45 Watch: The Dark Princes Rise

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45 Watch: The Dark Princes Rise

“I have the power,” screams an excessively orange-skinned man with a ridiculous haircut, his voice echoing as he points his weapon forward. After introducing himself vis-a-vis his royal lineage and summoning the strength of his castle, the man transforms into a hulking beast. This, of course, is the opening sequence to the cartoon He-Man, the alter-ego of Adam, Prince of Eternia.

As multiple memes have shown, there’s an odd, albeit dark, similarity between the cartoon and our cartoonish president. Both come from wealth and harness their supremacy from real estate. Both have odd manes and unique skin; He-Man’s is indestructible while Con-Man’s is notoriously thin. Prince Adam wields a sword; Prince Donald wields a Twitter account. Both have a devastatingly powerful (alter-) ego. The most important differentiator between them is that one fights against evil personified (Skeletor), while the other fights with it (Steve Bannon).

Although Trump and his administration have been viewed mostly as an increasingly not-so-funny joke, his transgressions have grown more severe over the past seven months: denying easily observable facts; making up preposterous lies; denigrating women, minorities, the office and the country; possibly colluding with Russia, enabling sycophantic fools, etc.

He’s lost the trust and respect of 75% of the American public, European leaders openly laugh at his speeches and reportedly play “word bingo” with his severely limited vocabulary, and even his own staff is leaking damaging information and fighting among themselves.

The fast-flying swirl of reality show-esque drama has swept us all through a delirious farrago of emotions — anger, disbelief, laughter, fear, sadness — since November 8. While the credibility and viability of the U.S. democratic system might be on the line, the greater danger to us all lies in a very scary possibility: Prince Donald’s Con-Man alter-ego on the war path.

Prince Donald: Father of all bombasts

The news has been awash with the story of an overweight leader crowned under a bad haircut threatening to use a nuclear arsenal. Only in 2017 could that statement be legitimately referring to more than one man.

On one end, there’s t

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45 Watch: The Dark Princes Rise

45 Watch: The Dark Princes Rise

“I have the power,” screams an excessively orange-skinned man with a ridiculous haircut, his voice echoing as he points his weapon forward. After introducing himself vis-a-vis his royal lineage and summoning the strength of his castle, the man transforms into a hulking beast. This, of course, is the opening sequence to the cartoon He-Man, the alter-ego of Adam, Prince of Eternia.

As multiple memes have shown, there’s an odd, albeit dark, similarity between the cartoon and our cartoonish president. Both come from wealth and harness their supremacy from real estate. Both have odd manes and unique skin; He-Man’s is indestructible while Con-Man’s is notoriously thin. Prince Adam wields a sword; Prince Donald wields a Twitter account. Both have a devastatingly powerful (alter-) ego. The most important differentiator between them is that one fights against evil personified (Skeletor), while the other fights with it (Steve Bannon).

Although Trump and his administration have been viewed mostly as an increasingly not-so-funny joke, his transgressions have grown more severe over the past seven months: denying easily observable facts; making up preposterous lies; denigrating women, minorities, the office and the country; possibly colluding with Russia, enabling sycophantic fools, etc.

He’s lost the trust and respect of 75% of the American public, European leaders openly laugh at his speeches and reportedly play “word bingo” with his severely limited vocabulary, and even his own staff is leaking damaging information and fighting among themselves.

The fast-flying swirl of reality show-esque drama has swept us all through a delirious farrago of emotions — anger, disbelief, laughter, fear, sadness — since November 8. While the credibility and viability of the U.S. democratic system might be on the line, the greater danger to us all lies in a very scary possibility: Prince Donald’s Con-Man alter-ego on the war path.

Prince Donald: Father of all bombasts

The news has been awash with the story of an overweight leader crowned under a bad haircut threatening to use a nuclear arsenal. Only in 2017 could that statement be legitimately referring to more than one man.

On one end, there’s t

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45 Watch: The Decline of an Empire

45 Watch: The Decline of an Empire

 

Empires, just like the history they mold and define, repeat themselves in identifiable patterns. Though each empire has its own complex interplay of power and struggle, they all tend to grow through militaristic strength, ascend to economic supremacy, then decline from bloat and corruption.

Some empires were small and lasted for over 1,500 years, like the early Tamil Pandyan and Chola dynasties in India. Others were enormous — the Mongol empire ruled over the largest contiguous land kingdom in history — conquering large swaths of the planet and cycling through the repeatable pattern in less than 1,000 years, like the Roman, British and Ottoman empires.

These empires start to decline for more than 100 years before the official end comes. That decline is now consuming the most powerful modern empire: the United States of America. This isn’t a conclusion developed as an empty threat paraded around by U.S. enemies, pundits or attention-seeking provocateurs. This is the serious, evidence-based postulation of America’s own military.

In its 2017 annual report released this summer, the Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) at the U.S. Army War College said America has entered a “post-primacy” period — an era in which we are no longer the most important force in the world.

Though President Donald Trump’s empty slogan of “Make America Great Again” riled up the patriotism, racism, misogyny and xenophobia of large parts of White America, his presidency is doing the exact opposite of his hat-front rhetoric: accelerating our decline.

Five characteristics of decline

“While the United States remains a global political, economic, and military giant, it no longer enjoys an unassailable position versus state competitors,” the SSI states. “The status quo that was hatched and nurtured by U.S. strategists after World War II and has for decades been the principal ‘beat’ for [Department of Defense] is not merely fraying but may, in fact, be collapsing.”

The SSI report lists five characteristics of the post-primacy stage, all of which are directly being exacerbated by our current president and the darker internal forces aligned with his movement.

1) “Hyper-connectivity and weaponization of information, disinformation, and disaffection”

In other words, social media’s ability to quickly promote truly false information has created a population of people willing to blindly believe anything that bolsters their narrative. Trump has made this progression even more incendiary by decrying all media that shines a critical light on him and his administration as “fake news.”

This disinformation has been weaponized by men like billionaire hedge fund manager Robert Mercer. He is the leading money man behind Breitbart, the right-wing news site that peddles nativist, misogynistic and White supremacist propaganda as news. He also supports former Breitbart standout-turned-outcast, Milo Yiannopoulos, whose new website peddles in the same themes, just for a younger audience. If that doesn’t prove Mercer’s c

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