When Trump was campaigning, Barbara Streisand threatened to move to Australia if he was successful in his bid to become POTUS. Now, almost two years post Trump’s success, she still remains in the USA…Why?
In August 2016, Streisand had an interview on 60 Minutes with Michael Usher in Australia. After expressing her distaste for Trump, she stated:
“He has no facts. I don’t know, I can’t believe it. I’m either coming to your country, if you’ll let me in, or Canada.”
Usher said that she was very welcome in Australia.
Then, on November 8 2016, Trump was elected as President of the United States. Yet Babs is still in the USA. But why is she still at home? Why hasn’t Australia received her on their fair shores yet?
This is what people do
Before every election, people wring their hands and threaten to leave their home country if the wrong party (in their opinion) get elected. From ordinary people to massive celebrities, the dire warning that they will move is often a hollow form of blackmail.
During the 2016 election, Lena Dunham said she ‘really will’ move if Trump was elected… She’s still in the USA. Chloë Sevigny was set to run away to Nova Scotia yet still remains in her native. Snoop Dogg was making cosy plans to shack up next door to Drake in Canada, yet his ‘hookup’ plans have gone suspiciously quiet.
People, of both sides, are convinced of their moral and intellectual superiority. So the threats to move are supposed to engender distress, or worry, or hold people to hostage to make them agree on their point of view. This does not work. No American would change their vote because Streisand or Snoop Dogg was planning to move post election.
Social media reacts
In the case of Babs, the jokes and malice arising from her statements (which she made in genuine distress and confusion) are typical of thoughtless trolls and bullies. Along with attacking her appearance and casting her mental health in doubt (‘severely deranged’), the Trump supporters have delighted in goading her to leave… and then crowing in delight when she did not.
Streisand really does not like Trump
It’s not just the empty threats to pack up and move down-under. Streisand has a history of anti-Trump-ism. Before the election at a Hillary Clinton fundraiser, Barbara performed ‘Send in the Clowns’, a parody to mock Trump. She also performed a duet with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show. They performed ‘Anything You Can Do’, with Fallon dressed as Trump.
She has continued in the aftermath of the election, writing an article for Huffington Post called ‘Clueless, Reckless, Graceless, Mindless and Heartless: Our President-Elect.‘
Even now, her Twitter is a deluge of anti-Trump news, quotes and comments. Ironically, it seems to be the opposite of the ‘Barbara Streisand effect’. This effect is when there is an attempt to remove or censor a piece of information, but it has the opposite effect of propelling it further into the public consciousness. This was named after her when a 2003 photo of her home was published on the internet with 12,000 other photos of the California coastline’s erosion. She tried to sue the photographer for violation of privacy. Before she started her case, the photo had only been downloaded six times, two of them by her attorneys. After her (failed) attempt to sue the photographer, more than 420,000 people visited the site in the following month.
Her continued trumpeting of her opinion has seemingly had the opposite effect; shutting down her discussion and only invoking rage and trolls that support Trump, mostly attacking her appearance or other personal attributes.
What’s happened since the election?
Barbara continues to be an outspoken critic of Trump and his administration. In 2017 she slated his proposed tax plan. She stated that she believes it to be a trap that will deliberately harm blue states, middle class, athletes and Hollywood. She said the plan just made billionaires more billions, leaving the majority of people with nothing.
In fact, in December 2017, she Tweeted, calling for his impeachment: for sheer stupidity.
She’s just released politically-minded album with a single called ‘Don’t Lie to Me’. The lyrics of this song directly address Trump. ‘Why can’t you just tell me the truth?’ and ‘How can you win if we all lose?’
So why hasn’t Barbara moved to Aussie?
In the aftermath, many of the celebrities backtracked, stating they were ‘only joking’.
There is more to moving countries than just rocking up to an airport with your bags and announcing you want to say. Often the immigration process is long, tedious, and you likely have to have to set of skills that the adoptive country is looking for- it’s all just too hard.
Babs has never come out and said why she decided to stay, which is surprising to us given some of the amazing places she could have moved to in Australia – like Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and the Gold Coast (a favourite of celebrity bachelor pads).