March 1 will mark 40 days since Donald Trump became president of the United States. He has been in the news every day since then. Here in Washington, Trump and his doings are the primary focus of the top three national newspapers: The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. On top of that, his every decision, statement and step are covered almost in real time by the main cable news networks CNN, Fox and CNBC. That is in addition to the traditional TV stations with entertainment programs like ABC, CBS and NBC.
After 40 days of President Trump, I can say that the political establishment and the media are still in shock. The establishment is not just reacting to Trump's startling November victory. It's also reacting to his cabinet appointees and other associates, as well as his behavior and constant assertions that members of the media are "enemies of the people."
The liberal media have responded with personal attacks against Trump, his electorate, his policies and even the business activities of his relatives. These attacks consist of more than expected criticism of conservative programs and policy positions. The main liberal newspapers have also published columns speculating about Trump's mental health and fitness for the position. On the other hand, the majority of the public supports the president despite these attacks.
The remaining Democratic senators and representatives have joined the media in their assault on Trump. They are looking ahead to the 2018 midterm elections—in which the entire House of Representatives and a third of the Senate will run—as they oppose the Republicans and Trump on every vote, confirmation and issue, whether they have a reason to or not.
The three main items on Congress' upcoming agenda will be replacing former President Obama’s health care law, major federal tax reform and filling a vacancy on the Supreme Court. So far, we are only sure about whom the White House has nominated to the bench. As for health care and tax reform, we can only guess.
Media executives are devoting considerable attention to Trump's campaign promises. The Washington Post website has a "Trump Promise Tracker." It claims that he made "more than 280 campaign promises," of which the "tracker" follows a select 60. To be fair, it should be noted that the Post also monitored 40 of the promises made by Barack Obama during his two campaigns, albeit with much less publicity and fanfare.
Some political wise men believe that the source of national division comes from the fact that Trump owes his victory to the Electoral College. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, won the popular vote by 3 million ballots, which means that the majority of voters favor the Democrats.
However, it should be noted that Republicans did not only win the White House in November. They also won a majority of both houses of Congress, as well as the governorship of 33 out of 50 states. They also hold a majority in 32 state assemblies. This means the Republicans have control at the federal level, as well as at most state levels.
Thus, Trump and his party have proven that they can win elections. Now, however, they must prove that they can successfully govern.