100 Days: Trump’s Report Card
Last Saturday, April 29th, was Donald Trump’s 100th day in office. Today’s post features his Presidential Report Card. Also, don’t forget to check out my newest giveaway at the end of this post!
President Donald Trump promised big before his election, and now it is time to review his presidential report card. The leftist media is so opposed to him that it no longer even pretends to be objective. On the other side, some groups approve of everything he does, without any apparent measuring stick. This report card attempts to present a balanced, Constitutional viewpoint on Trump’s first 100 days.
Note on viewpoint: This analysis is NOT designed to assess the first 100 days from a Conservative or Republican viewpoint; it is designed to assess the first 100 days from a Constitutional viewpoint and from the perspective of the founding ideals of the country.
Note on grading: each category receives three grades. The Constitutional grade indicates whether the policy is Constitutionally legal. The Founding Ideals grade indicates how well the policy aligns with the ideals of our nation’s founding fathers. The overall grade includes these considerations but also factors in other aspects.
A – Actions in this category are Constitutionally legal, in line with the ideals of the founding fathers, and present good policy.
B – Actions in this category are somewhat legal from a Constitutional viewpoint. These actions are overall in alignment with the ideals of the founding fathers, though there may be exceptions. These policies are more positive than negative.
C – These actions are not in alignment with the Constitution, but are generally accepted policy. These actions do not conform to the original ideals of the founders, but are often considered normative for presidential policy.
D – This action is Constitutionally illegal, directly at odds with the ideals of the Founding Fathers, and constitutes poor policy.
F – This action is completely unjustified and illegal, has a deteriorating effect on the United States, and should be immediately rescinded.
Every president is responsible for filling dozens to hundreds of political appointments. There are currently hundreds of appointments that are not filled, and the President has indicated that he doesn’t want to fill unnecessary positions (A). Among the appointments that he has filled, the candidates come from a range of Conservative and Republican viewpoints. A number of candidates present general centrist Republican viewpoints that are not in line with Constitutional values (C+). However, the President deserves praise for fulfilling his campaign promise to appoint a Supreme Court justice (Neil Gorsuch) who is committed to the Constitution (A+).
One centerpiece of Trump’s campaign promises was to remove the nation from the Trans Pacific Partnership, a concerningly secretive trade organization, and this promise has been fulfilled (A). By approving oil pipelines, the President worked to reverse America’s reliance on foreign oil, another positive step. However, themes of protectionism and tariffs are routinely raised by the White House, and while the President wants to keep jobs in America, he seems willing to engage in crony capitalism to ensure that businesses don’t leave the nation (D).
The President represents the US in many world affairs, and as long as he receives proper legislative approval, there is nothing in the Constitution that forbids warfare or alliances. This means that his policies toward Russia, China, Korea, Iran, Israel, and NATO are (at least for the most part) Constitutionally legal. The founding fathers urged America not to entangle itself in foreign affairs, and many of the President’s policies are entangling (D-). Even worse, by unilaterally authorizing military airstrikes in Syria without Congressional approval, Trump acted outside his Constitutional boundaries; this action was illegal (F).
Trump promised to repeal Obamacare, and we applaud his efforts to remove this Constitutionally illegal piece of legislation, including his executive action to diminish its effects (A). However, by supporting healthcare bills that promote government overreach (think Ryancare), he does not seem to understand that healthcare is not the domain of the federal government (D). Hopefully he will reconsider a more Founders-friendly version such as thought put forward by Rand Paul.
Current laws and regulations place a considerable amount of decision-making about immigration at the feet of the President. Activist courts and liberal judges have so far blocked his plans. While the founding fathers had no problem with immigrants, they certainly would not have endorsed the welfare state that encourages so much illegal immigration. In attempting to stop this immigration and protect the nation’s security, the President is not directly opposing any particular Constitutional law (B).
By appointing Betsy DeVos, Trump took a positive step in education (A+). America’s educational system is clearly a failure, and DeVos’s interest in considering new alternatives, including private schools and homeschooling, is an excellent idea (A). The President has also voiced opposition to Common Core (A).
From a Constitutional viewpoint, climate change and environmental issues are not within the realm of the federal government. Trump’s actions on this front are encouraging; he has reversed environmental restrictions, worked to remove US dollars from international climate change budgets, and taken steps to limit the EPA (A+).
The President used executive orders to limit government size (A+). He advocated in favor of term limits and banning lobbying, which is within the realm of the Constitution. Unfortunately, he has not followed up on these ideas (B-). He stated that he would use waterboarding and torture (F-), but has deferred to the opinion of Pompeo, who appears mostly opposed to these options (B+). The President reinstituted the Mexico City policy, which prohibits the use of federal funds to perform or endorse abortions internationally (A+). He expressed opposition to abortion (A+), but has not made any recent actions on this front (C). President Trump has expressed strong support for the Second Amendment, and even spoke at the NRA’s national convention (A+); we look forward to seeing actual legislation advanced that protects the Second Amendment further.
Trump had a brash style when he entered the White House, and that undiplomatic method continues to prevail. While the media is decidedly antagonistic to anything the President does, his random accusations and lack of consensus-building have done little to build trust (D). This presents a sharp contrast to the diplomacy and statesmanship of the founding fathers.
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