As President Trump marks his first 100 days in office, headlines have been awash with updates on his progress (or lack thereof), the looming potential for a government shutdown, and ongoing deportations. The 100-day point may help Americans keep their president accountable to his promises, but it's really just the beginning of his four-year term, which numbers more than 1,400 days. Given the current administration's controversial start, it may be more important than ever to focus not just on broken promises, but also on hopeful moments from Trump's first 100 days.
After all, it's thanks to the Trump administration that Saturday Night Live viewers can enjoy Melissa McCarthy's hilariously entertaining Sean Spicer impressions. On a more serious note, it's also thanks to the thousands of women and allies who gathered together on the day after Trump's inauguration that the Women's March on Washington made front-page news around the world.
From the funny to the groundbreaking, the small glimmers of hope that have arisen over the past 100 days form a silver lining around the Trump administration's cloud. With more than 1,300 days left in the president's first term, non-Trump supporters are sure to need that when the cloud hanging over the White House seems particularly gray.
Checks And Balances Still Exist
One of the most effective obstacles to Trump's progress so far appears to be the judicial system. Federal judges have twice blocked enforcement of Trump's travel bans, and more recently, a judge in San Francisco blocked an executive order that would have taken funding from sanctuary cities. The president may have his pen, but the courts still have their gavels.
States Can Innovate
Another check on the president's power goes beyond the federal level. Since Trump's inauguration, states have taken their own steps to counteract his policies. For instance, the Maryland General Assembly voted to give the state's attorney general the power to sue the federal government.
Activism Is Front-Page News
From the Women's March on Washington in January to the March for Science in April, the Trump administration has inspired a wave of political participation. The level of activism is so significant that it has made front-page news around the world.
Donations To Certain Organizations Are Up
Activists aren't just marching — they're putting their money where their mouths are. In January, the New York Times reported that donations to the American Civil Liberties Union increased exponentially in the days following Trump's first executive orders. In March, when Trump published his budget proposal with reduced funding for Meals on Wheels, donations to that program also skyrocketed.
More Women Are Running For Office
According to EMILY's List, which recruits women to run for public office, women have started to seek public office at much higher rates since Trump's election. That's not necessarily an indication of a causal relationship, but it's encouraging news, particularly for female constituents.
Comedic Relief Persists
No matter what Trump says or does during the week, John Oliver will be there on Sunday night. Similarly, the cast of SNL will be there on Saturday night.
Neil Gorsuch Favors Small Government
Trump found success with the Supreme Court, appointing Neil Gorsuch to the long-vacant SCOTUS seat. Not surprisingly, Gorsuch's views tend to be conservative, which could suggest a favorability toward the president's policies. However, Gorsuch also has a tendency to support limited government, which could contradict the president's own tendency to use executive orders.
Economic Confidence Remains Stable
According to Gallup, economic confidence among Americans has remained stable or improved this year. All things considered, if there's one thing you can be optimistic about, it might as well be the economy, right?
Hillary Clinton Has A Favorite Meme
Following her electoral loss in November, Hillary Clinton famously spent time walking through the woods near her New York home. Since those walks, though, Clinton has returned to the public eye. In an appearance at the Women in the World Summit, Clinton shared her favorite meme with the audience — a relatable reminder that her fight for equal rights for women isn't over.
Obama Encourages Activism
Speaking of returning to the public eye, former President Obama launched his post-presidential career on Monday with an event in Chicago. The event focused on community organizing, particularly among young people. His message to young activists was encouraging, particularly when you consider that Obama himself began a game-changing political career as a community organizer in Chicago.
Trump's presidency got off to a controversial start, but there are many more days to come. As those days do come, it's important for Americans on both sides of the aisle to find the good in government — even if that good comes from symbolic, grassroots marches and hilarious comedy sketches.