Sometimes it seems like Donald Trump’s White House has installed a revolving door. The administration seems to have a rather high turnover rate for something as prestigious as working in the White House. Of course, the high turnover rate becomes a bit more understandable when you factor in things such as Trump’s defense of white nationalists or his 3:00 a.m. Twitter rants. In fact, it sometimes seems remarkable that anyone would stay on at all. However, Axios has reported that many of those who remain in the White House do so out of a desire to temper the president’s stranger impulses.
‘”You have no idea how much crazy stuff we kill”: The most common response centers on the urgent importance of having smart, sane people around Trump to fight his worst impulses. If they weren’t there, they say, we would have a trade war with China, massive deportations, and a government shutdown to force construction of a Southern wall.’
Others pointed out that they were reluctant to abandon their friends and allies who were working to push Trump towards more sound conventional policy. One of the key skills in Trump’s White House is ignoring his rhetoric while persuading him to move in a more moderate direction. While it is certainly frustrating to see the absurdity that seems to emerge from the White House on a daily basis, we can only imagine how terrifying things might be if there were no one to sway Trump away from the Steve Bannons of the world.
While these people might very well have good intentions, there is something about the Trump administration that feels more toxic than past ones. One could reasonably disagree with Barack Obama or George Bush on matters of policy, while being confident that they had the country’s interests at heart. Trump, on the other hand, makes things less clear. His defense of white nationalists was one of the most disturbing things to come out of any White House in recent decades.
It led one Axios reporter to ask how White House staffers could look their African-American friends in the eyes and still support Trump. The reporter got an interesting answer, which probably sums up why a lot of people remain in Trump’s employ.
‘1. Will I have the same, incredible opportunities to make a true difference somewhere else? No.
‘2. If I leave, who will take my spot? Someone with my heart for making things better for ALL Americans? Maybe, maybe not. Huge value to country in good people serving right now.
‘3. The Presidency is bigger than the person. And the WH has expansive influence on execution of broad range of administrative authorities.’
This story highlights the difficulty inherent in working for Trump. On one hand, it must be very tempting to simply jump ship at the first sign of trouble, but that begs the question of who will take your place. As bad as Trump’s administration has been, things could be much worse. If Trump is only listening to the likes of Steve Bannon then we could very well see that trade war with China or a southern border wall.
Featured image via Getty Images.