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100 days of President Trump

By Ad astra

It feels much longer, doesn’t it? He seems to have been in our face for eons. Of course he has been. As he relentlessly plied his way from rank outsider to winner of the presidential race, there never has been a candidate in recent history that has been thrust at us so disturbingly for so long. There has never been a presidential runner that has attracted so much attention.

He tells us often: “I won”. We know we are stuck with him for four years, maybe longer, unless something catastrophic overtakes him.

Why should we who live in the Lucky Country care? We care because he occupies the most dominant position in the world: ‘Commander in Chief’ of the most powerful nation on earth, both militarily and economically. We care because the curbs on his enormous power seem too limited for someone like him. We fear what his decisions might mean for us, indeed the whole world.

So how has he performed in his first 100 days as President of the United States of America?

There have been countless commentaries from the ‘experts’. I won’t repeat them here. If you’re inclined to read them, you’ll find some of them here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here.

For what it’s worth, this commentary is by an ordinary Aussie, a retired medical academic with no political affiliations, who has been following politics closely for the last ten years.

Where should I start?

Much of what Trump has said and done seems inexplicable, at times bizarre, sometimes ridiculous. A glimpse at his personality might explain the Trump we have come to know all too well.

It’s not a secret that Donald John Trump is narcissistic and a megalomaniac. He is arrogant, bellicose and belligerent. He relishes power. He craves the capacity to make decisions and have them carried out. He is accustomed to giving orders and exercising authority (‘You’re fired’ is a favourite expression). He enjoys being in control, delights in being successful, and takes pleasure in making money, expanding his territory, and advancing his Trump Empire. For Trump, winning is everything. Just as importantly, Trump craves recognition, even adulation, for what he has accomplished, or believes he has.

In the public domain, he has sought and enjoyed fame, prestige, and admiration for many years. His TV reality show is a perfect forum for him to attract attention, respect, esteem, even veneration. He is billed as a star in his show The Apprentice, which by all accounts is successful.

As well, he has prospered in the world of real estate and has many ‘Trump Towers’ around the world to show for his success. He is a multi-billionaire, although we know little of his financial status and the tax he pays, a carefully guarded secret.

You may think that a reality TV star and successful businessman could be well placed to govern the mightiest nation on the planet. That might have been the case had it not been for his personality traits.

As President, Trump expects the same adulation to which he is accustomed in the business and TV world. It is to him a source of great disappointment, frustration, and at times anger that he has not received the praise he believes he richly deserves.

I could go back through the campaign period to give examples, but let’s stick to his first hundred days.

From the day of inauguration he was at odds with the media. His claim that the crowds were the greatest in history was quickly refuted by photos showing Obama’s crowd was much bigger. Not satisfied with objective evidence, he claimed that the photos were ‘fake’, and Kellyanne Conway presented her now infamous ‘alternative facts’ to ‘verify’ Trump’s claim.

This exemplified a pattern of behaviour in Trump. Facts, evidence and reports he did not like were condemned as ‘fake news’, and the media was roundly condemned as unfair, untruthful, even corrupt for promulgating them. The concept of the media holding politicians, even the President, to account for truthfulness is anathema to Trump. Has there ever been a politician who has so frequently and vigorously lampooned the ‘failing’ media for its reporting?

Even as his 100 days approached, he preemptively condemned the media in one of his omnipresent tweets, claiming that it would ‘kill’ his achievements, and at his anniversary rally in Pennsylvania he reinforced this with: “The media should be given “a big, fat, failing grade” over their coverage of my achievements during my first 100 days.

The media obliged by ‘killing’ Trump as he expected. The Guardian described Trump’s early tenure as “100 days of failure”, “a disaster for American democracy”, and referred to the President as a “megalomaniac” and a “serial liar”. If you think this is too harsh, read the catalogue of lies exposed through fact checking by The New York Times in an article: Fact-Checking President Trump Through His First 100 Days.

My first conclusion then is that in his first 100 days his deeply flawed personality has led him into serious error.

He has wrongly accusing the media for doing what it is expected to do: truthfully and accurately report, appraise, and comment on political decisions and actions. He has been angered that the media has not festooned his presidency with praise and admiration for what little he has done, even for flamboyantly signing executive orders, so far his most noticeable activity.

Image from Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images.

Another personality flaw is his flagrant disregard for facts, figures and evidence. It has been documented that he reads little, and is impatient with his daily briefings from his professional staff on international and domestic matters. He says he is bored with the briefings, does not need to hear them over and again, because he is ‘very smart’. He is said to have a dangerous paucity of background knowledge on a raft of domestic and international matters, which understandably curtails and perverts his thinking and decision-making. He needs all the information and advice he can get, and the capacity and motivation to absorb it, yet eschews it. Accustomed to making business decisions, he believes that this skill transfers seamlessly into governance of a mighty nation. He’s wrong, but he doesn’t know it.

So my next conclusion is that in Trump we have a dangerously ignorant man who feels little need to read, to seek advice, and to learn. His ignorance on matters of science, and in particular his hazardous ignorance about global warming were addressed in The face of willful ignorance.

His ignorance extends to domestic matters, trade, and international diplomacy. He scarcely knows how the Congress and Senate work, even as he vows to ‘drain the Washington swamp’. His ignorance and naiveté is exemplified in his recent astonishing concession: “I loved my previous life. I had so many things going. This is more work than my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”

His bungling in presenting and attempting to have passed his substitute for Obama’s Affordable Care Act demonstrated his ineptitude and ignorance about the processes of parliamentary procedure, and the roadblocks that arise, sometimes surprisingly.He had little idea of how the ultra-conservative ‘House Freedom Caucus’ would frustrate and eventually block ‘House Republican Bill 1275’ that carries the flamboyant name: the ‘World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017’. He was not able to meet the Caucus’ radical demands for changes to the Bill, and so in the face of it almost certainly being voted down, House Speaker Paul Ryan withdrew it to avoid further embarrassment.

Having learned little, Trump is trying again, but the same opposition is mounting. He told a meeting of the nation’s governors: “Now, I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject. Nobody knew health care could be so complicated.” The Clintons certainly knew. Clearly he didn’t know, but should have.

Trump is not used to resistance to his will. He is unaccustomed to the democratic process, does not like it, and makes threats against those who oppose him (‘If you don’t vote for this, you may not get elected to your seat next time’).

My next conclusion is that Trump is ignorant of the processes of his own House and Senate, which Republicans dominate, and does not care for the democratic processes they use to make decisions. He resents having to listen to opponents, and hates not getting his own way.

On the international front he divides people in other nations into good guys and bad hombres. The latter are to be excluded, deported, or bombed out of existence.

On the international front, Trump condemned Obama’s diplomacy, no matter what Obama did.

Now in charge, at the one time he insists that it’s none of America’s business interfering in other places (“Syria is not our responsibility”), yet at another he takes radical action such as when Assad did something he disapproved of, namely attacking his citizens with nerve gases.

My conclusion is that Trump is impetuous, unpredictable and erratic. The combination of ignorance of international diplomacy, an unwillingness to listen to informed advice from experienced diplomats and military men, and a tendency to shoot from the hip and flip-flop on crucial issues, makes him a dangerous leader of the free world, as we have already seen in his handling of the threat from North Korea.

Trump has a reputation for making rash promises, ones it is improbable he will ever keep, even if he wished to. Perhaps the most extravagant is his promise to build a wall across the border with Mexico to keep out illegal immigrants, criminals, drug dealers and rapists! And even more implausibly, to have the Mexicans pay for it!

Even at his 100-day anniversary rally, where once again in campaign mode he ‘felt the love’ of his supporters, he reiterated: “We’ll build the wall people, don’t even worry about it.” Yet it is estimated to cost $21.6 billion and take three years to build. He knows that Mexico will not pay for it; indeed he has asked Congress to approve funding for it, a major sticking point in his legislative agenda. Of course he boasts that Mexico will pay ‘eventually’!

He promised to begin the Obamacare repeal process on his first day in office, but it still languishes in the House. So far he’s accomplished nothing.

He has promised a massive corporate tax cut, from 35% to 15%, but has not revealed how the consequent revenue shortfall of trillions will be covered. It’s trickle down all over again, with tax cuts for the rich but with no guarantee that any benefit will reach lower income earners.

His exaggerated promises are matched by his exaggerated estimate of what he’s accomplished so far. He boasted: “No administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days”.

Trump seems to think signing thirty executive orders are accomplishments. Many have been anti-science, anti-environment, pro-coal and oil, all of which are intended to undo Obama’s entire climate change agenda including crucial regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. He’s also signed orders to review fuel standards for vehicles, stifle energy development and begin the process of advancing oil drilling in the Arctic. Another order is to review national monuments that were set aside by previous presidents to limit use of public land for historic, cultural, scientific or other reasons. In other words, these orders are designed to dilute or erase all Obama’s attempts to protect the environment.

Some orders have been about border protection, particularly keeping Muslims out, but twice now they have been blocked in the courts by what Trump calls ‘so-called judges’. There’s no joy there for Trump.

My final conclusion is that Trump’s overstated promises are hollow and mostly incapable of realization. Whether he is deluded enough to believe his promises, or cynical enough to promise with no expectation of being able to deliver, is unresolvable for those who cannot fathom his mind.

I could go on and on, but that is enough.

To sum up, my assessment of Trump’s first 100 days is that his fatally flawed personality has led him astray and will continue to do so.

His wilful ignorance about matters scientific, his disregard of the threat of global warming, and his executive orders that reverse all that Obama did to protect the environment, cast him as culpably negligent.

His ignorance of political processes make his legislative efforts look childish, and render most of them fruitless.

His ignorance of international relations, and his reluctance to learn from those with experience, render him not just impotent, but dangerous in a volatile world where reckless leaders threaten destruction or even nuclear catastrophe.

His propensity for manufacturing unachievable promises portrays his untrustworthiness.

His exaggeration about his accomplishments makes him look foolish and naïve, and confirms his reputation as a habitual liar.

The first 100 days of Trump have been disappointing, frustrating and depressing. They have engendered a feeling of uncertainty and hopelessness among concerned Americans and citizens the world over, who are amazed that there were enough US citizens to elect this ignorant, implausible, incompetent and dangerous man to the most powerful position on earth.

Yet many in America still believe he is the one they want in charge despite the calamitous start to his presidency and all the ineptitude, stupidity and unreliability they have seen in his first 100 days.

Image from (AP Photo/Gerry Broome).


Who can save us from this?

This article was originally published on The Political Sword

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  1. RonaldR

    Trumps biggest problem is he is surrounded by people he and his people can’t trust. Like how they fed him lies about Syria and the Gas attack.

  2. helvityni

    Let’s pray and hope that he will not start any wars with North Korea as we have a tendency to follow our Big Brother anywhere he goes…

  3. astra5

    It’s even worse than that – his immediate coterie is incompetent (Spicer and Conway are two horrible examples), and he won’t listen to those who are competent and well informed.

  4. astra5

    We’ll all need to pray very hard and hope someone is listening. When two psychopaths play chicken, anything, literally anything might happen. It’s just as well Abbott is not in charge here or we might be in there too.

  5. Kronomex

    What I want to know is how The Donald is going to do what no other president, let alone any world leader, has been unable to do for decades, bring peace to the Middle East as he said a few days ago. His towering intellect and erudition is going to so overwhelm the leaders in the Middle East that they will lay down their arms and help each to bring about a new era of peace and prosperity. I shall not hold my breath in anticipation.

    Ad, Trump is everything you surmise but he’s an iceberg. I dread to think what the hidden 90% is like.

  6. Linda47

    ‘It’s not a secret that Donald John Trump is narcissistic and a megalomaniac. He is arrogant, bellicose and belligerent. He relishes power. He craves the capacity to make decisions and have them carried out. He is accustomed to giving orders and exercising authority (‘You’re fired’ is a favourite expression). He enjoys being in control, delights in being successful, and takes pleasure in making money, expanding his territory, and advancing his Trump Empire. For Trump, winning is everything. Just as importantly, Trump craves recognition, even adulation, for what he has accomplished, or believes he has.’

    No wonder he likes Kim jong un !!

  7. Phil

    Be careful Ad Astra of falling into the same trap you ascribe to Trump.

    You posted thus:

    “….yet at another he takes radical action such as when Assad did something he disapproved of, namely attacking his citizens with nerve gases” – OMG – you surely know there is no conclusive evidence that Assad “attacked his citizens with nerve gases” – yet you risk repeating lies and spin.

    In fact there is significant evidence to the contrary so please be more mindful of the trap of state assumed legitimacy – it can lead to terrible and wholly inhumane consequences.

  8. Dennis Bauer

    The GOP will use him to turn USA into a fascist type state, then get rid of him. I think the Russian Oligarchs, and the American GOP mob would be Oligarchs, will be running the show, Russia has been pouring money into all the right wing movements around the world, for quite a while, with the liking and money from the mad insane right wing would be Oligarchs in USA, I dont think it is going to happen, but if I cant have it you can’t either, is a real worry, these are not rational people.

  9. Carol Taylor

    Dennis, I tend to differ a little. The GOP thought that they could control Trump, that he as an amateur would be a figurehead only, that he could go off and play golf while they ran the country. Now to their horror they have found that Trump intends to do both, with his ego bulldozing anyone who gets in his way..the GOP included.

  10. paul walter

    Anyway, the US Right didn’t need Russian money, they have horrible oligarchs like the Koch brothers of their own, let alone the controllers of the big funds and banks on Wall st.

  11. Michael Taylor

    Funny thing, Paul, the $800 million (or thereabouts) that the Koch brothers pumped in to the campaign was redirected away from the presidential campaign and used to fund the campaigns for Republican governors. Why and when did they decide to do that? When Trump won the primaries. They don’t like the man. He wasn’t their choice.

  12. kerri

    Tony Abbott American style but with Executive Orders.

  13. Michael Taylor

    kerri, when Carol and I were in America recently it felt like it was a country with one thousand Tony Abbotts running it. They’ve added a few more Abbotts since then.

  14. paul walter

    Funding the governors freed up funds for from other sources for Trump. That’s not to say there is not faction rivalries within the oligarchy, bankers may have different objectives to manufacturers or resources people, for example. Idoubt whether many of the ultra wealthy sponsored Bernie, for example.

    I think most people thought Wall st was more behind Clinton and that impression also cost the Democrats.

  15. helvityni

    He’s a very naughty boy, he had to celebrate his success in ditching Obama Care and he forgot all about meeting the Lord from the provinces, what happened to diplomacy…you don’t keep any country’s leader waiting for hours…

  16. Matters Not

    don’t keep any country’s leader waiting for hours

    Indeed you don’t! But it’s a bit of a stretch to claim that ‘Trunbull’ is the country’s leader. Why, even Mal knows he’s not. Word travels quickly in diplomatic circles. Besides Mal got to visit the set of NYPD

  17. Michael Taylor

    Speaking of Turnbull …

    As soon as Carol and I checked in at our hotel, we were downstairs lounging around with a coffee when an elderly American – possibly a businessman as he was dressed in a suit – came up to me (my accent must have stood out) and said he’d like to apologise for the insult his president dished out to Australia. (He was referring to the Trump phone hang-up on Turnbull). “I’ve never been so embarsssed to be an American,” he added.

  18. helvityni

    I bet Lucy is furious! Mal will hide his hurt when he comes back, and will give us his broadest bravest smiles,’Trump did not have his watch on…’ ( according to my young nephew, NO ONE wears watches anymore)

    I hope he takes his disappointment on the Devil Dutton and reins him in… ( Abbott is already a yesterday’s man ? )

  19. astra5

    Good Morning Phil
    As neither of us were present at the site of the alleged gas attack on Syrian citizens, we both have to depend on evidence gathered by others and reported in the media, and then reach as sound a conclusion about its plausibility that we can.

    In support of the proposition that the attack was a gas attack, likely using the banned toxin sarin, here is the New York Times account of it dated 6 April:

    A Huffington Post article on the same day begins: “A Turkish autopsy of victims of the deadliest chemical weapons attack in Syria since 2013 has confirmed chemical weapons were used in relation to the deaths of more than 70 civilians on Tuesday. The Turkish government confirmed on Thursday that post mortems carried out on individuals who were caught in the gas attack launched on the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in the Idleb province proved chemical nerve agents had been used. Thirty-two victims of the attack were transported into Turkey to seek medical attention, according to Reuters.”

    An article in Independent adds: “Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres also said in a statement on Wednesday that evidence pointed to the use of both chlorine and sarin.”

    There seems to be no doubt in the minds of several international observers that the attack was a ‘gas attack’, which included sarin and possibly chlorine, and was made on Syrian citizens.

    This is the evidence upon which I have relied.

    However this does not identify who was responsible. Bashar al-Assad denies responsibility, and his Russians allies have laid responsibility elsewhere.

    However, President Trump had no doubts according to this Reuters account: “U.S. President Donald Trump accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government of going “beyond a red line” with a poison gas attack on civilians and said his attitude toward Syria and Assad had changed…”

    “The President said the “heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime” were “a consequence of the past administration’s weakness and irresolution”, whilst sidestepping questions on what he might do in response.”

    Later a threat from the US administration emerged as reported by the ABC in “The US has accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s Government of going “beyond a red line” with a poison gas attack on civilians, saying “all options” are now on the table.” This threat is the ‘radical action’ to which I referred in the piece.

    The point that was being made in the piece was that Trump says one thing when criticising his predecessor and does another when he is confronted with the same situation. The New York Times of April 4 says: “But in August 2013, Mr. Trump exhorted Mr. Obama not to intervene after a chemical weapons attack near Damascus that American intelligence attributed to the Syrian military killed more than 1,400 civilians, including hundreds of children, according to United States government estimates at the time. “President Obama, do not attack Syria,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter. “There is no upside and tremendous downside.”

    Yet now he threatens that ‘all options are on the table’.

    Phil, I take the point that you are making. We are second and third hand recipients of information of variable reliability, from which we try to derive meaning. Sometimes different individuals reach different conclusions.

  20. Michael Taylor

    Saw this comment on an American site:

    Trump stated that Australia’s health care system is BETTER than ours!

    Australia has a single payer system, in which the residents pay the government – via taxes – to cover healthcare costs, rather than individuals buying from competing private insurers.

    Bernie Sanders responds: “Thank you, Mr. President. We’ll quote you on the floor of the Senate.”

  21. Michael Taylor

    astra5, apologies for your comment getting caught up in moderation. It often happens to comments that contain a certain number of links.

  22. Kaye Lee

    Mr Trump was introduced to the gala dinner by Mr Murdoch, who described the US President as his “dear friend”.

  23. nurses1968

    Michael Taylor
    I know you said you enjoyed your time in America, and I didn’t and vowed never to go there again if possible.
    Now I leave next tuesday to go back for a month for work .:-{
    This time I definitely want to experience a Trump rally

  24. astra5

    Thank you for the links – they make disturbing reading. Who can we believe?

  25. astra5

    Kaye Lee
    It was nauseating to see the obsequious recognition of Murdoch, and equally so the praise heaped by Turnbull on Trump for getting his anti-Obamacare Bill through the House. On healthcare Turnbull and Trump are ‘peas in a pod’, as 2353NM will demonstrate in a piece he will be publishing on Sunday.

  26. paul walter

    So, the Murdoch thing WAS real? I saw it a little while ago after a nap and was still rubbing my eyes in disbelief when I got here.

    Trump didn’t fit easy with Turncoat, but there was a palpable personal recognition between him and that sly dog Murdoch

  27. Kyran

    Sooo, wait a minute.
    “Even as his 100 days approached, he preemptively condemned the media in one of his omnipresent tweets, claiming that it would ‘kill’ his achievements, and at his anniversary rally in Pennsylvania he reinforced this with: “The media should be given “a big, fat, failing grade” over their coverage of my achievements during my first 100 days.””
    Notwithstanding his FIGJAM (Feck I’m Good, Just Ask Me) personality disorder, a medical condition commonly found in politicians (particularly at election time), what grates most is that the reporting is all about his comment, as opposed to any critical analysis of his ‘achievements’. Most are either stalled in Court, not yet ratified or are unworkable.
    Heck, Congress passed a bill last week to avoid shutting down the American government (in September), only after removing all reference to the Grate Wall of Mexico.
    He got his repeal of ‘Obamacare’ through one house by removing family planning (abortion) provisions and removing the cap placed on insurance premiums. Bernie Sanders has been played on RN several times today stating the bleeding obvious. It has to yet pass the second house.
    His exultation was so great, he had to party with his mates. A half-baked success was the cause for triumphant rejoicing. Why the need to party on one issue, if everything else has been achieved?
    So much so, he kept another FIGJAM waiting to meet him.
    Even though he whistled up talcum at short notice during budget week, his celebration was far more important. Apparently talcum spent hours pursing and puckering his lips, ready to suck.
    From the few bits of their meeting that I could stomach listening to, I’m tipping talcum will now walk like tiny. He got reamed that good.
    With regard to the ‘gas attack’ in Syria, I cannot understand the need for instant answers. Hans Blix had a similar problem back in 2003. Ironically, his weapons inspector was an Aussie (David Butler, if memory serves me), both of whom were advocating caution. The ‘axis of evil’, the triumvirate, Bush, Blair and Coward, demanded action, in the absence of evidence. How did that go for us?
    Dr Venturini’s articles were fairly good appraisals, IMO.
    Syria signed up to the Chemical Weapons Convention in 2013. Since then, they have been subject to inspections through the OPCW. Most of the early reports identified the Syrian government’s weapon of choice to be chlorine and the rebels used mustard gas.
    The most recent report, 19th April, states
    “Director-General Üzümcü stated clearly: “The results of these analyses from four OPCW designated laboratories indicate exposure to Sarin or a Sarin-like substance. While further details of the laboratory analyses will follow, the analytical results already obtained are incontrovertible.”
    From previous releases, they use different laboratories in different countries due to the possibility any one government may try and influence the decisions. So many questions. How did either the Syrian government or the rebels get their hands on Sarin (or Sarin like) gasses? Why the sudden change of modus operandi? Why unleash that sort of attack the day before a critical vote in the UN?
    Ah well. The poms May not join this misadventure. She has other problems. The dumpster and talcum will look after us. The OPCW will undoubtedly help write the obituary.
    It’s ironic that they met, albeit briefly, at a $150,000 per table ‘celebration’ of the Coral Sea conflict, on a ‘ceremonial’ warship. Celebrating a misadventure from the 4th to 8th May, 1942. Neither of them would have the slightest regard for the misadventure of 2003 in their haste to repeat it. Neither of them would have the slightest regard for the lives lost, whether they be civilian or military.
    Lest we forget.
    Thank you Ad astra and commenters. Take care

  28. astra5

    Thank you for your comprehensive contribution. Your comments always make informative reading.

  29. nurses1968

    I had a really scary thought.The last 3 Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama all served 2 terms.
    What odds The Don doing the same?
    stranger things have happened

  30. Michael Taylor

    I agree, astra5. Kyran’s comments are highly valued.

  31. Michael Taylor


    Keith Olbermann on Friday set aside his usual “hyperbole” to lay out new developments in the FBI’s ongoing investigation into possible collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian operatives—including that a grand jury may have been convened on the matter.

    If it were just an article I’d question its validity, but this guy’s putting his reputation on the line.

  32. astra5

    Michael Taylor
    What an interesting YouTube clip! Trump may be on the verge of a grand jury investigation. No doubt he will label its findings as ‘fake news’.

  33. Michael Taylor

    astra5, perhaps he could explain that to the judge.

    But on a serious note, it is indeed serious. I really am concerned at how he might respond, or do to deflect attention.

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