The President’s New Clothes

Listening to Danny Kaye’s song The Emperor’s New Clothes, I’m imagining a modern version of the story. Due to a shortage of Emperors in our time, the ruler will have to be a president, and to make things safe, we’ll say that he’s the leader of a small nation with a wealth of natural resources, but little development.

In this new story, the hucksters will come selling a suit that is invisible, not to fools, but to bigots, racists, and other intolerant troglodytes. Everyone, not wanting to be called intolerant, will exclaim how amazing the suit is, except for the one little boy. At this point, though, nobody laughs at the president. Instead, we all come to a consensus that it is a terrible thing to have a nation so enlightened, and yet with one remaining intolerant person. A law is passed, the child is brought to court, and his family is fined out of house and home, and denied the right to practice their customary business.

The hucksters, of course, get honorary degrees, and a contract providing armor to the military.

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