In this week’s episode of Past Present, Neil, Natalia, and Niki debate Trump’s first 100 days, the history of Hawaii, and the rise of female genital mutilation in the United States.
The First 100 Days
April 29 marked the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency. Although Trump has downplayed the 100 day marker after previously vowing he’d deliver many campaign promises within such a time, Neil pointed out that the Trump White House has a website promoting his accomplishments in the first 100 days, including a rash of executive orders. (We discussed the history of executive orders on Episode 68.) Niki discussed some of the best and worst first 100 days presidents have had, something she has written about for Vox. Niki argued, however, that 100 days provided no useful metric for assessing a presidency, recommending instead we evaluate a president’s first year, something the Miller Center does with its First Year Project.
In the wake of Jeff Sessions’s calling dismissal of Hawai’i as an “island in the Pacific,” we discuss the long history of Hawai’i and how mainland Americans have exoticized it through the years.
Four people have been arrested for cases of female genital mutilation in the U.S. We discussed the global history of female genital mutilation, including its past in Victorian England and twentieth-century America. Natalia commented on the controversy over the decision by a New York Times editor to use the term “genital cutting” for the procedure because “female genital mutilation” was deemed “culturally loaded.”
What’s Making History
- Neil discussed the upsurge of Democrats announcing they are running for public office in response to the Trump presidency.