But his unorthodox style is also raising questions about whether a presidency built on creative destruction will simply exhaust the political system. Trump’s conveyer belt of executive orders is an effective symbolic device, but they are noticeably lacking in details and actionable plans. Sooner or later, he will have to show proficiency in the harder task of shepherding his agenda through Congress.
Trump’s first week in office leaves one fundamental question in its wake: Can he successfully govern a complicated and divided country without bringing his erratic behavior under control? For now, there is no answer.
Trump is making no secret of his top priority: Pay back the disgruntled voters who sent him to Washington to blow things up.
“Think of everything we can achieve and remember who we must achieve it for,” Trump told Republican lawmakers Thursday in Philadelphia. “Now we have to deliver. Enough all talk, no action. We have to deliver.”
In the delivery column, mark down an executive order calling for the building of a wall on the southern US border — honoring Trump’s earliest campaign vow. He’s also made it easier to deport undocumented immigrants. Trump pulled America out of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade pact, rupturing decades of US foreign policy orthodoxy that power was projected through multilateral deals.
He also hauled business and auto executives into the West Wing and warned they will pay a heavy price for manufacturing abroad. With another sweep of his pen, Trump moved forward trans continental oil pipelines and smashed Obama-era environmental regulations.
Every new administration makes splashy executive actions aimed at appealing to the base. Former President Barack Obama quickly signed an order in 2009 ordering the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility — something that never fully became reality.