In Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Emperor’s New Clothes an emperor who cares too much about clothes hires two swindlers who promise him the finest suit of clothes from the most beautiful cloth. This cloth, they tell him, is invisible to anyone who was either stupid or unfit for his position. The Emperor cannot see the (non-existent) cloth, but pretends that he can for fear of appearing stupid; his ministers do the same. When the swindlers report that the suit is finished, they dress him in mime. The Emperor then goes on a procession through the capital showing off his new “clothes”. During the course of the procession, a small child cries out, “But he has nothing on!” The crowd realizes the child is telling the truth.
In the 2008 US Presidential elections fiction has sadly not become reality.
Cartoon courtesy of Batton Lash
Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher has certainly and painfully found this out. Rather than the Obama supporters realizing the truth about their messiah – to them he is Hope and Change, the messiah for a new America – they attacked Joe, as a person, as a man, and as an American in any way possible.