The Emperor's New Clothes:
Is President Bush America's New Emperor?

Michael H. Glantz
7 July

The Emperor's New Clothes:
Is President Bush America's New Emperor?

In 1837, Hans Christian Andersen, a Danish author of Children's tales, wrote “The Emperor's New Clothes”. The synopsis of the tale is below and was taken from Wikipedia. I had not read this tale since I was a kid. Then again, maybe I never read it, but surely I heard about the notion from friends or teachers or parents somewhere along the path of growing up. Thanks to the World Wide Web, I got to read it again; today, in fact. As I read it on the computer screen I kept subliminally picturing President Bush as the Emperor, and emperors usually have the last word on everything that happens in his (or her) empire. Damn, given the many unpopular decisions made by Bush (the protracted war in Iraq and now the latest distasteful decision, commuting of the prison sentence of Scooter Libby, Vice President Cheney's former key advisor), it came to me that President Bush was acting much like the fabled Emperor with his alleged new, but invisible, clothes. All I ask is that you read the synopsis that follows to see if you get the same strange feeling that Hans Christian Andersen had a glimpse of the future and was prophetically writing about America's first president of the 21st century, George W. Bush.

Wikipedia's Plot synopsis of “The Emperor's New Clothes”
[ The_Emperor's_New_Clothes]

Many years ago, there lived an emperor who was quite an average fairy tale ruler, with one exception: he cared much about his clothes. One day he heard from two swindlers named Guido and Luigi Farabutto that they could make the finest suit of clothes from the most beautiful cloth. This cloth, they said, also had the special capability that it was invisible to anyone who was either stupid or not fit for his position.

Being a bit nervous about whether he himself would be able to see the cloth, the emperor first sent two of his trusted men to see it. Of course, neither would admit that they could not see the cloth and so praised it. All the townspeople had also heard of the cloth and were interested to learn how stupid their neighbors were.

The emperor then allowed himself to be dressed in the clothes for a procession through town, never admitting that he was too unfit and stupid to see what he was wearing. He was afraid that the other people would think that he was stupid.

Of course, all the townspeople wildly praised the magnificent clothes of the emperor, afraid to admit that they could not see them, until a small child said:

"But he has nothing on!"

This was whispered from person to person until everyone in the crowd was shouting that the emperor had nothing on. The emperor heard it and felt that they were correct, but he held his head high and finished the procession.


What more to say. President Bush surrounds himself with people who agree with him. He makes unpopular decision after unpopular decision. His ratings in the polls have dropped below 30 percent, and if it drops much more, he will have a level of support for his policies that Ross Perot or George Wallace had as third-party candidates, and not as a leader of the Land. He scoffs at polls. He does not believe critics of his policy decisions, even the critics in his own political party.

And, like the Andersen's Emperor, he will march forward even though he knows “he is naked for all to see”, just to keep alive the misbelief that as an American president, he never has to admit that his decisions were wrong and not in the country's interest.

--Michael H. Glantz

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