Study Guide

Donald Trump in Boardwalk Empire

By Nelson Johnson

Donald Trump

Donald Trump and Atlantic City are a match made in heaven.

Both make up for a lack of good taste with pure excess. As an early visitor eloquently states, Atlantic City has always been "overwhelming in its crudeness—barbaric, hideous, and magnificent" (2.30). Atlantic City businessmen have long since realized that putting on a spectacle is the best way to snag tourists, who are often less interested in experiencing the best as they are the biggest.

This is straight out of Trump's playbook. Trump's piece de resistance in Atlantic City is the Taj Mahal, a garish casino that "looks like a gigantic, thickly frosted, multilayered wedding cake, custom-baked for someone with more money than taste" (12.32). In many ways, Trump represents the over-the-top excess of Atlantic City pushed to its logical extreme, far past the point of good taste. It might not be classy, but hey—neither is Atlantic City.