On his 100th day in office on Saturday, facing historically low popularity ratings, a succession of intractable foreign crises and multiple investigations of his links with Moscow, Donald Trump reminded the nation that 1 May was Loyalty Day.
The day is a US tradition dating back to the cold war, when it was a bolster to stop May Day becoming a rallying point for socialists and unionised workers, but for an embattled president learning politics on the job it has an added resonance.
In an interview with Fox News to mark the 100-day mark, he declared himself “disappointed” with congressional Republicans, despite his many “great relationships” with them.
He blamed the constitutional checks and balances built in to US governance. “It’s a very rough system,” he said. “It’s an archaic system … It’s really a bad thing for the country.”
He has failed to get any of his priorities turned into legislation in the face of party disunity, and his attempt to rule by executive order has been largely hollow. His decrees have been either meaningless, like his one-page, detail-free tax reform plan, or have been blocked by the courts, such as his travel ban for Muslim countries and refugees.
Trump’s approval ratings have remained mired at historic lows for a presidency in what is supposed to be a honeymoon period, hovering around – and frequently below – the 40% mark, well below his recent predecessors at this stage in their presidencies.
But his core supporters have remained faithful, choosing to believe that the mainstream media are purveyors of fake news, rather than accept that the Trump presidency has not been the unrivalled success the president has claimed. They have also accommodated Trump’s affinity for Vladimir Putin. The percentage of Republicans who see Russia as an unfriendly state has fallen from 82% in 2014 to 41% now, according to a CNN/ORC poll.
Dear Orange Liar: the US Constitution is NOT “archaic”.