Since Donald Trump was elected, the news has been buzzing about the drama within his troubled transition team. They're a mashup of personalities that seem to be at odds with each other, from RNC chair Reince Priebus on the establishment Republican side to Breitbart chief Steve Bannon representing the ultraconservative alt-right. These two men have equal power in the team, and will be in a constant battle for Trump’s approval. Furthermore, the President-elect is constantly shocking us with unexpected changes in the team, the most notable of which being his sudden replacement of longtime head Chris Christie with Vice President-elect Mike Pence as the new head of the transition team. Finally, Trump has kept his family close by in the transition team, giving son-in-law Jared Kushner a prominent role in the team.
If this seems like an unorthodox way to run a transition team, it’s because it is. While past presidents tried to make the transition as seamless as possible, it seems that Trump is doing everything he can to add unexpected twists and turns to the process. Many are confused how a presidential transition team could be running this way, but when I look back at Donald Trump’s experience, it makes perfect sense. With no background in government whatsoever, he finds himself forced to fall back on what he knows best – his days as a reality TV host.
When I first saw the way that Donald Trump has been running his transition team in the news, I had an immediate flashback to one of the many tense boardroom meetings on "The Apprentice." I then went back and rewatched a few old episodes, and I found myself shocked at just how clear the similarities were. I watched as two teammates bickered as each pleaded his case to Trump as to why his idea was so much better than his teammate’s, and I immediately thought of Priebus and Bannon. I saw Trump’s kids on either side of him, advising him on who to fire, and my mind flashed right to Kushner. When Trump suddenly decided to point his finger at a contestant and utter his signature “you’re fired,” I could almost see Chris Christie on the other end of that finger.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I genuinely enjoy watching "The Apprentice." I love seeing the tension in the room as the contestants butt heads when pleading their cases to Trump. I laugh at the overly dramatic dynamics between team members. And I can’t help but make guesses as to who will be fired next. The problem is, though, that reality TV is not reality. Everything that makes "The Apprentice" good TV would do nothing but damage to our government. The ideal transition team would be well-organized, planned ahead of time, and made up of members who will get along well. In preparing to lead the United States, the time for excess struggle within the transition team is a luxury that a President-Elect simply does not have. The suspense, sudden changes, and unnecessary drama may make for great television, but they simply have no place in the leadership of our nation.