The former adult film star is the subject of a GoFundMe campaign for the demolition, but is she really the most deserving?
Long before he wreaked havoc across the United States and the world at large, Donald Trump inflicted his horrors on Atlantic City, New Jersey.
In that case it was a string of failed casinos financed with high-interest junk bonds that he was never going to be able to pay off. Their collapse and the tremendous ten-figure debt he took away from them in the early 1990s was, at the time, Donald Trump's most public and embarrassing scandal.
It's a record he has since broken on numerous occasions — losing reelection, allowing over 300,000 Americans to die of a virus that other countries successfully contained, being associated with Rudy Giuliani — but the scars of Trump's early failure still mark Atlantic City. Where they haven't been rebranded or demolished, his massive, shuttered buildings have stood disused and dilapidated.
For Donald Trump it may be enough to have his name scraped and scrubbed from these decrepit shells. But for the citizens of Atlantic City they stand as stark reminders of how one wealthy, arrogant man helped to topple the local economy.
The tower of the Trump Plaza Hotel has been a particular problem in recent years. In its disintegrating state it became a hazard to public safety, with chunks of its crumbling façade falling to the street below. There is a bright spot on the horizon, however.
Atlantic City's Revenge: Blowing Up Trump's Casino For Charity | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC www.youtube.com
This year the city has finally begun demolition on this piece of Donald Trump's legacy, with a pyrotechnic finale scheduled for February. The opportunity to push the button imploding the hotel's stripped-bare tower is being offered in auction, with proceeds going to the Boys' and Girls' Club of Atlantic City.
Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small has said that he hopes to raise "at least a million dollars," noting that he's "a pretty ambitious guy." Currently the bidding stands at around $60,000, but it will remain open until January 19th — one day before Trump will be forced to relinquish the presidency to Joe Biden. A live auction among the highest bidders will follow on the 29th.
But should the privilege of erasing this blight — and publicly humiliating Donald Trump — really belong to the wealthiest person with a grudge against the soon-to-be-former president? Surely there's someone with a more legitimate claim to that honor.
That's what former adult film star Zoe Britton thought when she heard about the auction last Thursday. Britton tweeted the suggestion to crowd-fund a bid for her friend Stephanie Clifford — AKA Stormy Daniels — to push the button that topples Trump Plaza Hotel. Daniels enthusiastically signed onto the idea, adding the detail that the button should be modeled after a toadstool — a reference to her infamous description of the president's genitals.
@ejeancarroll @realDonaldTrump This is hands down the best idea ever! I also want to commission the button to be shaped like a toadstool 🍄— Stormy Daniels (@Stormy Daniels) 1608415328.0
The concept has since become a reality with a GoFundMe campaign that has so far raised a little over $1,700 to award the responsibility for that symbolic implosion to Stormy Daniels. But is she really the most worthy candidate?
For anyone who has somehow remained unaware of Daniels' history with Trump, the former adult film star had an (alleged) affair with Donald Trump in 2006. Back then he was merely the star of The Apprentice, and famous for being a rich assh**e and the basis for Biff Tannen's arc in Back to the Future Part II, and reportedly invited Daniels to dine with him when the two met at a charity golf tournament.
What (allegedly) followed from there was a whirlwind romance involving Shark Week, a periodical spanking, a promised role on Celebrity Apprentice, and a grudging resignation to physical intimacy. But the real drama is in the aftermath.
Several years after their (alleged) affair ended, Daniels reportedly shared details of her relationship with Donald Trump with a gossip magazine. Contrary to his enthusiastic attitude toward previous tabloid affairs, Donald Trump apparently didn't want his tryst with Daniels to be publicized. Michael Cohen, his personal lawyer at the time, intervened to squash the story — though rumors of the (alleged) affair were still published in Life & Style that October.
Not long after, Daniels reports that a man approached her in a parking lot with instructions to "leave Trump alone." Daniels had her young daughter with her at the time, and recalls the man saying "That's a beautiful little girl — it'd be a shame if something happened to her mom," before leaving them. That was in 2011, but the fallout was far from over.
EXCLUSIVE - Stormy Daniels Details Sex with Donald Trump www.youtube.com
In October of 2016 — shortly before the 2016 election, and around the time of the infamous Hollywood Access "grab 'em by the p***y" tape — Fox News reporter Diana Falzone allegedly wrote an article on the affair that the outlet chose to shelve. Secretly Michael Cohen had arranged to pay Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep her quiet — in violation of campaign finance law.
In January of 2018, rumors of the affair surfaced anyway. In the meantime, Donald Trump had become president. Stormy Daniels initially denied them — supposedly at the behest of her then-lawyer Keith Davidson, who may or may not have colluded with Michael Cohen to bury that story as well as the (alleged) Karen McDougal affair.
When Daniels eventually acknowledged the (alleged) affair and began sharing the sordid details, she became a target of Donald Trump's most ardent and unhinged supporters. She has received numerous death threats and was even arrested on flimsy charges by some politically-minded police in Ohio.
In short, Stormy Daniels' life was thrown into chaos by that brief, regrettable (alleged) affair with Donald Trump. And as a result of her coming forward, the scandal occupied America's attention for perhaps as long as any in Trump's tenure.
The legal issues that ensued eventually motivated Michael Cohen to renounce his longtime loyalty to Trump. He even went on to be a cooperating witness against Trump, offering congressional testimony that the president was a "con man" and a "racist" who had committed illegal acts of obstruction and self-dealing while in office.
In short, Stormy Daniels contributed perhaps as much as anyone in the last four years to the efforts to expose Donald Trump as the pathetic fraud that he is. And she has suffered for it.
On one hand, that seems like a strong case for letting Daniels push that momentous and possibly-toadstool-shaped button. But if she really wanted to, she could use some portion of the reported $800,000 advance on her memoir Full Disclosure to make a more serious bid.
On top of that, aren't their others who might be more deserving? Others who have done more to take Trump down, or who have suffered more as a result of his cruelty?
The honor could go to one of contractors Trump has put out of work, or one of the family's he tore apart at the border. It could go to any student who was bilked by Trump University, or any resident of Atlantic City who suffered the consequences of Donald Trump's financial recklessness.
A child crying as a border official searches her mother in TexasJohn Moore
It could go to E. Jean Caroll or any of the dozens of other women who've accused the president of sexual misconduct, or to Stacey Abrams, Gretchen Whitmer, or Martin Gugino. Or It could go to any of the loved ones of the 318,000 Americans who have died of COVID so far this year...
In the end, the people who deserve the honor of destroying one of Donald Trump's monuments to his own ego may outnumber even the numerous vanity projects on which he's plastered his name. But the best way to honor all of them is not through some symbolic bit of dramatic catharsis. It's by erasing the corrosive legacy Donald Trump has left on our government, our discourse, and our democratic institutions.
Unfortunately, that will take a lot more than the push of a button.
A profile of America's greatest conman.
Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946)–also known by the aliases John Barron, John Miller, and David Denison—is the former villainous star of reality TV show The Apprentice and current villainous star of actual reality.
Elected to the presidency of the United States—against the popular will of the voting public—by a vestige of America's history as a nation fueled by slavery, he has declared himself "the least racist person there is anywhere in the world."
Despite this apparent obstacle, Trump has managed to win over an overwhelming majority of America's thriving racist community by surrounding himself with white supremacists, refusing to condemn hate groups, dog whistling so loudly Old Yeller can hear it, and putting young children in concentration camps for months while prosecuting their parents for committing a misdemeanor.
How Trump's Family Separation Traumatized Children www.youtube.com
Known for his catchphrases, "You're fired!" and "When you're a star, they let you do it," Trump first captured the attention of federal investigators in 1973 for systemic discrimination against Black prospective tenants at one of his housing developments. Under noted bleeding-heart liberal Richard Nixon, the Justice Department sued Trump and his father for refusing to rent to Black Tenants.
Since that early highlight, Donald Trump has gone on to have an impressive career as the target of numerous federal investigations for everything from tax evasion to insurance fraud to running a sham "university" and (possibly) colluding with a foreign power to undermine American "democracy."
Having inherited a huge portion of his wealth from his real estate mogul father—a sum dramatically increased by dodging estate taxes—the money Donald Trump has "earned" has been based mostly on his reputation as a famous rich guy.
It's that reputation as a brash "billionaire" who can turn s**t to gold that has allowed him to repeatedly turn gold to s**t, accruing numerous bankruptcies, endless scandals, and unfathomable levels of debt, all while building lifelong ties to organized crime, global oligarchs, and the shadiest figures in American politics—from Roy Cohn to Roger Stone.
But, perhaps most importantly, that reputation earned Trump opportunities for media attention, which he craves above all else. That's how he ended up with a place in the WWE hall of fame, a cameo appearance in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, and a starring role as Biff Tannen in Back to the Future Part II .
Was Donald Trump in Back to the Future? www.youtube.com
It's how Donald Trump ended up with his own reality show, where editors worked tirelessly to add an air of business competence to his rich assh**e mystique. And it's why in 2011—amid calls for the government to be "run like a business"—anyone cared to listen to "businessman" Donald Trump's baseless, racist suggestion that Barack Obama wasn't really born in Hawaii.
And it was that birther ordeal that led inevitably to Trump's ascension as a political figure, to the Trump presidency, and to the apocalypse circling overhead as America's pathetic, depleted husk crawls further into the lifeless expanse of the future.
Among Trump's most notable life achievements, apart from becoming the most powerful manchild on Earth, are his failed casino ventures—including the spectacular financial collapse of Trump Taj Mahal—and his charity foundation that was shut down for illegal misuse of funds.
He also has some real estate ventures that involve plastering his name on buildings...until the actual owners decide it's too embarrassing.
Trump was raised by his father, Fred Trump, to believe that there were two kinds of people in the world: killers and losers. Despite a lifetime of losing business ventures, disappointing children (with the exception of Ivanka, whom he repeatedly "jokes" about wanting to sleep with), and failed tabloid marriages, Donald Trump finally secured his position as a killer in his 70s by spreading confusion and misinformation about the deadly novel coronavirus pandemic while failing to take necessary precautions, thus contributing to the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans.
As a child, Donald Trump was instructed in "Christianity" by pastor Norman Vincent Peale, who preached that wealth and success are signs of God's love, and both can be achieved through positive thinking. Donald Trump has held onto this idea by banishing negative thoughts like, "You are unqualified," "You don't know what you're talking about," and, "You're not the only person in the world who matters."
As an adult, Donald Trump extended this absence of doubt and self-criticism to his romantic life by not allowing himself to be constrained by vows of commitment, a lack of consent, or basic human decency. In the case of his first wife, Ivana, Donald Trump deliberately spread tabloid stories about his affair with a younger woman (future ex-wife Marla Maples), and—according to Ivana Trump's own court testimony—once raped her as an act of vengeance after an unpleasant experience with a scalp surgery intended to conceal his baldness.
Ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal speaks about alleged affair with Trump www.youtube.com
In addition to dozens of other accusations of sexual misconduct—from unwanted kissing to further allegations of rape—Donald Trump reportedly had affairs with adult film star Stormy Daniels while his third wife, Melania Trump, was pregnant with their son, Barron Trump, and with Playboy model Karen McDougal shortly after Melania gave birth. Donald Trump is also the preferred candidate of Christian, "family values" voters.
In late 2013, Donald Trump visited Moscow in connection with the Miss Universe pageant, which he owned at the time. An offer was reportedly made to send five sex workers to Donald Trump's hotel room, but Keith Schiller—Trump's personal bodyguard at the time—claims that he rejected the offer before going to bed with no knowledge about whether anyone entered Donald Trump's hotel room.
The evidence is inconclusive as to whether Donald Trump did in fact have multiple women in his hotel room that night—and instructed them to pee on a mattress that the Obamas slept on during a state visit.
It is also unclear whether Donald Trump—who was actively assisted in 2016 by a Russian disinformation effort and who openly asked Russia to perform a cyberattack against Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign—is actually subject to the whims of his good friend Vladimir Putin, with whom Trump loves to have private meetings.
We may never know if the Russian government is using compromising materials—possibly including a tape of sex workers peeing on a mattress at Trump's behest—to gain leverage over Trump in order to receive a startling series of foreign policy wins.
By contrast, there's a ton of damning evidence that Trump and his associates are tied up in international money laundering schemes involving oligarchs from Russia and elsewhere.
In September of 2020 it was revealed that Donald Trump paid just $750 in income tax in both 2016 and 2017, while claiming jaw-dropping deductions such as $70,000 for hair styling. But as Donald Trump put it in a 2016 debate, when Hillary Clinton confronted him about his tax evasion, "That makes me smart." Less indicative of intelligence are the loans that have him on the hook for over a billion dollars to various international banks who therefore have substantial power to influence the American government.
In October of 2020 Donald Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19 in an event that was lauded by Popdust.com as "maybe the purest example of karma ever."
Many predicted that Donald Trump was at particular risk from the disease—and was placed on supplemental oxygen as well as an aggressive regime of experimental medicines, suggesting a severe case. However, he soon addressed his supporters—claiming that he was feeling "better than I did 20 years ago," and was not contagious—and said of the virus, "Don't let it dominate your life."
Mad Max Fury Road Immortan Joe Speech www.youtube.com
Reports vary as to whether Trump then added, "Do not, my friends, become addicted to Oxygen. It will take hold of you, and you will resent its absence!"
2020 Reelection Campaign
Donald Trump is running for reelection against Democratic candidate Joe Biden, and considering the resources available to cheat and suppress the vote—and the likelihood that he will face prosecution if he loses—it remains a distinct possibility that he will defy the polls and win.