Cop The Last Six ‘Strayan Prime Ministers’ Wildly Different Takes On Trump

In times of great uncertainty – and friends, we are in one of those times rn – you’d think we could look to our leaders, past and present, for some kind of unified direction.

You’d think.

After an event as improbable as Donald Trump’s ascendancy to the office of President of the United States of America, Australia’s current and former Prime Ministers have come out with a kaleidoscope of different takes.

Tonight on ABC’s 7.30, Paul Keating reckoned Australia is simply in better shape than we give ourselves credit for, and that we shouldn’t be reeling too hard ’cause we’re a “better society” anyway.

On the same program, John Howard insisted that Trump the president will be “a little less radical and a little less scary” than Trump the candidate. While Keating thought we should move to focus our alliances on the Asia Pacific region, Howard said we’ll still be BFFs with our Seppo brethren, even if Trump is in charge.

Kevin Rudd’s take has been a little more… Well, he hasn’t exactly trotted out the “less scary” line. In a series of incredulous tweets, Rudd essentially echoed the sentiments of broad swathes of the populace: that this shit is kinda unprecedented, and that the American people will need some fortitude to see out the next four years.

The woman who followed Rudd issued an entirely different viewpoint – rather, she didn’t offer one on Trump at all. Instead, Julia Gillard praised the hard work and tenacity of Hillary Clinton. It’s a statement that demonstrates her admiration for the Democratic candidate, while speaking volumes about her regard for Trump.

Lest we forget her take on misogynist politicians, and the fact Donald Trump openly boasted about sexually assaulting women.

Tony Abbott, who has characterised many of Trump’s policies as, y’know, quite reasonable, continued in that vein with his short messages on the topic. Like Howard, he’s been keen to re-affirm the bond between our nations, while also cheerin’ the fact the US has elected someone who rails against Abbott’s vision of the modern left.

The current top bloke responded in typical Malcolm Turnbull style. By virtue of our time differences, he offered his congratulations to Trump shortly after his win, and put in a good word for our island home in regards to regional security. 

“We discussed the vital importance of the United States’ continued strong presence in our region,”
Turnbull said, noting that “as both being businessmen who found our way into politics, somewhat later in life, we come to the problems of our own nations and indeed world problems with a pragmatic approach.”

No word from Bob Hawke. Probably still too busy necking froths to have a say on this one.

Source: 7.30 / ABC.
Photo: Spencer Platt / Getty.