Five Quick Things: NFT Might Stand for ‘Needing the Former Trump’ - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Five Quick Things: NFT Might Stand for ‘Needing the Former Trump’
Donald Trump in Arizona (brian james cramer/Shutterstock)

Hey, who’s ready for the holidays?

Your writer, that’s who.

I hate being this damned busy before Christmas. There’s nowhere near enough drinking, and I’ve got to carve out late-night time to watch cheesy Christmas movies. Not to mention that this is going to be, what? The third year I don’t get around to watching Fatman like I’ve been told I should?

It streams on Peacock or something. I’ve already got too many streaming-service subscriptions as is. Or you have to rent it. But I’m spoiled, and I hate renting movies now.

Whatever. You didn’t come here for Christmas whinings, and it certainly isn’t Festivus yet. You came here for the 5QT, and so that’s what you’ll get.

1. We Liked Trump Steaks Better.

I talked about this at RVIVR Thursday, but the “MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT” that Donald Trump put out turned out to be that he was putting out digital trading card NFT collectibles.

Here’s what I said about this in the moment:

But what we can say is that Trump selling $99 NFT collectibles is the kind of thing that somebody who isn’t running for office and is simply cashing in on their notoriety would do. And if that’s his aim, more power to him. It’s a little cheesy, to be sure, but we’ve certainly seen worse.

But if he’s really trying to make another presidential run, it’s inexplicable. There is no way that this would help him. Left-wing Twitter is falling all over itself laughing at him.

Which isn’t in and of itself a catastrophic thing. It just doesn’t boost confidence in Trump as a disciplined, serious and formidable once and future president. It makes him out to be more of a huckster.

We’re good with the idea that Trump would be the nominee in 2024. But the entire point of RVIVR is that we want to see the revivalist movement, which is more or less the same thing as the MAGA movement, solidify and grow in its own right.

And what that means is that while the movement can be Trump’s to lead, at least for a time, it’s bigger than he is. What he shouldn’t be doing is making this all about himself. And selling collectible junk with himself decked out as a superhero with eyes that shoot lasers? That’s not about the movement, it’s about him.

Ace of Spades said it a little better, though we’re both coming at this from the same basic angle:

So my problem with Trump, for a while, has been this: I want him to talk about Trumpism, which I am fully, 100% on board with, as I think it represents a crucial, vital corrective to the current disastrous course the country is on.

But he barely talks about policy. He just talks about Trump.

I don’t really care about Trump, personally. Trumpism, yes. Trump himself? Eh!

And this is just another example of putting the man over the mission.

My political Theory of Relativity is this: All politicians are motivated by some combination of Principle, Greed, and Fear. “Greed” meaning greed in the Gordon Gekko sense; it could involve ego or power and not just money, though it usually gets back to money eventually.

Trump was always going to be about Greed to a large extent, but that isn’t terrible. When he really had it going on, like back in 2016, there was a good deal of Greed but also a surprising amount of Principle. So much so that lots of truly principled, ideological conservatives smelled a kindred spirit and jumped on board the Trump train.

But while he hasn’t disqualified himself (though this NFT thing is, let’s face it, a mess), either the Trump train is derailing or it’s been shunted off to a siding some sort of way. What he needs right now is to be politically relevant. Selling pics of himself decked out as a cowboy or an astronaut for $99 might be cutesy and entertaining, but relevant it is not.

There’s a movement that needs a leader, and that’s available to Trump. He should be its leader. But he needs to be worthy of it, and he needs to act like he wants to put the movement first.

And it got worse, because, also on Thursday, Trump put out a free speech agenda that was terrific:

This is exactly the kind of thing that puts the train back on the tracks. If you can’t back that agenda, then you’re the problem and not Trump.

All of America can and should be talking about this. Instead, we’re talking about digital trading cards. And that’s not just the legacy corporate media’s fault. That’s on The Donald. He snuffed out a great message with a cringe NFT distraction — and you knew which one everybody would focus on.

Zero discipline.

Do better. We know you can. And, like Starbuck says, we need you to.

2. Can We Please Defund the Useless CDC?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should have taken a crew cut from Congress the minute it decided to branch out into gun-control advocacy by perverting the dictionary. Oh, there’s an Epidemic of Gun Violence and we do Epidemiology, so of course we’re going to study this and make recommendations on how to cure Gun Disease.

That kind of dishonest sophistry should never have been paid for with our tax dollars. But when John Boehner and Paul Ryan busily foisted failure theater on the American people rather than doing their job and punishing the CDC for abusing its governmental role, they sent the signal that it was OK to progressively make things worse.

And this is worse:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reportedly removed statistics on defensive gun use in the U.S. following pressure from gun control advocates.

The stats sourced from a CDC-commissioned study finding that instances of defensive gun use occur between 60,000 and 2.5 million times per year. References to that study were deleted from the site following private meetings with gun control advocates in 2021, emails obtained and published by The Reload show.

“[T]hat 2.5 Million number needs to be killed, buried, dug up, killed again and buried again,” Mark Bryant, executive director of the Gun Violence Archive, wrote to the CDC in one of the emails. “It is highly misleading, is used out of context and I honestly believe it has zero value — even as an outlier point in honest DGU discussions.”

“And while that very small study by Gary Kleck has been debunked repeatedly by everyone from all sides of this issue [even Kleck] it still remains canon by gun rights folks and their supporting politicians and is used as a blunt instrument against gun safety regulations every time there is a state or federal level hearing,” Bryant’s email continued. “Put simply, in the time that study has been published as ‘a CDC Study’ gun violence prevention policy has ground to a halt, in no small part because of the misinformation that small study provided.”

So, the gun-grabbers are now in control of the CDC’s research on an issue already far outside of their stated mission.

And our government is certainly out of our control.

It’s worth a week or two of a government shutdown to kill this garbage. Put the entire CDC/gun-grab agenda on the chopping block and defund the damn thing. It isn’t complicated.

3. Let’s Pray That Kate Brown Avoids What She Deserves.

Because nice people don’t wish the kinds of things on other people that would constitute justice for Oregon’s miserably atrocious governor:

The timing of Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s announcement on the death penalty is quite, ah, interesting. The message it sends is even more damning.

The governor just abolished the death penalty by fiat. She didn’t ask voters. She didn’t talk to victims. One of her last acts as governor was a throat strike to victims.

Though Kate Brown has spent her years in office winnowing down the number of death row inmates from 34 to 17 and releasing violent murderers and rapists from prison, she chose this week to abolish the death penalty entirely in Oregon and “dismantle” a death chamber in Oregon that hasn’t been used in decades. And here’s why: she’s bugging out of office in mere days and handing over this time bomb to the newest woke governor to deal with. She did all of it without the consent of Oregon voters.

Among the murderers she just saved are a guy who went to jail for killing his girlfriend’s mom and then, once inside, killed a fellow inmate and asked to be executed, along with a couple of villains who blew up a bank and killed a pair of cops and almost a third.

Brown said that it was morally wrong for the state to engage in killing its citizens. Of course, she’s a big pro-abort booster, so that isn’t much of an argument. And if you want to get depressed, go check out the excess deaths in Oregon thanks to her COVID lockdown policies.

She’s been one of the worst governors in American history. On the other hand, Kate Brown is what Oregon voters voted for. So, whatever she deserves, maybe they deserve it, too.

Or at least the ones not trying to sever the eastern and southern parts of the state from the Portland area and either attach to Idaho or start a new state altogether do.

4. American Consumers: Bah, Humbug!

Maybe we’re reaching the end of Christmas as an orgy of materialism. Maybe the thrill of that is gone and the true reason for the season will come back to the fore.

Or maybe we’re all just too broke.

Either way, here comes the recession your betters swear to you isn’t in the offing:

High inflation and anxiety over a looming recession may have weighed down holiday spending in November.

The Commerce Department said retail sales fell by a sharp 0.6 percent in November, following a surge of 1.3 percent in October. The numbers are seasonally adjusted but not adjusted for price changes. On Tuesday, the Department of Labor said consumer prices were up 0.1 percent for the month.

Economists had expected a milder decline of 0.2 percent. In addition to economic anxiety, November sales may have been held back by a shift in shopping to earlier in the fall months that occurred during the pandemic and appears to be persisting in the post-pandemic era.

A measure considered “core retail sales”—which excludes automobiles, gasoline, building materials, and food services, fell 0.2 percent last month. The figure for October was revised to show a 0.5 percent increase instead of 0.7 percent gain previously reported, indicating that sales were slightly softer than expected.

The decline in retail sales cannot be attributed to lower gas prices. Gas station sales fell 0.1 percent as gas prices declined by 0.2 percent. Even excluding gas station sales, retail sales fell by 0.6 percent for the month.

On that news, the markets deposited a load of coal into all of our stockings. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dived by 764 points, (2.25 percent), its worst one-day performance in three months. The Nasdaq Composite took a 3.2 percent dump. The S&P 500 suffered a 2.5 percent dive, too.

Soon comes the octogenarian mental vegetable who occupies the White House to regale you with tales of prosperity and progress. It’s too bad you were just as unimpressed with the GOP establishment as you are with him to properly clip his wings in November. But then again, your lack of enthusiasm isn’t exactly unsubstantiated.

5. And Now, There Is This.

The Babylon Bee is a treasure, isn’t it?

Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is a contributing editor at The American Spectator  and publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics, and, a national political news aggregation and opinion site. Additionally, he's the author of the new book The Revivalist Manifesto: How Patriots Can Win The Next American Era, available at He’s also a writer of fiction — check out his three Tales of Ardenia novels Animus, Perdition and Retribution at Amazon. Scott's other project is The Speakeasy, a free-speech social and news app with benefits - check it out here.
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