Central New Yorkers commemorate, protest Trump's performance

May 1, 2017

Central New Yorkers rang in President Donald Trump’s 100th day in office in starkly different rallies in Syracuse this weekend. The two events Saturday were only a few miles away, but the political distance between the two groups seemed much farther.

At one event, hundreds marched to Syracuse’s Inner Harbor in coordination with climate change demonstrations across the country. They carried signs blasting the Trump administration for rolling back environmental regulations. Jacqueline King’s sign called for his impeachment.

“I believe he’s already stepped across the line," King said. "He wants to strip away too much - all of the environmental protections. They want to frack everything into oblivion.”

The criticisms did not end with Trump’s environmental record. Those at the rally, like Barry West, say Trump deserves a failing grade overall.

“I mean he hasn’t done anything that helps the middle class or the planet," West said. "It’s just, it’s a sad day this 100th day.”

Just a few miles away, a couple dozen of the president's supporters waved "Honk for Trump" signs along the road outside of the Onondaga County Republican Party headquarters. Party Chairman Tom Dadey offers a completely different analysis of the president’s performance.

“Very pleased with President Trump’s first 100 days," Dadey said. "I would give him a grade of an A overall.”

Dadey and others praise Trump for nominating Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, striking a Syrian air base after its government used chemical weapons and starting work on his campaign promises. They said Trump had made the U.S. to an international leader once again.

But his supporters, like Randy Potter, admit that much of that agenda has not become law.

“President Trump is not a professional politician, so he’s kind of new to the job," Potter said. "There’s going to be a learning curve, but I am sure he is going to get better with time.”

Still, Potter and others at the pro-Trump rally say it is not the president’s fault. They put the blame on the courts and the Repbulican-controlled Congress. 

"The problem is Congress. They are not doing their job," said Carol Banewicz said. "He's doing everything he can. Nobody is cooperating right now."