The beginning of President Trump’s first 100 days sparks controversy among the American public
By Clare Driscoll, ‘19 and Nathan Junk,‘19
“We will make America strong again. We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And yes, together, we will make America great again.”
With these words, President Donald Trump began his term as President on Jan. 20, 2017. Since then, there hasn’t been a day where his actions haven’t made headlines. Whether it is increasing the vetting process for visas, nominating a Supreme Court justice or ordering a federal hiring freeze, President Trump has been very efficient within the first few months of his presidency.
[ First 100 Days ]
The first 100 days of a new president’s first term have always been viewed as the most productive days of an administration. The new Commander in Chief is typically able to do so much because Congress is more lenient and ready to see change. Presidents also use this as a time to solidify their agenda for the next four years and make significant decisions that may be harder to implement as their term goes on.
For example, in former President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first 100 days, he passed 15 major bills through Congress, saved the banks, created the Civilian Conservation Corps and instated his famous New Deal.
President Trump has been very active in the first 43 days of his presidency. So far he has signed an executive order to ease U.S. fiscal regulations in the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, nominated federal appellate Judge Neil McGill Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, signed an executive order requiring that for every new federal regulation on small and large businesses two existing regulations must be removed and signed an executive order to provide new resources and equipment to strengthen the U.S. military.
President Trump also signed an executive order that calls for more intensive security checks for foreign nationals seeking U.S. travel visas and signed an executive action directing federal agencies to prepare for “immediate construction” of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
He also stripped federal grant money from sanctuary cities, signed executive orders that would make it possible to complete the Dakota Access and restart the process for the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada and revived a rule that prevents U.S. funds from going to health charities around the world that counsel on abortions. In another controversial act, Trump signed a presidential memorandum that withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He ordered a temporary hiring freeze for federal workers, and called on government agencies to “ease the burden” of the Affordable Care Act.
Though his actions may be controversial, many people, including Junior Mary Easton are pleased to see that he is taking advantage of his first 100 days.
“I think it shows that he has a plan and he is going to follow through with what he said he was going to do and wants to get everything done in the time he has in office,” Easton said.
[ Investigating Immigration ]
With the new limitations on travel from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia and plans to increase restrictions on the visa vetting process, it is clear that President Trump will be taking the security of our nation very seriously.
There are many people who have been hoping for this increase of regulation because of the 14 different terrorist attacks in the United States last year including one on Ohio State University’s campus in November.
“I hope the ban improves our security because terrorism is a huge threat not only to us but the world itself,” Easton said.
But, many feel the travel ban will only increase hostility between the Unites States and the restricted countries instead of increasing security, including senior Robert Geil.
“I don’t think the travel ban is going to help our security very much. It provides good fuel for foreign terror agencies to grow propaganda and recruitment because it will be easy to say that, ‘America hates Islam so join us’,” Geil said.
On Feb. 21 President Trump also directed his administration to enforce immigration laws more aggressively, according to documents released by the Department of Homeland Security.
The documents reveal many ways in which to criminalize undocumented immigrants, including publicizing crimes by immigrants, and ultimately aims to speed up deportations.
[ Where’s the Wall? ]
On Wednesday, Jan. 25, President Trump signed an executive order that would greatly change the United States’ immigration enforcement policies. It directed the construction of a wall along the border between the United States and Mexico. This wall was one of Trump’s most famous promises throughout his campaign.
Some UA students like sophomore Sebastian Chambers approve of Trump’s new immigration policy.
“I do feel like it would help the border security a lot and would help us get a better grip on who’s coming in,” Chambers said.
However, there are those who think the wall will not deter people looking to enter the United States illegally, such as sophomore Abhik Mazumder.
“It may keep out a small amount of dangerous people, but I think it’s going to cause significantly more trouble. I think there will also be plenty of ways to get around the wall; you could build tunnels,” Mazumder said. “I just don’t think it’s worth paying for,”
After a campaign run on the idea that Mexico would be the one to pay for the wall, on Jan. 26 President Trump announced that the wall would be paid for by a tariff that adds a 20 percent tax increase on items imported from Mexico, such as avocados, chocolate and beer.
There have also been environmental concerns with the construction of the wall. According to the Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment at University of Bath, there are about 380 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions for every cubic meter of concrete poured. So the wall’s concrete could produce up to 3.7 million tons of carbon dioxide.
Trump’s plan would also be detrimental to the animals living in the area where the wall would be built.
“The wall would be bad for the environment because you are cutting off groups of animals from the rest of their population,” Geil said.
[ Healing Healthcare ]
Through his campaign, President Trump made it very clear that he planned to “repeal-and-reform” the Affordable Care Act or “Obama care.” But because President Trump has only discussed the “repeal” part of his plan, many are concerned by the lack of details for what he wants to reform.
“Trump has a lot of positive changes with health care, but he hasn’t stated his plan for removing Obamacare and I hope he has a plan and isn’t taking healthcare from millions of people,” Easton said.
As of now, roughly 12.7 million people rely on the Affordable Care Act for insurance, and completely taking away this access could have many negative effects on the people it provides coverage for. But the Affordable Care Act has also raised rates for private insurance and medication.
“I support Barack Obama’s stance; if the Republicans could come up with a better solution to the Affordable Care Act I would support it. Their whole idea of repealing and replacing only has the repealing part. And the parts that President Trump would like to keep, such as staying on your parents’ insurance until you’re 26 or preventing denials based on preexisting conditions, cannot be paid for unless you have this individual mandate where you have younger and healthier people who are enrolled in the system,” Geil said.
[ America First ]
Another common idea that President Trump has preached is the notion of “putting America first.” This concept means that Trump’s administration will put issues that directly affect the United States first in hopes to strengthen the country.
“Trump putting America first is exactly what everyone should be doing. This is our country; his job isn’t to take care of South America, France or any other country. His job is to run ours well,” Easton said.
But ignoring foreign affairs will be a very difficult thing for President Trump to accomplish. Considering the recent speculation over Trump’s involvement with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the increased tensions with the Middle East, foreign affairs will still play a prominent role in Trump’s Presidency.
“I think that it’s important to have a strong concept of your own nation and it’s important for your nation’s defense, but I also think that it’s short-sighted to think that the only way to improve America is to make America stronger. I think that by making other countries stronger we make America stronger,” Geil said. “When we make friends in foreign nations, that gives us allies which creates a much stronger country. It’s a dangerous path to think that everything we do has to directly benefit the United States first.”
[ What Comes Next? ]
As the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency unfold, many wonder what can be expected for the rest of his term.
Most presidents find it hard to be as productive after their first 100 days because Congress and the Supreme Court become more strict in what they allow the President to do. But since all three branches of the federal government are currently dominated by the Republican party, President Trump has the opportunity to get many of his plans put into action.
One plan that Trump has yet to address is his goal to create 25 million jobs. He said he would do this by bringing back the companies who moved factories to Japan, Mexico, and China. Since taking office, there has been no talk of further action towards this initiative. During his campaign, President Trump said he hopes to grow the economy six percent each year while cutting the budget by 20 percent.
Whether or not you agree with Trump’s policies, Easton believes that we should support our new president.
“Everyone who says ‘I hope he fails’ or ‘He’s not my President’ should know we’ll all go down with him. No matter who you voted for, we need to stand together as a country to support Trump because we are united as one, and if one goes down, we all go down,” said Easton.
Power in the Protest
Americans take to the streets to express their displeasure with President Trump’s new policies
Since the announcement that Donald Trump would be the new president, there has been an increase in protests nationwide.
These protesters have been speaking out against everything from President Trump’s immigration policies, his comments about women, his Cabinet picks and even his plans for healthcare.
Though many of the protests have been peaceful, there are some that have turned violent when participators began damaging stores, vehicles and even burning the American flag.
The most notable protest has been the women’s march in Washington D.C. which drew around 680,000 people (almost three times more than attended Donald Trumps inauguration) on Saturday, Jan. 21.
Since Trump began to sign his Executive Orders, the number of protests have almost doubled according to CNN.
In Columbus, there was a protest against President Trump, his policies, and his usage of executive orders. The protestors marched from the State House to the intersection of State street and High street
FOX Forgets Friendliness
While President Trump shows support for FOX news, some key reporters stand up to the president.
FOX News’s coverage of the 2016 election and Donald Trump’s presidency has largely been sympathetic unlike networks like CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post who have all experienced direct backlash from the president.
However, certain FOX News anchors such as Bill O’Reilly, Shepard Smith, and Chris Wallace have challenged President Trump in interviews or political coverage.
Shepard Smith criticized President Trump’s Feb. 16 press conference. “He keeps avoiding this issue of Russia as if we’re some kind of fools for asking the question. You call us fake news and put us down like children for asking questions on behalf of the American people. People deserve the answer, at the very least,” Smith said.
Joining Smith’s dissension was Wallace who reproached President Trump’s Feb. 17 tweet, “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!.” “[Trump] said that the ‘fake media’… are an enemy to the country. We don’t have a state-run-media in this country. That’s what they have in dictatorships,” said Wallace.
While O’Reilly has not criticized President Trump directly, he has taken a defensive approach to the President’s relationship with Russia, discrediting Trump’s claims that the election was rigged, and telling Trump to “stop whining”.