“The honeymoon period,” or the first 100 days of a president’s term, serves as an indicator of the administration’s success because it is when the president’s power and influence are at their peak. However, President Donald Trump entered office with a 44 percent approval rating, the lowest approval rating in modern history as compared with the three previous presidents’ initial approval ratings of above 60 percent. This low approval rating has the world earnestly watching to see what changes his administration will bring.
After almost three months of holding office, President Trump has signed 24 executive orders, including freezing federal workforce, advancing the Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipelines and increasing security and immigration regulation; his most controversial order. The executive order Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry to the United States, also called the travel ban, banned citizens in seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S for 90 days. This policy sparked opposition and national protests from liberals and conservatives alike.
“America was created by immigrants, so it’s wrong to turn down people in their time of need,” Nic Hayes (11) said. “People are immigrating because they need to for better opportunities.”
Mass outrage and confusion about this executive order caused the Trump Administration to repel the initial ban and implement a new one. This “travel ban 2.0” makes minor changes such as banning six countries instead of seven and ending the indefinite ban on Syrian refugees. It also no longer applies to people who have valid U.S. visas and green cards.
Another controversial topic surrounding the president’s first 100 days is his relationship with Russia. After being accused of interfering in the 2016 election to cause Trump’s win, Russia has made recent appearances in American media.
“I don’t think [Americans] know a lot about his relationship with Russia,” Jan Vincent Waller, Contemporary Issues and World History teacher, said. “Some of the people he’s hired for his cabinet have a lot of hidden relationships with Russia, so that’s what we need to be skeptical of.”
Waller referenced Michael Flynn, Trump’s pick for National Security Advisor who recently resigned, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Both were accused of misleading the White House on conversations they had with Russian ambassadors.
Others, however, are confident that this relationship will benefit the country.
“I think this relationship is necessary because Russia is one of the world’s top powers,” Charlie Hopgood (12) said. “[Trump] trying to connect with Putin could be a plus.”
As promised in his election campaign, Trump is making the first step to repeal and replace Obamacare. His new healthcare plan has tax credits based on age instead of subsides. It also discards former President Obama’s mandate which required everyone to get insurance or pay a fine. However, Trump still upholds the policy of prohibiting insurance companies from rejecting people with pre-existing conditions.
Although Trump has already made policy changes, the extent to which he will fulfill his campaign promises, like building a wall along the southern border,making Mexico pay for it and creating jobs, still remains to be seen.
“I believe he will work to fulfill all promises he made during his campaign because, from what I have seen so far with the travel ban, he is sticking with his word in trying to complete his goals,” Hopgood said.
Others are less optimistic about Trump’s success.
“I don’t think he’ll be able to fulfill the majority of [his campaign promises] because he said those things as shock value to get votes,” Mr. Waller said. “He does not have a mandate to do those policies in that he lost the popular vote by 3 million or more.”
Although Trump’s first 100 days have been met with support and criticism alike, one thing is clear.
“If he fails, we all fail,” Mr. Waller said. “I want him to be successful so the country can be successful.”
Despite seeing indications of President Trump’s leadership in the first 100 days, we will have to wait and see what future history books will say.