Donald Trump first signaled the announcement as a “big announcement”. On Thursday, he then showcased an online store of NFT-format digital trading cards, which show him as a western or a superhero, as a racing driver or an astronaut for $99 each. The reactions were quick. The political left, down to President Joe Biden, has tipped into meanness and ridicule. Conservatives, including his former adviser Steve Bannon, were rather appalled by the embarrassing attempt to curry favor with the digital elite target group with these encrypted image files using blockchain technology to make them unique. . But will it really hurt him in his presidential campaign?
As you can see from this text here, it draws attention to action. But attention has always been his only asset. As a real estate speculator, he burned other people’s money. As a politician, he relied on spectacle rather than substance. That didn’t stop him from transforming first the Manhattan skyline and then American democracy with a lasting effect few have managed to achieve. However, with the triumph of digital media, attention has become a neutral value factor. The truism “even bad press is good press” applies more than ever.
NFTs are worth much more to Donald Trump than $99
With his election victory in 2016, Trump himself caused the shocking moment in the global public that logic, democracy and truth are no longer worth anything according to this maxim. In the summer of that year, you could already guess what awaited the nation and the world if you walked into a bookstore in Union Square in New York, for example, one of the most liberal corners from America. There was a whole table full of products and books that made fun of Donald Trump. Bulbous nosed plastic figurines, comics, caricatures. His opponent Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, found herself on the non-fiction shelves with serious political books by her own hand and many others. N / A? Who won?
You might think digital cards are silly, embarrassing, or even fake. In addition to the eye-catching effect, it will score points with two target groups. On the one hand with the hard core of his followers. After all, they are the ones who gave him the role of superhero on countless T-shirts, banners and posters. There were always kitschy photomontages and illustrations that showed him as a superhero, Rambo or even a saint. On the other hand, despite all the losses in the NFT and crypto market and criticism of Elon Musk’s leadership style on Twitter, the group of increasingly influential tech bros is one of the most prominent libertarian factions. . These are the hitherto rather small groups of adherents of an ideology whose concept of freedom and society, by European standards, tends to mean right of thumb and feudalism. But Silicon Valley’s worldviews coincide with those of boss Trump. And no one understands the dynamics of the attention economy better than Silicon Valley.
So the digital trading cards are worth far more to Donald Trump than the $99 he pocketed for himself and not his campaign trail. Whether that’s enough for a second term is doubtful. But doubts didn’t get the world very far in 2016. Incidentally, NFTs were already sold out on Friday.