Expose the ‘emperor’ for having no clothes
In Andersen’s fairy tale “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, a child at the fateful procession says, “But he has got nothing on.” Word spreads through the crowd about the child’s remark. At first dismissed, the child’s comment soon gathers steam until all the people cried, “But he has nothing on!” The Emperor knows this is true but it’s too late; the procession must go on. And so it does.
Our procession began long before the Mad King took over the White House. It began with the Supreme Court declaring that corporations are legally persons, a concept everyone in the country new to be false. Knighted with personhood, corporations were then endowed with the same freedoms as individuals and their cash flow to politicians’ coffers went unabated. The same largesse was not doled out when it came to Voting Rights. The historic act was repealed paving the way for the states to create fanciful ways to make it as difficult as possible for minorities (translate: “likely Democratic voters”) to vote. Here the Emperor’s clothes were referred to as Preventing Voter Fraud. Never mind that there was virtually no voter fraud to be found in the land. Mix in a little help from Putin and the FBI Director, crafty gerrymandering and the Koch Brothers’ (and others’) money, and unabashed lying from the Uncertain Trumpet and you have the dawning awareness across the land that we have been on the losing end of a hustle. Alas, unlike the Emperor in the fairy tale, our deluded leader seems unaware that he has nothing on.
Unfortunately many people in the crowd here also seem to be unaware. They think he’s making America great again as old allies are insulted, our waterways are once again part of the sewer system and visiting dignitaries are left alone to tour the town or place a wreath. Looming over it all is the great unanswered question: what is Steve Bannon’s end game and will the Mad King come to his senses before it’s implemented? (My guess: probably not; I think he likes whatever it is.)
On the spiritual plane this poses a dilemma for the seeker who of course has been aware from Day One of the situation. How to act when love and anger mix a fiery potion of passion?
The ancient dictum about “render to Caesar” involved only coins for taxes. The rest was God’s. Then there is the gospel scene of cleansing the temple where whips were brandished and tables overturned. Not too practical in the civic arena of a democracy. Besides, did Jesus really do that or was that a story made up by an evangelist to make some point? We’re never quite sure one way or the other.
Well, I am going to say this: I think we have excellent role models in Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Michael Moore. They are not setting fires or destroying property or acting with hatred. They are however speaking truth to power and they are not afraid to let their righteous anger show. There are those who think “sure things are distressing” but once the election is over you have to go along with the program. I disagree. You have to go along with the outcome of who got elected but not the program they bring with them, especially when core values are at stake. Core values not just for our democracy but for our survival on this planet. (Think climate change.) So I encourage us all to get out there, speak up, be not afraid and let’s right the ship of state. “He has got nothing on!”
Bill O’Brien is a Consciousness Coach. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.