This is a story I heard as a kid. At the time I thought it was funny, mostly because at the end of the story the emperor willingly marched down the road completely naked. If you aren’t familiar with the story, it’s short, and you can read it here.
The basic story is this: the Emperor really liked clothes. I mean a lot. He hired these two guys who said they made clothes so fine that people who were stupid or unfit for office couldn’t see them. After they spend lots of time “weaving” the new clothes (which don’t exist), the emperor walks down the street wearing nothing at all. Since the emperor didn’t want people to think he was stupid OR unfit for office, he said he could see the clothes. The townspeople didn’t want to be seen as stupid, so they said they could see them as well. And so it went until a little boy called out, “But he hasn’t got anything on!” And then the townspeople finally admitted to themselves that it was a sham. But the emperor kept acting like he was fully clothed.
I’ve talked to people like this recently. They refuse to see the truth even when they are beaten over the head with it. The whole idea that men are able to become women (or vice versa) is more ridiculous than a naked man claiming to be fully clothed. People who claim that “animals are people too”. i could go on. The list of insane positions that otherwise intelligent people hold to is getting longer and longer.
But the only change to the story in modern times is this: instead of the truth being revealed and accepted by all but a few, the person who announces the lie is ostracized and mocked. If HCA were alive today, his story would end with the boy being shipped off to a boarding school to teach him the virtues of invisible clothes.
In the comic book “Civil War: The Amazing Spider Man #13 (2007),” Captain America said the following, “Doesn’t matter what the press says. Doesn’t matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn’t matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: The requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — “No, YOU move.” ”
Until I die, as long as I have breath in me to proclaim the truth to those who would hear it spoken, I’m going to keep shouting it as loud as I can: He hasn’t got anything on!