The first one hundred days of Donald Trump in the White House is far from being a grace period for the president, who’s added during this emblematic time more blunders than accomplishments, he’s been unable to convey an articulated vision of the government or a future for the United States, and his constant vagaries paint him as unpredictable and uninformed about fundamental matters on administration and foreign policy.
The months past have shown that the businessman has not abandoned the practically one-sided leadership style and mordacious rhetoric of his election campaign. Despite a few successes, the president of the most powerful nation in the world will have to temper himself and develop new skills to negotiate and persuade the political and economic powers, if he has any hopes of leaving a substantive legacy.
It’s a concrete fact that Trump is the president who reaches this symbolic milestone of 100 days with the lowest popular support in the history of the United States.
Events during this time have given the United States and the world and idea of the management capabilities, potentialities, knowledge, and suitability of the president to lead the powerful nation.
To start, Trump has been unable to complete the team of Secretaries and officials who will be in charge of the federal government. Appointments so far do little to reflect the great diversity of the United States.
Measured against his campaign promises, this man without a political track record has shown a certain level of progress and commitment inasmuch as economic protectionism and hardening of the migratory policy. However, he has achieved this through executive instruments.
This is why his executive order to limit the entry into the United States of foreigners arriving from countries with a Muslim majority was halted by the courts. Also, the item to build a wall in the border was deleted from the budget bill and the intent to leave the North American Free Trade Agreement lasted as much as the talks between Enrique Peña Nieto and Justin Trudeau, leaders of Mexico and Canada, after which he announced that there will be negotiations.
In balance, he managed the confirmation of judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Although tainted by the change in the rules that republicans used to obtain the appointment, in the coming decades, it is to be expected that Gorsuch will tip the balance in the highest court toward a more conservative line. He will have to pass judgment over the constitutionality of the president’s policies.
Despite this support from the republican majority, Congress has proven to be an inhospitable and elusive terrain for Trump, who has not pushed any substantive legislation. He hasn’t even been able to garner sufficient republican votes to repeal Obamacare, a campaign promise that, if approved, would leave 24 million people without health coverage.
Faced with unpopularity and questions over the links between his campaign and Russian president Vladimir Putin, Trump ordered an attack on a Syrian base that earned him sympathy in the United States, but it also drew more doubts than certainties over his capacity in international affairs. His most recent proposal to cut taxes, initially touted as a benefit for the middle class, is seen with suspicion and as political maneuvering.
Based on this record, Puerto Rico has to be watchful of the moves by the White House. If something has shown Trump’s lack of knowledge on fundamental matters it is the attack against 3.5 million American citizens and their right to health, through the wildly outrageous comparison of the allocation of funds for Medicaid with a financial bailout.
But the administration is just getting under way. We hope that Trump’s crash with the political reality of Washington D.C. opens a way that defines a path, an agenda, and a strategy that is fair and inclusive, which provides benefits for the people. To that end, the president has to tackle his greatest challenge, himself.
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