Trump’s First 100 Days: The Good, the Bad, and Culture


President Trump’s first 100 days have certainly had their share of pitfalls and disappointments (at least for many of his supporters). This being said, they have not been nearly as bad as either the Democrats’ media propagandists or even some of his supporters would have us think:

(1) Corporations that would have otherwise relocated operations in other countries—Bayer and Monsanto; Walmart; Amazon; General Motors; Hyundai; Sprint/Softbank; and Carrier, to name but a handful—have been motivated by Trump’s election to remain in the United States. They have also pledged to create thousands of new jobs.

(2) Consumer-confidence has “soared” under Trump to a high that it hadn’t reached in 17 years. Even the penultimate of “fake news,” CNN, perhaps the one network that despises the President more than any other, had to acknowledge this. In typical CNN fashion, however, it wasted no time in immediately qualifying this fact by noting that consumers’ “track record when it comes to predicting the financial future” is checkered.

As proof of this, the CNN article mentions that while consumer-confidence was sky high in December of 2000, it was precisely at this time that the stock market was “in the midst of a massive plunge.”

(3) The big difference between then and now, though, is that within these first 100 days of the Trump presidency, consumer-confidence parallels historically unprecedented stock market highs. This is another benefit of Trump’s election—and started to occur even before he was inaugurated.

(4) Trump’s very election also affected small business optimism. As Investor Business Daily reported back in early January of this year, the optimism rate soared to a level that it hadn’t reached since 2004. In December, one month after Trump shocked the world—or at least its elitists—the National Federation of Independent Business’ optimism index experienced the largest monthly leap “in decades.”

Said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan: “We haven’t seen numbers like this in a long time.” She continued: “Small business is ready for a breakout, and that can only mean very good things for the U.S. economy.”

(5) The President has issued a number of Executive orders that, relieving business operators of the burdensome regulation with which Barack Obama straddled them, have contributed immeasurably to the new economic climate.

(6) Southern border crossings by illegal aliens have dropped a whopping 67 percent since the beginning of this year. The former Border Patrol Chief, David V. Aguilar, attributes the credit to the President, for the latter, he says, has boosted agents’ morale by vowing to support them in their efforts to pursue invaders who make it into the interior of the country.

(7) Trump’s nominees for Attorney General (Jeff Sessions) and the Supreme Court (Neil Gorsuch) have been confirmed.

Of course, Trump’s and the Republicans’ failure to repeal and replace Obamacare; their refusal to demand funding in this most recent Congressional budget deal for “the wall” that the President promised would be built along the Mexican/American border; Trump’s attack on Syria, saber rattling with North Korea, and antagonism of Russia; and his utter silence regarding the overt violence that the Democrats’ rental thugs and such leftist terrorists as “Antifa” have routinely visited upon his supporters are all lowlights.

Some comments, however, are in order.

First, Trump has no familiarity with political philosophy. Neither in theory nor practice had he ever subscribed to classical conservatism or libertarianism. For that matter, he speaks remarkably little about even the Constitution. For most of his life, up until about five years or so before he entered the presidential race, most of the politicians to whom he donated were Democrats.

Trump has always been, unfortunately, a man with “New York City values,” as Senator Ted Cruz once described him. None of this means that Trump hasn’t grown over the years, particularly since he’s entered the political fray. Still, we shouldn’t expect for his moral-political DNA to undergo a fundamental transformation. With this awareness in mind, no one should be terribly disappointed when Trump reveals himself to be more like a neoconservative or even liberal Democrat than Ron Paul or Pat Buchanan.

Second, while I can’t speak for anyone else, for nearly two years I have made my own reasons abundantly clear as to why I have been a Trump supporter from the start. Ultimately, it has had little to nothing to do with the policy prescriptions for which he has advocated. Rather, just the fact that he espoused these policies was a strong consideration in his favor.

To put it another way, Trump exemplified great courage in articulating a resolutely politically incorrect, yet resoundingly pro-American, vision. He continues to get assailed to an extent and with a ferocity that is unrivaled in living American memory. Trump has had to battle…everyone, meaning Republicans as well.

No other recent president, least of all his immediate predecessor, has had to reckon with such hostility from so many quarters as has Trump.

Yet he prevailed over his enemies. And he prevailed over Hillary Clinton, who all of the fake pollsters assured us had virtually no chance of losing to her buffoonish rival.

In fact, they were as confident then as they are now when they assure us that Trump’s popularity rating is lower than that of any other president at this point in office.

Trump, an unapologetic white, heterosexual man, whether he planned on doing so or not, spearheaded a movement and represented for tens of millions of patriots—Hillary’s “Deplorables”—a symbolic or psychological victory the likes of which most Americans no longer thought was possible. To be accurate, the victory isn’t limited to Americans. Throughout the Western world, the demoralized and alienated found themselves spiritually rejuvenated by Trump’s and the Deplorables’ victory.

Policy-wise, the President is bound to disappoint those who remain convinced that society’s salvation is to be found in politics. On the other hand, those of us who hold that “politics is downstream from culture,” as the late Andrew Breitbart observed, that it is through its collective psyche or spirit that a society changes, can move beyond bad policy (however much we despise it) if the political actors are helping to move the zeitgeist in the right direction.

It is still early in Trump’s presidency. Going forward, we should be as attentive to potential shifts in cultural trajectories as we are obsessed with individual policy prescriptions.

Jack Kerwick received his doctoral degree in philosophy from Temple University. His area of specialization is ethics and political philosophy. He is a professor of philosophy at several colleges and universities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

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