OPINION: Trump’s First 100 Days Weren’t a Damn Comedy
This Saturday, Donald Trump will be celebrating his 100th day as the 45th president of the United States.
So far, there’s been no action on impeachment, Congress continues to operate per usual, and the country hasn’t exactly turned itself upside down. And while we still haven’t seen Trump’s tax returns, got to the bottom of his suspicious ties with Russia, or figured out his health-care plan, it appears as though he would have been our top pick regardless.
A recent Washington Post poll reveals that if Election Day were held right now, Trump would actually surpass Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton in the popular vote. Only 2 percent of Trump supporters regret voting for him last November (96 percent of his supporters still believe he was the right guy for the job), while only 85 percent of Clinton supporters claim they would have voted the same way. These new numbers estimate that 43 percent of the popular vote would go to Trump, with 40 percent going to Clinton.
Despite Trump’s current historically low approval ratings, the resistance movement against him seems to be in limbo.
During the first month, you couldn’t help but notice the constant protests taking over television screens and newspaper headlines. “Resist!” was the slogan that progressives and activists used as catchphrases during demonstrations and publicized press conferences. Events like the National Women’s March and “A Day Without Immigrants” turned advocacy for these social issues into visible acts of defiance. Millions of people took to the streets and made their voices heard. There were real conversations about how to become more inclusive of various identity groups, and I watched advocacy organizations begin to reconsider how they diversify. In Philadelphia, Trump protests began to center various groups — whether it was thousands of LGBTQ locals and allies throwing Queer Rager or packing an airport against Trump’s Muslim ban. It felt like for the first time in a long time that the people united would never be divided.
But now the issues that inspired those large crowds are beginning to turn into minor talking points. Instead of seeing my social media timeline mobilize around community action to resist Trump, I now see folks idolizing U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters for her humorous jabs at Republicans. People think that somehow the recent downfall of former Fox News superstar Bill O’Reily is a blow against Trump. We are spending more time arguing what is “fake news” with press secretary Sean Spicer and gushing over the skewering of conservative political personalities such as Tomi Lahren and Alex Jones. Translation: Our collective instant gratification from petty gains in a cultural war has made us lose sight of the bigger picture.
Meanwhile, Trump has issued 24 executive orders (more than any U.S. president since World War II), 22 presidential memorandums, and 20 proclamations. With 28 bills signed into law so far, our current president has devoted 13 of them to reversing Obama-era policies.
Right now, I couldn’t care less about what any witty political pundit has to say when our current Commander-in-Chief is launching airstrikes in Syria and getting very bold with North Korea and Iran. The entire premise of the resistance movement is to confront the dangers inherent in a Trump administration, not just stand by and cheer the small victories of personally belittling him and those who support his policies.
It’s time for progressives who want to see real legislative and social justice causes advance to stop swinging at the softballs lobbed by corporate media and reconnect to address policy and community issues. With the low-hanging fruit of the first 100 days thoroughly picked over, Trump’s antics will get even more flagrant. It’s clear that he sees that all this nonsense we keep engaging with as good for ratings.
Perhaps the focus should be not only on resisting Trump’s policies, but resisting his distractions — and all of the others who relish in them for ratings as well.