It was a very festive TNB last night—and I need your advice: Do I buy a Trump NFT? Tell me in the comments. I can get it on the secondary market so that he doesn’t get my money. And it does seem like a hedge against future bad outcomes.
You can watch the rewind here or listen to the podcast version here.
1. Trump the Blockchain
If we’re being honest, the big surprise about Trump’s NFT cash grab is that it’s happening in December 2022, while crypto is in a nuclear winter.
If he had launched this project in December 2019, then he would have made a mint. As it is—despite all the goofing on him—Trump has made a good bit of coin. The “collection” has 45,000 NFTs in it, of varying rarity. They cost $99 to mint. The entire run sold out this morning in fewer than 24 hours. You do the math.
Why does a “billionaire” former president need to embarrass himself to pick up a spare $4.5 million?
I dunno. My guess is that this project is the brainchild of an outsider—maybe a rando fanboy or a Devin Nunes type sitting over at the Truth Social offices—who sold it to the big guy as, “Hey, you don’t need to do anything. You just sit there and let us use your brand to make a couple milli in a few hours.”
Rich people don’t get rich by saying no to free money.
And while everyone is goofing on the idea of Trump The NFT Huckster, he did move product. Do you think Tim Scott or Glenn Youngkin could sell $4.5 million worth of cartoons depicting themselves shooting lasers out of their eyes, or wearing a yarmulke at the wailing wall, or showing off pretend 8-pack abs and a codpiece—in a couple hours?
Do you think there exists, anywhere in America, someone who would have plunked down $100k to buy a thousand of these things from Ron DeSantis?
I do not.
One of the lessons of 2016 was that intensity of support matters. Wide support is important, but narrower support can overcome it if it’s deep enough. Not always. Not in every contest. But enough that it shouldn’t be discounted.
I get the sense that people want to believe that the Trump NFTs are a jump-the-shark moment. And that would be great. I’d like it to be the case.
But is this any more embarrassing or self-abasing that Trump U, or Trump Steaks, or the Official Trump Card?
And when you drive around in your daily life, how many Trump flags do you see flying?1
My point here isn’t that Trump can’t lose—the intensity of his support was far greater than Biden’s in 2020 and he got beat like a drum. What I’m trying to get at is that when intensity crosses a certain threshold, then the nature of the support changes. It moves into a different category; it behaves differently.
2. Goodbye to Twitter
I’ve been telling people to get off Twitter for years. It’s bad for your soul, for your sanity, and for your productivity. Twitter was bad for you when @Jack ran it. It’s bad for you now that Elon Musk is running it.
Also: Twitter was bad for society back then. And it’s bad for society now. None of that has changed.
But one thing has changed: