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The implosion of Donald Trump’s old casino made me wonder if he was going to do it all over again

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This week, an important relic of Donald Trump’s career imploded.

The implosion was literal and not figurative. City officials have ordered the implosion of the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, which has been derelict since the company closed in 2014.

When it was built in 1984, the 32-story casino was a great symbol of Mr. Trump’s ambitions in the world of casinos, show business and events.

But in the early 1990s, Trump Plaza casinos were in debt of $ 500 million ($ 641).

It’s not the only part of his old life that has been destroyed since he decided to run for president six years ago.

His years as a New York real estate mogul and reality TV star, greeted by elites at high society events, seem over.

The old casino imploded after falling into such disrepair that pieces of the building began to peel off and crash into the ground. (AP: Edward Lea / The Press of Atlantic City)

Watching the old casino collapse, I wondered: if he had the chance, would he do it again?

For many observers of Mr. Trump’s presidency, the answer is obviously ‘yes’.

But look at the effect his five-year foray into national politics has had on him and it becomes a more interesting question.

The life Donald Trump could have had

Mr. Trump, heir to a New York real estate empire built by his father, has led a strange but comfortable life.

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Despite his relentless criticism of then-President Barack Obama and his attachment to racist conspiracy theories about the birthplace of the first black president, he was so central to New York culture that he was welcomed at every event of the high society.

He’s hosted a top-notch TV show, performed Emmy songs, and hosted Saturday Night Live.

He and his wife Melania Trump walked the red carpet at the Met Gala and White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

While his business was losing money, had he unloaded a few of his less profitable golf courses, he had the ability to turn the tide.

Former President Donald Trump owns several golf courses (AP: Manuel Balce Ceneta)

He probably could have sold his entire real estate empire and fared better financially.

The apprentice, along with his new business licensing his name to real estate products and developments around the world, was earning him around $ 20 million a year.

If he had remained an ordinary citizen, he might have found himself seated enough in 2021 calling right-wing radio and television stations at will to voice his criticism of the Clinton administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead, 2021 could be a lot darker

Despite his insistence that his political movement “has only just begun,” the last 12 months of his presidency have meant that he will struggle to find more support than he currently has.

Its handling of the pandemic will only be more appalling compared to the year ahead, as the vaccination program begins to control the horrific toll the virus has caused in the United States.

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His refusal to accept the election results led him not only to become the first president to be impeached twice, but to the rise of a new zeal among establishment Republicans to stand up to him.

Mitt Romney, the only Republican senator who voted to convict Trump in his 2020 impeachment trial, was joined by six of his colleagues in 2021.

Senator Mitch McConnell, the most powerful figure among Congressional Republicans, has hinted that the former president could face criminal charges for his actions which led to the Capitol Riot.

Beyond that, other problems loom. Investigations in Washington DC and New York into the Trump family’s business dealings can result in expensive lawsuits, criminal charges, or fines.

His decision not to attempt to forgive himself exposes him to federal charges of campaign finance violations or obstruction of justice stemming from the Mueller inquiry.

In addition, the tax audit he has always used as an excuse to delay the publication of his tax returns continues. Massive debts to unknown creditors are falling due.

Even without any of these threats, his ability to market his name for cash has been curtailed by his presidency, with licensing agreements nearly drying up.

Mr. Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was vandalized in 2018 (AP: Reed Saxon)

He is so unwelcome in New York that he has definitely moved to Florida. Her socialite daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner followed.

His persistent insistence that a massive conspiracy involving large voting machine companies was responsible for the 2020 election outcome even led him to clash with his former media ally, Fox News.

The fan base he cultivated is now all he has left.

His rejection of democratic principles and his refusal to concede led to a permanent ban on his social media accounts, damaging his chances of success in any future political campaign.

If even part of that is true, then even Mr. Trump would probably agree that if he had his time again, he would not decide to run for president.

But Trump could be reinvented in 2021

There’s a 2021 version where the indictments never materialize, the tax audit goes, creditors clear their debts, and New York’s high society wants it again.

Mr Trump’s relationship with fellow Republicans could be crucial in determining his path after the presidency (AP: Alex Brandon)

Part of that depends on how her relationship plays out with her own party.

Although he has made it clear that he now has no relationship with Mr McConnell, his connection with Fox News is already on the mend. He spoke at length with them on Wednesday about the death of right-wing radio shock jock Rush Limbaugh.

His allies in the Senate are also always with him, Senator Lindsey Graham describing the future of the Republican Party as “Trump Plus.”

The other big contributor to the way Mr. Trump’s life unfolds from here is President Joe Biden and the Democrats in Congress.

In the Senate impeachment trial, we saw the shadow of a Democratic desire to overtake Trump quickly.

Although they hold almost all the levers of control, they held a swift trial, with no witnesses fearful that anything else would ruin President Biden’s chances of bipartisan support for the reinstatement legislation. coronavirus.

For Democrats, Mr. Trump’s time in power can be seen as an aberration to quickly pass and hopefully forget, or like the canary in the coal mine screaming about fundamental flaws in the American political system.

During the impeachment trial, Democrats indicated they were inclined to the former. The importance of the trial was mainly to ensure that Mr. Trump individually could never again become president.

But if you look at this as an indication of the inability of the American system to resist a charismatic populist with authoritarian leanings, the threat is not Mr. Trump, but a future equivalent that is more able to capitalize on the enormous power. and Mr. Trump’s opportunities. won, then squandered.

Read our full coverage of the US election and its aftermath.

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