The initial days of the Trump presidency could be summed up in a short, not-so-profound question: what just happened? The inauguration of Donald John Trump as the 45th President of the United States of America on Friday, January 20, 2017, marked the end of an era and the beginning of an entirely different one. This was an American president like none other before him. His first 100 days were 'shock and awe' for not just media, the American public, and the world in general, but also for his own administration.
Full of sound and fury and non-conformist to the core, Trump threw out 'The Rulebook for American Presidents' (if such a book exists) even before he stepped into the White House. The world was, instead, introduced to 'Presidency by Twitter' and he gave his policymakers a crash-course in the art of 'repeal and replace' (Obama's policies). In the 1,064 days since his inauguration, Trump has tweeted close to 13,500 times - and has mostly sounded anti-establishment even though, as Potus, he represents the world's most powerful establishment.
The one thing that even his worst critics will have to concede, though, is that President Trump is no different than Candidate Trump. Unlike past politicians who had to tone down their poll pledges, after they were elected, under the pressure of political and diplomatic reality, Trump has made visibly sincere efforts to fulfil all his promises, including the impractical (the Mexican border wall) and the unpopular (his immigration policies). He's bulldozed his way through when he could, sidestepped legal hurdles when he realised they were too high to clear and has side-lined career diplomats who did not see eye-to-eye with him on his policies.
But the same lack of political maturity and experience that were once seen as his biggest strengths have now come to haunt him. Used to as he is of getting it done the 'business way' (read: by hook or by crook), Trump is now being held accountable for not getting things done in a politically correct way. Businessman Trump, used to forging corporate deals by browbeating his opponents, has let down President Trump, with the latter now caught by the House of Representatives with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar.
Yesterday, Donald Trump faced the ignominy of becoming the third US president in 240 years to be impeached. Trump is obviously feeling as persecuted as he was on Day 1 of his presidency when he berated the media for under-reporting the size of his inaugural crowd. But because he's always worn his harum-scarum attitude as a medal on his chest, he should have seen the charges - abuse of power and obstruction of Congress - coming. It's probably his turn to ask that short, not-so-profound question.
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