Opinion: ‘I thought it would be easier’: Looking back on 100 days of Trump


Nicholas Hunter

Nicholas Hunter

In an interview with Reuters on Thursday, President Donald Trump said he has found that being president “is more work than my previous life.”

“I thought it would be easier,” he continued.

The reactions were predictable; on the left were loads of eye-rolling and sarcastic commentary.

On the right, the media largely ignored the comment in favor of touting the accomplishments of Trump in his first 100 days in office, a landmark he reached on Saturday.

It could be easy for me to pick my side and take my stance, write my think piece on how Bernie Sanders never would have said that and call it a day.

But I’ve been talking about this man for the past eight months — only three of my 33 columns this year didn’t mention Trump either directly or indirectly.

I know his game.

Trump will happily take the heat for sounding ignorant, if that means what he’s up to isn’t being talked about.

For example, on the same day as that Reuters interview, the House of Representatives tried (and eventually failed) to hold a vote on a bill that would repeal key legislation from the Affordable Care Act.

The now-defunct bill would have lifted requirements on insurance providers to cover “essential health benefits,” such as addiction treatment, emergency room visits and basic care for pregnant people.

The repeal also targeted the pre-existing condition clause which prevents providers from charging sick people more for insurance.

I’ve talked about this before: About five weeks ago, I wrote a piece about how, if the Republican health care bill passed, it could be devastating to me and so many other chronically ill people.

There was national outrage concerning the bill because of the widespread criticism stemming from it that Trump could not suppress with his antics, and it failed.

Trump tried to play the same game here, and it almost worked.

This time, however, instead of public outrage ending the bill, House members themselves thought it was too bad to pass through and shut it down.

This is the game Trump has played since he began his campaign back in June 2015, the first time he told the country he would “make America great again.”

Fourteen months later in September 2016, I was asked by my editor if I would be interested in writing about politics. I said yes, with my only thought being “at least it’ll be interesting for a couple months.”

In short, I thought it would be easier.

I saw a clear path: I write about the antics of the election, Clinton wins, then I spend the next semester writing a series of think pieces about how Congress is obstructing the Clinton administration.

Obviously, that path was demolished on Nov. 8. In the months leading up to Trump’s inauguration and the 100 or so days since then, it has been a whirlwind of events.

As the 100 day reviews are rolling in for Trump, I am being constantly reminded of incidents — including Trump’s wiretapping claims, multiple missile launches on the Middle East and his continued insistence on calling negative coverage “fake news” — that felt as if they happened years ago when they took place just weeks ago.

There will be endless other columns published today elaborating on how much Trump accomplished in his first 100 days. Some will say he’s a man of much talk and little action, and others will tout his overturn of mainstream media as his biggest success.

In reality, Trump has gotten some things done.

Trump has signed 13 different bills that repeal government regulations put in place during the Obama era that impact businesses and job growth, including an order to the Environmental Protection Agency to pull back on environmental regulations currently in place.

Trump has relegated military operations from himself to other military leaders, and filled the vacant Supreme Court seat with former Federal Appeals Court Judge Neil Gorsuch.

There are also promises Trump made that he has failed to keep up to this point.

Trump has fallen short on what he considers “border security” measures, including his twice-struck-down immigration ban and the wall he wants to build on the U.S.-Mexico border for which he has not been able to secure funding.

But these accomplishments and shortcomings will not matter soon. There will be a 200- and 300-day mark to look at, and there will always be more accomplishments and shortcomings.

While it may be gratifying to pick apart his performance after 100 days as sub-par at best, there are still over 1,300 days to go.

Every day is going to host a new controversy, but this country and its people will endure.

Nicholas Hunter is a columnist, contact him at [email protected].