The king (still) has no clothes


The election of Barack Obama, and his presidency so far, have reminded me of “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” a story written in 1837 by Danish author and poet Hans Christian Andersen.

In that story a dishonest pair of weavers took advantage of the vanity of a king who cared for nothing but his wardrobe, telling him and his court that they could weave a fabric so fine it would be invisible to anyone who is unfit for his position or “just hopelessly stupid.”

I’m tempted to digress on a tie-in between “hopelessly stupid” and the voting public, but …

The king of course pretended to see beautiful colors in the fabric when the tailors held up nothing at all to show him their valuable wares. The king paid the weavers to make him a suit of clothes and when they said they had completed his clothing they mimed dressing him, but he was wearing nothing at all.

The king paraded before his ministers and the public, none of whom would admit they didn’t see the beautiful clothes.

Finally a child declared, “But he has nothing on at all!” and as the crowd first whispered and then took up the cry that the king was naked, the king feared maybe the child was right but with determination he finished his procession.

Is any of this sounding familiar?

Even if Anderson’s satire of hypocrisy and snobbery was not written especially for the modern American media, it sure fits. All we need is an outspoken child to speak the obvious since there seems to be a severe shortage of critical adults in a media frozen in adoration of President Obama.

Absent an outspoken child, maybe a group of European leaders at the G-20 summit will do. With very little effort, President Obama has turned another American tradition on its head.

In a rare “pinch-me” moment, instead of an American president imploring Europeans to stop their headlong plunge deeper into socialism, we now have those socialist Europeans imploring our president to reverse his spending binge to get debt under control NOW!

But our president responded in the spirit of St. Augustine’s prayer, (Lord, make me chaste, but not yet), as he explained he knew debt was a problem but we have to keep spending to get us out of recession. Pinch me again.

There is so much to say but I will spare you with just a couple of observations.

All the key factors in this presidential failure-in-process were evident during the campaign to any not struck willfully blind by the euphoria of electing a black president.

He had never run so much as a hot dog stand. His experience was limited to organizing and agitating in leftist groups like ACORN. He was the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate and had been a U.S. Senator a painfully short time before deciding he was qualified to be president.

Our media denied the indisputable evidence of his radical views by the anti-white and anti-American rantings of the minister President Obama had honored over a 20-year period.

There wasn’t a chance the media would pursue his association with radical and criminal leftists who bombed the Pentagon and still say they didn’t go far enough, and mainstream journalists have managed to keep buried this president’s predilection to Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals,” a guide to slimy political tactics; it does seem our president is continually honing one of the rules, “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”

In a rational world Barack Obama would have been laughed off the stage at the first presidential debate. But there was no child present to state the obvious, and the adults with the power to deliver their opinions to the voting public were star-struck.

Maybe the magic fairy dust is finally beginning to settle. Maybe the other half of the public will start to admit what they see so that public opinion might finally bring the mainstream media, kicking and screaming in protest, to what they should have been telling us all along, that the king has no clothes.

I can only hope that in 2012 the Republicans don’t make the very same mistake by nominating a rock star like Sarah Palin. There are so many better choices. Consider the irony of unseating the first black president to replace him with Herman Cain, who would be the first black president with common sense, business sense and an appreciation for the economic engine of American capitalism.

Herman, I’d vote for you in a heartbeat, not because you are black but because you are politically conservative and business savvy. Run, Herman, run!

[Peachtree City resident Terry Garlock writes opinion columns occasionally for The Citizen. His email is]