Image: Trump not allowed. Image: constructed

Australia Day is out of the way for another year and, like it or lump it, the occasion did provide some time to reflect on all the good things about this country as well as many of the bad things historically. It also provided an opportunity to look at some of the evil and madness taking place in other countries throughout the world and being grateful we are not experiencing that here. Take America for example, a nation we have long imitated, fawned over and remained politically subservient to for decades. With thousands living homeless in their larger cities, racism as deeply rooted as ever, and of course Donald Trump, do we need to find any inspiration in the ‘land of the free’.

Donald Trump. Image: wikicommons

And speaking of Trump, whom we now know regularly applies Bronx Orange Concealer as his morning makeup and then complains about energy efficient light bulbs which make him look even oranger, here is a frightening scenario: back in 1986 when Trump’s Atlantic City casinos were in deep financial trouble, he started sniffing around the Pacific looking to rebuild his wealth with a possible casino licence.

Bronx orange concealer

Whilst he never physically set foot in Australia at the time, he applied, along with an Australian consortium, to build the first casino in Darling Harbour. It was an era when we lapped up all things American – television, movies, popular music and even evangelicals like Billy Graham. We had gone all the way with LBJ a few decades ago with the start of the Vietnam War, and the USA was our big protective buddy. 

Imagine if Trump had been granted the licence and a massive TRUMP neon erected on a garish new structure. Nothing short of naming rights would have satisfied the ultra narcissist as he set up shop in Sydney.

Trump’s Taj Mahal casino, Atlantic City.

Marriage and divorce come easily for Trump and he could have dumped his spouse at the time for an Australian bride, following a week of carousing around the hotspots of Sydney. He marries an Australian citizen, becomes one himself and sets up a kind of Mar-a-Lago down under on a slab of our  most valuable real estate. Within a few years he’s pulling the strings of a large number of local politicians, the Murdoch media has got right behind him and his New York buddies like Jeffrey Epstein are jetting in to soak up the new Las Vegas. Trump even convinces the State Government at the time to hand over Cockatoo Island (renamed Little Saint Cocky) to Epstein for a whole series of “Lolita” style parties.

It all sounds a bit unlikely, terrifying in fact if you think somebody like Trump could ever get a foothold in this country. For that we have to thank the government at the time and the diligence of the NSW Police Force who knocked back the Kern/Trump application noting:

“Atlantic City would be a dubious model for Sydney and in our judgment, the Trump mafia connections should exclude the Kern/Trump consortium.”

Trump Plaza, New Jersey.

A few years after the unsuccessful Sydney bid, Trump tried his luck in New Zealand, actually flying to Auckland in 1993 seeking a licence to operate a casino on the site of the Auckland Railway Station. Our Kiwi friends were diplomatic in denying his application with a member of their Casino Control Authority stating:

“I didn’t think we would like Mr Trump being an operator and I didn’t think he would particularly like New Zealand. My gut feeling was that he would not fit and he wouldn’t fit with setting up a New Zealand casino industry.”

Perhaps the underlying reason for the knock back was a tip off from the NSW Police regarding Trump’s mafia connections – that he was possibly more of a “don” than a “Donald”.

A younger Trump in the gaming room of the Taj Mahal. Image: Joe Dombroski/ Getty

There have been various surveys in recent years to judge just what support Trump has in Australia. Back in 2019 and 2020 the United States Study Centre concluded that:

“In late July 2019, the USSC surveyed 1,820 Australians and another 1,619 in early October 2020. In both surveys, Australians strongly preferred a Democratic win over Trump’s re-election in 2020, with support for the Democratic candidate increasing over the past year.”

Given the litany of charges currently facing Trump, not to mention the revelation of his morning makeup ritual, it’s unlikely we have anything like the passionate, unquestioning, cult like believers Trump garners with his Republican supporters. An Australian Facebook group, Australians For Donald Trump, boasts some 1.6k members but doesn’t appear to be particularly active.

Darling Harbour

Unlike big brother Fox in America, Sky News are somewhat ambivalent when it comes to criticising or supporting Trump and Biden bashing obviously works better.

Trump has never set foot in Australia and let’s hope, even if he regains the White House in November, no Australian leader would ever invite him to disgrace our shores.

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