Trump Pokemon

“I wanna be the very best. Like no one ever was…” No that’s not part of some Donald Trump campaign speech, it is actually the opening lines to the Pokemon theme song. Both The Donald and Pokemon Go saw a huge popularity at the height of the summer, but like the augmented reality phone app that lets you catch pocket monsters by sneaking into your neighbor’s backyard, the Republican Party’s nominee for President of the United States has begun to decline in popularity. However, it is unfair to compare Trump to Pokemon Go, because the truth is he is more like an actual Pokemon. Not only is Trump a wild shade of orange, but he enjoys repeatedly hearing his own name and he is constantly evolving into new and terrifying forms.

Egomogul
A capitalist-type Pokemon, Egomogul enjoys the spotlight. This creature is a buffoon by nature, often starring in reality shows and making its mark on the world by writing its name in gold on the side of buildings it doesn’t actually own. As a political candidate it is mostly a joke, involved only to promote its next book or next season of television… Its main attacks are Childish Insults and Facebook Arguments.

It’s hard to remember now, but in the beginning of his campaign Donald Trump was a man on a mission, a mission to get as much free publicity as humanely possible. So he announced his candidacy by descending a golden escalator and spouting off whatever the heck came to mind at the time. This is where the famous line, “When Mexico sends its people… They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists…” The sad part is that it was that one terrible and very false statement by Trump which changed the US political landscape forever. It drew national media attention and -like an expensive and racist car crash- America couldn’t seem to look away. The Donald spent most of his nomination campaign playing the fool, making outrageous statements, and even making remarks about his own penis size during a Presidential debate, and worst of all it was “super effective.”

Trump being outrageous meant that he basically got about 2 billion dollars worth of free advertising. Suddenly, Donald Trump, became a name you heard every night on the news. He was given front and center positions at the debates. Everyone from Stephen Colbert to Matt Lauer to actual journalists were talking about the walking-talking-Internet-comment-section-come-to-life. Featuring his latest crazy remark or rally violence was a way to improve their own ratings, but it also improved his notoriety. Maybe the old adage is true, “there is no such thing as bad publicity.” Trump spent only $10 million in advertising during his Republican nomination campaign, as opposed to Jeb Bush who spent $82 million. Guess who dropped out in shame, because it wasn’t the one who called for the American military to commit war crimes against Muslims. You see, that was the real power of The Donald. In the beginning he was a running joke, an Internet meme, a late night punchline, but much like the initial cute and non-threatening form of most Pokemon, something more terrifying was just waiting to emerge.

Egomeleon
The evolved form of Egomogul, Egomeleon is an opportunist-type Pokemon. Weaker than its initial form, it is much more unsure of itself, often flip-flipping to try and mimic more mainstream political-type Pokemon. This form is also a lot less popular than Egomogul, but a lot more dangerous, especially to women, minorities, and immigrants… Its main attacks include Incite Riot and Racist Tweet.

Like a Pokemon fed a bad candy treat, Trump was forced to evolve from his buffoonish persona to one that was supposed to be more “mainstream.” Unfortunately, the transformation was not exactly what his Republican Poke-Masters had hoped for. So instead, we were given a candidate who he is constantly spouting off impossible to believe remarks as his handlers desperately try to recant them. On the issues, Donald Trump has changed his plan on dealing with illegal immigrants: 6 times, his plans for tax reform: 6 times, his plans for defeating ISIS: 5 times, his plans for “fixing” Obamacare: 4 times, his ideas on gun control: 7 times, and the list goes on. Of course, this might have been avoided if Trump had actually started out having some sort of initial policy -aside from his “secret” plans to magically solve these problems- but that wasn’t the case. The real irony is that the candidate who is famous for “saying exactly what he means,” is having real trouble saying what he means.

However, there is something a lot more terrifying about RNC Nominee Trump as opposed to Candidate Trump.  When many news personalities and journalists predicted that he would pivot toward a more mainstream centralism appeal, he did the opposite. His campaign doubled down and decided to ramp up the fear factor. Instead of the usual flag waving and chants of “USA… USA,” which are so expected at the RNC Convention, Trump’s people pushed a narrative that made America seem dangerous and dirty, like New York in the 1980’s or Pallet Town during the Pokemon Gang Wars. Even worse, Trump’s own acceptance speech contained dozens or bold-faced lies about the state and safety statistics of America, because the Egomeleon cares little for actual facts, just the narrative that it knows it can get away with. The Republicans spent a week telling Americans that they were in danger from terrorists, criminals, and generally anyone who had a darker shade of skin than printer paper. It was a narrative aimed at people who enjoyed Pokemon White, to exclusion of those who enjoyed Pokemon Black, Red, Yellow, and even Blue… if you get our meaning.

This is the true danger of Trump. With his numbers looking like they are, it is unlikely he will claim victory in November, but his campaign has proven itself to be ugly and dangerous in its own right. It is giving a strong voice to a small minority of prejudice, violent, and bigoted Americans, and it is making their ideas more mainstream again. It is giving permission for hate speech to be said in public, on a podium, from a position of media-backed authority. The moment that The Donald stepped on stage at the RNC Convention was the moment he stopped being an odd political curiosity and became a major threat to American ideals, security, and constitutional rights. We have fought so long and so hard to get to a point in history where we have come to see the value in diversity and the moral principal of freedom of religion and speech and so much more. We are not saying the road has been easy or that we are anywhere close to its end, but we cannot let an orange hate-breathing creature gain power or we might face its true and hideous final form.

Egotator
The Egotator is the evolved form of the Egomeleon and the final form of the Egomogul. A demigogue-type Pokemon, it is considered the most power hungry form of any creature. The world has only seen a half-dozen or so Egotators in the past century, most of which have resulted in wars and genocides that have cost millions of lives… It’s main attacks are War Crimes and Nuclear Launch Codes.

There are many jokes about a world under President Donald Trump, but the reality may be no laughing matter. The biggest problem with President Donald would be that he is first and foremost a reactionary man whose sole purpose in life seems to be to convince everyone of how great he is. We have seen him often rise to cheap insults and go out of his way to aggrandize his own accomplishments and power. That is fine for a reality star, but it is dangerous in a man charged with representing the international interests of the United States. Vladimir Putin has already demonstrated that he knows how play the Republican candidate like a cheap fiddle. You need to wonder how much negotiating power is really going to come from a man that is so easily flattered. Will he really be willing to “talk tough” with Iran, or China, when their leaders start off meetings by showering him with praise about his “genius” intellect or his big “hands?” Will he even really care about the interests of the country if he is offered a deal that benefits him personally?

He has also shown a distaste for the press, a disregard for the rules of warfare, and a tendency to play to the passions of a crowd. More to the point, Trump has shown very little understanding of constitutional rights and a willingness to use power to feed his own ego. We know for an almost absolute certainty that he would look to maximize the power of the Imperial Presidency. He has proven that he is willing to do what is convenient and expedient, regardless of legality or morality. That is why so many people have become concerned about Trump having his small finger on the proverbial button. By his own admittance he does not often confer with advisors before making decisions, and nuking a small Asian country is usually the kind of decision you want to talk out before you do it.

In all likelihood, most of his more outlandish campaign promises -like a certain wall- would be attempted and then quietly backed down when the true financial, political, and common sense implications come to bear. Most experts do seem to agree that he is probably going to start a trade war with Asia, which will be very very bad for the common American. Yet, the real problem with predicting a Trump Presidency is that we seem to have no solid policy basis from which to do so. Other than generalized and hyperbolic statements about how something something is bad and something something is good, the Republican candidate usually gives very little detail about how he hopes to “Make America Great Again.” That makes him both confusing and possibly even more dangerous than you might believe. We will not be able to pin a lot of solid positions on Trump by the time he would take office, and that means he could do almost anything, even things that are are counter-intuitive to the Republican base that elected him.

Regardless of your opinion on Donald Trump -and if you can guess we have a low one of him- you have to admit that he is not the same man who started this campaign so many months ago. He has changed and evolved, gaining more experience, radicalized followers, and more CP than anyone thought possible. In many ways he is a magikarp that transformed into the biggest meanest and scariest gyarados you can imagine. We don’t know for sure what the world might look like if America collectively screams, “Donald Trump, we choose you!” but we do know one thing for sure… His pokeball is probably solid gold and inscribed with thirty foot tall letters that spell out his name.

Pokemon

Greetings fellow travelers. We here at The NYRD have been out on the road, seeing sights, looking for adventure, and trying to catch ’em all. Yes, we’re talking about Pokémon, because much like the rest of the country we have also been caught up in the craze of Pokémon Go, but unlike the rest of the country we thought our road trip across America would be a good opportunity to really explore the limits of this new augmented reality game that has very quickly revolutionized how ew think of phone games.

I Choose You
20160716_135708Just two days after the games release in the USA the newest Pokémon game had already been installed by more than 5% of Android users. That may not sound like much but consider that means it was installed on more phones than Tinder, and people didn’t just let it sit there either. Over 60% of people who downloaded the app have continued to use it daily. It has about the same daily usage as Twitter, and the numbers are still going up. The average use time per day is about 43 minutes, which is more than the average person used Instagram, SnapChap, or visits The NYRD. Thanks to the massive release, Nintendo’s stock has surged 20% and it gave the game company its best day on the stock market since 1983, which was before most of our staff was even born.

However, there are some downsides. There have been plenty of humorous stories of people who were too busy trying to catch their eighth Pidgey to pay attention to where they were walking. Some people have fallen off cliffs, fallen into water, and one even caused a very serious car acciden, though there is some debate over that. In fact, more than once on our journey across this nation we had to stop Todd from walking into a building or large southern men who, “don’t take too kindly to yankee types,” which is absurd because we don’t even follow baseball.

Despite all the bad press the game is getting it is worth mentioning that Pokémon Go is the popularization of something new in our society. It is a game that encourages people to get out of their homes and interact with the environment, even if part of the environment is digital. The app is making kids walk and run and explore the world we live in. It is no coincidenc that there are PokeStops at all significant and historic locations in almost every area of the country, and trust us we know. The game even changes what Pokemon a person can find based upon the time of day and the area someone is in.

What the Psyduck?
Of course, in our own adventures we have encountered a lot of different pokemon. Unfortunately, we can’t really answer the question you are probably asking? Do you catch special pokemon in historic or significant locations? Well, we never came across any legendary ones, but we definitely encountered high level and more exotic pokemon in certain areas, such as Niagara Falls -which by the way offers free wifi on the American side- We cannot say for certainty that going to national parks or similar sites will net you anything that you can really show off to your friends. Yet, we still recommend you go all the same, because these are just cool sites to visit.

We can tell you however, that playing Pokémon Go alongside the Mississipi River or through the streets of Chicago or even in the parking lot of some roadside motel that we happen to be staying definitely enhances the experience. It is also a great way to meet people. We have not visited a single city or even café yet where we have not overheard people comparing their pokedex or talking about where they found this Evee, or why Team Instinct is the worst. Bumping into people with their head buried in their phones is very common these days and it makes it very easy to start conversations.

“Hey did you see that Zubat over there?”

“No, do you want to be best friends forever?”

“Of course.”

See how easy that was, but we have also noticed that Pokémon Go is doing more than just enhancing personal relationships or personal waistlines. A lot of businesses are getting in on the action. It has not been uncommon in our travels to find businesses that are regularly putting down lure to draw in Pokémon and paying customers. There is even a story about police using Pokémon lures to catch fugitives, which is pretty awesome. However, the technique works particularly well in cafes or other business where people can sip their coffee, chat with friends, and enslave poor defenseless creatures in a case the size of a baseball. Its basically a win-win for everyone, except that poor Pikachu that got nabbed by the cops for all those unpaid parking tickets.

A Magikarp Ride
Really, we just want to report that the state of the Pokemon Union is strong. People all over the country are mindlessly wandering around state parks and into traffic. We know that this is not the first AR or environment interaction game, lest we forget geocaching. Ultimately, we believe that this newest use of crude but effective augmented reality is a step in the right direction. The best part is that the game will only keep growing with the possibilities of new Pokémon, trainer battles, and a slew of other possibilities. At the very least, Pokémon Go is getting people active again and interacting with the world and each other in new and previously unthought-of ways.

Also there is nothing so unifying as being a bunch of thirty year old adults excitedly squealing over finding a Squirtle, and then rubbing it into face of a group of twelve year olds. Truly, we live in a magical time.

Until next time, keep watching our adventures on SnapChat at thenyrd.
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