird.
It’s been an interesting few months. The world has been in flux. There’s a ton of uncertainty in the air. No one really knows what to expect or what the future holds. Pundits and analysts don’t have enough data or foresight to predict what they think will happen. There are too many balls in the air, too many loose cannons to contend with, and too many unknown variables to attempt to take into account.
The things we once held as standard and constant as far as our government, ideals, and livelihoods are being called into question and threatened. The things we’d worked so hard to achieve for our country and our people are being systematically undone. The progress the Obama administration made over the course of 8 years is being reversed without any rational cause or agenda (operative word there is “rational”). Things that we never would have accepted or tolerated as a people just a year ago have somehow been made normal.
100 days later, our leaders still don’t inspire confidence, nor do our leaders seem any more competent than they were in January. The White House is a mess with questionable chains of command and heads of departments who have no business being heads of their departments.
Yet, our leaders have still found cause to be driven by arrogance and ego. How does that work?
Yes, it’s been weird, but people can handle weird. Weird doesn’t necessarily impact your daily life. It doesn’t (usually) put lives in danger, or negatively impact the environment or global economy. And weird doesn’t start or perpetuate international conflict.
And here we are. Our elected officials are dumb and dangerous, and we’re stuck with them, at least for the foreseeable future.
President Trump’s first 100 days have not gone well. He’s dismissed the very benchmark that he based many of his campaign promises upon because he’s decided it no longer applies to him. How much was supposed to have been accomplished by now? Is ISIS still a thing? Have we “fixed” healthcare, whatever that means and entails? Has the wall (or fence, or blimp) been funded, and is construction under way?
Obviously none of these promises, nor any of his other promises, have been fulfilled. These are inarguable facts. Sure, he’s attempted to deliver on several of them, but failed attempts aren’t worth anything when it comes to government. The thought doesn’t count. There’s no A for effort. There’s no participation trophy.
But who actually expected him to accomplish any of this within the first 100 days of his presidency? Certainly, these were irrational and lofty goals to meet, especially for a man with absolutely no government experience. Not to mention, he didn’t have a single plan in place for how he was to achieve any of them.
He took office with a sub-par (to put it lightly) understanding of how government works. He lacked insight into the nuances of creating, passing, and enacting policy changes. He underestimated the scope of the job he was handed. He presumed to know more than he ever did about issues facing our nation and the globe, getting all of his news from “the news,” rather than from his intelligence officials, experts, or ambassadors.
President Trump is scary because nothing is scarier than a man who doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. And this is the man in charge of our economy. Our foreign relations. Our livelihoods. Our military.
I’ll admit that last point hits a little closer to home for me than it once did. With the MOAB that was recently dropped in Afghanistan and the ongoing uncertainty of the situation in North Korea, it’s not alright that after a ten minute conversation with President Xi Jinping of China, Trump was finally enlightened just enough to understand that the situation over there is a bit more complicated than he realized.
Perhaps that conversation could have happened before our Commander-in-Chief decided to re-route a naval fleet and send them to North Korea.
I mean, there are YouTube videos that discuss the conflict between North Korea and China and the rest of the world. I’m not asserting that our president should get his information from amateur videos on the internet, but my point is just this – the information is there. The resources are accessible and plentiful. If he cared to understand the happenings in the world, even at the most basic level, he could.
But for a man who skips security briefings and doesn’t see the benefit in reading books, knowledge and insight don’t seem to be top priorities, not even when making decisions that impact the rest of the world.
So, the situation we’re in isn’t exactly ideal. Things look bleak, but I suppose they could be worse. Where does this leave us as a nation, though? As citizens of the world? As decent people?
In the brilliant words of Louis C.K.,
“The whole world is full of people who didn’t kill themselves today.”
And that’s something worth celebrating. It means there’s still hope. There’s still a silver lining. And there are still goals and dreams worth pursuing. There are still causes worth standing up for.
If President Trump is struggling to get a firm grasp on his new position, that doesn’t mean that the rest of us can’t continue on with whatever we’ve got going on. We’re not completely victims of the decisions he makes. If his arrogance and narcissism prevents him from seeing what’s in front of him, that doesn’t mean that we can’t continue to enlighten and educate each other. Our collective understanding can “trump” that which he lacks. Obviously, that works for both sides of the equation. Liberals can learn a thing or two from conservatives, and vice versa.
And remember – for every figure head and person in a position of power, there is a subordinate leading the charge, influencing decisions, and orchestrating change. Never doubt the impact of one person.
At the very least, we can learn to appreciate the different perspectives, beliefs, and passions that fuel the diversity of our country and world. Nothing is gained without understanding. Progress is not made without growth. Positive change does not happen without openness and forgiveness.
Trickle that down to the people.