Believe it or not, Monday will mark one month of Donald Trump's presidency. For most presidents, the pressure is on to see what they can accomplish within the first 100 days of their four-year term. But President Trump likes to do things bigger than everyone else, and he has wasted no time making a reputation for himself as POTUS. So far, that reputation includes a Cabinet that has struggled to be confirmed and a travel ban that sparked protests in America's largest airports, but a few moments from Trump's first month should give you hope.
Although his presidency has become ridden with controversy — controversial people, controversial policies, and controversial tweets — Trump's first month in office also sparked some of the most overwhelming activism in recent history. Whether against Trump or in support of some important cause, Americans have worked together in person and in spirit. The international community has gotten involved, too. Protests that occur in the U.S. are supported by demonstrations in other countries, and world leaders have used their voices, as well.
All in all, this spirit of undying activism, whether it comes from inside the government or from the people, is a hopeful sign of what's to come.
Women's March On Washington
That spirit of activism kicked Trump's presidency off with a bang. The day after his inauguration, the National Mall and city squares around the world filled with women and allies, as millions of people participated in women's marches. Since that historic day, the organizers of the Women's March on Washington have launched a campaign for activism during Trump's first 100 days, and a women's strike is planned for next month.
Activism has also come from the states, in a powerful reminder that the founders of this country wanted governing to be done at all levels. For instance, the Maryland Attorney General now has the power to sue the federal government. New York and California are working to become sanctuary states for immigrants. Hawaii has already launched a lawsuit against the administration.
The pope may not have any governing power in the U.S., but he has a voice that's heard 'round the world. When Pope Francis addressed the United Nations, he touched on the proper relationship between governments and native people, in what seemed to be support for protestors of the Dakota Access Pipeline. His words may not affect what happens within the U.S., but he has become somewhat of a reformer for the Catholic Church, which is a hopeful sign in its own right.
Nevertheless, She Persisted
Earlier this month, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren was silenced while reading a letter from Coretta Scott King on the floor of the Senate. In quieting her, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, "Nevertheless, she persisted," giving activists across the country a new battle cry.
If nothing else gives you hope during Trump's presidency, just remember that there are lawmakers like Warren who will persist and activists who are energized by their refusal to give up.
Small Victories Within The Cabinet Confirmation Process
Despite phone calls to senators and protests from teachers, Betsy DeVos was confirmed as the Trump administration's secretary of education — but small victories within the Cabinet confirmation process still matter. For instance, two GOP senators voted against their party and against DeVos, making her confirmation come down to a historic, tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence. Then, Trump's pick for labor secretary, Andrew Puzder, had to withdraw after facing little chance of confirmation.
These small victories show that the American people are paying attention — and they'll need to keep doing so.
Lady Gaga's Halftime Show
Lady Gaga literally brightened the country with her flashy halftime show as this year's Super Bowl. A Trump protestor, Gaga didn't even have to mutter the president's name to put forth a hopeful message in the wake of his presidency: She sang her hit "Born This Way" with such gusto that the entire world listened.
Neil Gorsuch's Post-Nomination Message
One of Trump's early presidential actions was to nominate Judge Neil Gorsuch from the Appeals Court for the Tenth Circuit to the Supreme Court. If confirmed, Gorsuch, a proponent of limited government, could seemingly oppose Trump's use of executive order power.
But Gorsuch isn't wasting anytime letting the president know how he feels. Shortly after his nomination, Gorsuch stood up for his fellow judges when he called Trump's tweets about the judges in the travel ban case "disheartening."
Melania Trump & Emily Ratajkowski
Regardless of her husband's policies, First Lady Melania Trump seems poised to stand up for women. Model Emily Ratajkowski recently stood up for the first lady at New York Fashion Week, when a reporter apparently called Melania a "hooker." Trump then tweeted her support for Ratajkowski and "all women around the world who speak up" for other women. Let's keep that kind of support up beyond Trump's first month in office.
Obama's Post-Presidency Life
While the country he previously ran is very much uneasy, former President Barack Obama appears to be living his best life. The photos from Obama's post-White House vacation are uplifting because they shed some perspective: There will be a life after the presidency, for America and for Trump.
If his first month in office is any indication, Trump's presidency will be a roller coaster. The lows may challenge the media, immigrants, and his opponents, but the high of activism won't be far behind. Now, if only we could all go kite-surfing with the Obamas.