I remember watching my first episode of “The Apprentice.”
Season one began in 2004 when I was 13 years old. I remember one episode in which a young woman led what I think was an advertising team and once she was evaluated by her troop, they immediately threw her under the bus. Her leadership skills were paralyzing, one teammate told her, before she heard the infamous words of the show’s host, “you’re fired.”
I stopped watching for two reasons: I was 13 and still had more interest in the program “Degrassi: The Next Generation” and I was not a fan of Donald Trump.
I did not dismiss him for his business ordeals. I didn’t like his hair, squinty, repelling eyes, arrogance or infidelity. He just couldn’t keep this teen’s attention.
Two elections ago, the very idea of Trump running for office sounded ludicrous. Many of my educators had similar ideas about him that were pretty negative.
But this year Trump earned more than the amount of delegates needed to earn the Republican nomination, doing what many of my educators and peers thought wouldn’t happen.
For a while, he was deemed the comic relief of the election. Some condemned his words, while others praised them. Some find him xenophobic and racist and others argue he tells it like it is.
I have to ask, what does he “tell” like it is?
Since I was a teen there’s been no change in his words or actions.
From the sound of it, telling it like it is assures saying the most outrageous things that can pop into one’s head, bringing all media to hear and document it. It is then reproduced to outlets of support or opposition. Everyone waits for the next thing to be said, hoping it will not cause disdain or it will unleash all the downtrodden emotions some Americans have been told to hide.
I read a column in The New York Times about Republicans backing Trump despite his continual bigoted comments. How these politicians argue he is wrong but still offer support to push their own agendas, or because they are secretly like him.
Columnist Andrew Rosenthal wrote in a Thursday article:
“… he obviously plans to go on riding this tiger — because he thinks it will take him into the White House; because he is engaged in a creepy act of self destruction to avoid actually having to be president, which is hard work; or simply because he enjoys making bigoted comments.”
The point is not to deter voters from selecting whom they believe is best suited for the country. It is a personal choice.
But I do not believe Trump wants to be president because he doesn’t have to be. He is wealthy. He is married to a former model — his third wife. He is a man whose being is predicated on the praises and censures of rivals and fans to fuel his career and presence among us; much like a celebrity’s behavior that shifts so the world can see.
Much like contestants on reality television, some will find other ways to be noticed outside the realm we once knew them, hoping one day we will still observe or care.
Much like Trump and his surreal political and reality TV behavior, it is not enough to keep this woman’s attention.