What Trump needs to do in his first 100 days
On Friday, Donald Trump will officially become president of the United States of America. With that, the first 100 days countdown clock begins. Why 100 days? Because the media places an inordinate amount of importance on the first 100 days, and it’s an easy number for everyone to remember. Trump needs to set the tone and hit the ground running by getting the things he promised would get done, done.
Trump is really good at diagnosing problems, and he’s done so throughout the campaign season and into his time as President-elect. That’s why he needs to focus heavily on problems he diagnosed; he’s already halfway finished.
Supreme Court nominee
Firstly and most importantly, Trump needs to pick a Supreme Court nominee. This action might further alienate half of the country, but it is extremely important for him to prove to his conservative base (along with those who don’t like him) that he is trustworthy. He promised to appoint a worthy Scalia replacement, and he needs to do so.
Trump should appoint a strict interpreter of the Constitution and judicial conservative. One big issue is whether Trump will go with someone who has a more authoritarian view of government than most conservatives. This would mean decisions about the power of the government – like the ACA individual mandate – swaying for more governmental power.
The best option is Texas Supreme Court Justice and Tweeter Laureate of Texas, Justice Don Willett. The most important reason Trump should choose him: He’s cool. Not like high school cool, but actually suave. Willett is not only witty and hilarious but also uncannily smart when it comes to legal decisions.
He’s much more libertarian (yet still a classical liberal) than Scalia, but he embodies what Scalia stood for — small government and a strict reading of the Constitution. Offering quips such as “police power cannot go unpoliced,” he has more widespread like-ability than other candidates. Along with that, he’s a critic of Trump. And that’s exactly what Trump needs.
Roll back regulations
Another promise of the Trump candidacy — roll back the multitudes of regulations from the government to help business grow. He has also appointed Carl Icahn — one-time potential nominee for Secretary of the Treasury — to be special adviser on regulatory reform.
This is a big deal to a lot of people. At Bernie Sander’s CNN Town Hall, one controversial question centered on regulations for small business, and Trump did a poor job of answering. Trump needs to get on that quickly because a lot of these regulations come from the Executive Branch. Trump has the power to destroy them.
After the first 100 days, he needs to create a full, detailed report of what he’s repealed and how that’s ultimately helped U.S. businesses.
Set a plan for repealing of Obamacare
Speaking of regulations, Republicans have threatened for years to repeal Obamacare, but an actual repeal never happened. Usually, Republicans chalked it up to the inevitable Obama veto, but that’s no longer an issue.
Though this is not technically in Trump’s purview as a member of the Executive Branch, he’ll eventually be forced to sign any legislation. He needs to work with Congress to come up with an actual solution — something Republicans have skimped on. Even though individual Republicans have had their own ideal solutions, there has never been consensus.
Congressional Republicans already have their own plan. Long story short, it has a lot to do with budgets. Republicans have set Jan. 27 as the date when new legislation will be finished, but that won’t happen, because the government never meets deadlines.
Trump needs to be actively involved in the new legislation. He promised a lot and needs to deliver. No Romneycare 2.0. He can slip up big time here, so should tread carefully, but he needs to get something done.
The big, looming question that Trump and his administration need to answer really quickly is: What is our strategy with Russia? No evidence suggests that Russia will stop being aggressive with a Trump presidency. Trump needs to figure out, very quickly what his policy toward Russia will actually be. Hard-lined and defensive, or friendly and cooperative?
The nomination of Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State suggests quite a friendly working relationship between the United States and Russia, and Trump’s has reiterated this message. But what does that actually mean? Trump could go for a “trust, but verify” relationship. Still, no one really knows.
No matter what Trump decides, he needs to be quick because, as Mitt Romney was accosted for saying in 2012, Russia is our biggest geopolitical threat. Trump needs a quick plan, because things need to change.
Now, this is the government, so it’s likely little will be done. But Trump needs to legitimize his administration. I didn’t mention any sort of reunification, because that will ultimately come if he does a good job.
At the end of these 100 days, we’ll know what to expect from the next four years. Hopefully, it’s good.
Assistant opinion editor Jorden Smith is a political science and creative writing junior and can be reached at [email protected]