Mathew Mackie

About Mathew Mackie

Mathew Mackie is a writer and Editor-in-Chief of TBS. He can be contacted at [email protected]

Approx Reading Time-11We’ve survived the first 100 days of Trump, amid much criticism. So, have they been 100 failures, or 100 small victories in the name of the greater good?




101. The correct amount of dalmatians to kidnap, the number of days since Donald took the reins of the American Rome. However, there’s reason to celebrate, in that he’s not been as bad as we all assumed.

Before the collective draw of breath rattles the collected rubbish on my desk, he’s still been bad. But there are many degrees of bad, and within that, he’s been good. Example: on the way to the White House, Trump ho ho ho-ed the sleigh of antiestablishment sentiment all the way to his securing the presidency – trajectory guaranteed by the gnashing teeth of the xenophobic ruminants that pulled the sleigh. On, Duke; on, Alex; on, Cletus. However, the impact of crashing the White House has seemingly jolted his memory, for he’s woken from the concussion as a politician. And through that, he’s cannibalised the most ardent of his followers – the alt-right. A grand example of this is when Donald “went Hillary” and bombed a piece of dirt in Syria, and the entirely of 4chan broke down, rocking themselves to sleep, blubbering the tune of Ride of the Valkyries in between sobs.

Yes, he’s been historically bad. However, if you were to spin the figures on their head, you could say that he’s been doing badly because we’re rating him according to his achievements. If we were to rate him against the “greater good”, his failures make him brilliant. Historically so, never has a man who has accomplished so little, accomplished so much.

As this handy meme (with no references whatever) illustrates:


His lack of political nous, or ability to stay the course according to his beliefs, makes him tolerable. Or expanding on that, his greatest selling point, the fact that he’s not a politician, has been the most palatable option to those who couldn’t possibly accept him as a politician. Yes, he’s Trump, but he’s not the tangerine Godzilla we expected, groaning on Twitter, stamping the heritage listed properties of democracy into dust. No, the beast has mainly been kept to 140 characters, which, to be fair, we’d already grown accustomed to.

The disappointment this president must feel is strangely similar to what the previous one felt. It’s kind of like a reverse Obama. Barack was hamstrung out of the gate because he wanted to push meaningful reform through a congress stacked with Republicans. The GOP saw him as a threat. Whereas Trump is hamstrung by the GOP because they see him as a threat. To everyone. The system works…against Caesar.

Which is not to say that Trump hasn’t Trumped. He has – cue the Muslim ban, which has rightly been shut down; he tried to kill ObamaCare and failed; the Hiltonesque borderline nepotism, which gave us a chortle; all as we kept one eye on the rainy-day-lottery-ticket threat of a class-action-lawsuit-against-a-restaurant American dream of impeachment. To those who are banking on that route in an effort to push back to the normalcy of democracy, we already have it. Almost. It would be a mistake to remove him, as such an action could leave us open to a man capable of Trump’s boldest threats, but it’d also be a mistake for another reason. There have been threats of regime change against foreign countries who have nothing much to do with America. He’s stripped education and reform in favour of expanding the size of America’s penis. He’s followed the colour-by-numbers diplomacy of an establishment candidate.

Also on The Big Smoke

Here’s an unpopular opinion. Trump’s inability to follow through with his desires has given us something close to the Democratic presidency we feel we were denied. Check the above meme; save for one, the Trumpian list of achievements seems strangely similar the policy moves (though not the personal ethos) of one Hillary Rodham Clinton. Throw back the veil of Twitter threats, soundbite insanity and mouth-breathing speeches, the things that have actually happened are similar to the moves that a HRC administration would have made.

But there’s something else afoot.

He’s blamed the constitution, pined for his old life and complained that the job is too hard. That kind of humility from an uber-maniac is a rare thing. It’s akin to Caesar saying the senatorial robes show too much shoulder. He’s out of his depth, and for that, he has something that many politicians covet, and few possess. Relatability. For the first time, the two-dimensional cardboard cutout that roams around the windows of Trump Tower has been replaced by something more three-dimensional – something that the general populace can share with him. Weakness. Uncertainty. The feeling of reality’s brick through the window of your greatest assumption. Things are hard, yes. But to see someone try harder, and ultimately fuck it up, is the King Kong of all Prozac tablets. So for that, I say we take Trump’s headline baiting shenanigans for what they are. Trite truisms of schadenfreude to make our lives seem just a little bit better.

As it sucks to be him, it’s ok being us.

Bring on the next hundred.

(Just don’t bomb Pyongyang.)


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