In a video posted to Truth Social yesterday, Donald Trump revealed that he would soon make a “MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT.” This news was accompanied by an animation depicting him as Superman with lasers shooting out of his eyes. You know, normal former president stuff.
This is, obviously, absolutely hilarious. But at the danger of developing a reputation for being a Trump apologist, I’d like to share my case for why it is also absolutely fantastic.
NFTs are the least harmful thing Trump could have announced.
Following Trump’s announcement about his impending announcement on Thursday, the top guesses on social media were that he would be returning to Twitter, running for Speaker of the House, or forming a third party to spite Mitch McConnell.
All of those possibilities would have been extremely annoying and/or damaging to our political system. My wise colleagues at Intelligencer suggested we should be paying more attention to the superhero imagery. “It’s definitely a Dean Cain endorsement, right?” said one. “Taking Trump literally and seriously: He is going to become a costumed crime-fighting vigilante,” suggested another co-worker, who flagged this concerning development a few hours later:
Selling digital images of himself for $99 a pop may be harmful to the wallets of the MAGA faithful, but thankfully Trump’s big reveal will have no impact on the U.S. political system or the DC extended universe.
This gives Donald and Melania something to talk about.
The former First Lady only posts on her husband’s fledgling social-media network Truth Social sporadically, and many of her “truths” are ads for “The American Christmas Ornament and NFT Collection.” This is a collection of six Christmas ornaments with corresponding NFTs that bear Melania’s signature on the back. Five have generic holiday designs, but one tells everyone viewing your tree that you strive to “BE BEST” (and had $35 to burn). Maybe she can swap it for one of her husband’s NFTs, which he says are “just like baseball cards.”
The NFTs come with some neat perks for MAGA types.
When it comes to Trump’s money-making schemes, the bar is so low it’s at the floor (or, more specifically, at a gold-lettered “Official Trump Card” that won’t even get you loyalty points when shopping at Mar-a-Lago). So it’s somewhat surprising to see that Trump is offering his followers something for their $99 in addition to a non-fungible token that you can show off to other people who are into NFTs.
CollectTrumpCards.com says each NFT purchase automatically enters you into a sweepstakes for a chance to win “1000’s of incredible prizes.” These include a dinner in Miami with Trump, a Mar-a-Lago group cocktail hour, and hand-signed memorabilia. The fine print reveals there are only “1000’s” of prizes because most winners will get “one (1) ticket to a 2,000 person 20 minute Zoom call with President Trump.” But hey, it’s better than a fake credit card that says “TRUMP.”
The NFTs provide insight into Trump’s warped view of himself.
In his Truth Social post, Trump said, “These limited edition cards feature amazing ART of my Life & Career!” CollectTrumpCards.com highlights eight trading-card designs (with more visible if you hand over your credit-card info). They show Trump golfing (sure), holding a football (it’s happened), giving his signature double thumbs-up with gold bars flying at the screen (okay), standing in front of a boxing ring with electrified “45” gloves (taking some artistic license, but fine), and wearing a full auto-racing suit in front of a blurred-out track (made up yet somewhat plausible).
All of these cards sort of depict actual things that happened in Trump’s life, but I missed when he attended Top Gun, flew into outer space, and worked as an old-timey western gunslinger.
Trump’s promo video gives major TV-commercial nostalgia.
Hit play and find yourself transported to a time when you were home sick from school watching ads during Days of Our Lives. This video feels like it might end with Trump and Ed McMahon surprising someone with a check and promising that “miracles can happen” to you too — but only if you enter now.
Trump’s pitch includes an unprovoked attack on Lincoln and Washington.
Trump has made no secret of his presidential inferiority complex, but it’s still hilarious that he felt compelled to take a swipe at Lincoln and Washington in a video hawking NFTs. It starts, “Hello, everyone, this is Donald Trump, hopefully your favorite president of all time. Better than Lincoln, better than Washington.”
Yet 43 seconds in, Trump says, “Each card comes with an automatic chance to win amazing prizes, like dinner with me — I don’t know if that’s an amazing prize, but it’s what we have.” He’s not just everyone’s favorite president of all time, he’s also the most humble.
This is classic Trump.
When it comes to playing a fabulously wealthy guy to trick people into buying useless junk, Donald Trump is the GOAT. All 45,000 Trump digital trading cards sold out in about 12 hours, according to data from OpenSea, earning hims $4.45 million (in addition to 10 percent of sales on secondary markets). If only he would have stuck with schemes like this instead of running for president.
This post was updated after Trump’s NFTs sold out.
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